13
Mar
14

3.13.14 … I’m not where I’m supposed to be today …

“Solvitur Ambulando”  – It is solved by walking, 2014 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (7/40), Wedgewood Church – Charlotte NC, James Howell/Myers Park UMC, Lenten practices:
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I’m not where I’m supposed to be today.  I am supposed to be in Atlanta, but I am here, walking a labyrinth I do not particularly like, driving a car that I do not particularly like …
As to why I am here and not Atlanta, that is another story.
As to why I am walking at Wedgewood Church which I do not particularly like.  I have not walked this labyrinth since August 18 of last year. There’s a reason, although it is a perfect Chartres style labyrinth, the path is made of pebbles, just the right size to get in your shoes.  I continually think as I walk: why would you build a labyrinth that is not accessible to children or to the elderly?  Neither group can walk and children cannot play in the gravel.
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But this is NOT a good one to walk today on this  morning. It’s in the shade and sits atop a small knoll. And it’s cold and blustery.
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Like I said, this is not a good one to walk today.  However, I will walk anyway because part of my Lenten  labyrinth practice  is to walk each labyrinth in my community each week, and this one actually is relatively  close to my home.
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My hands are cold and are  shoved in my pockets,  except when I flex them to warm them.
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I do enjoy the trees that share the space.
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And as for the car that I don’t particularly like.    I am motoring about in a 1997 red jeep with huge ass wheels and manual transmission.  it’s just not my thing.
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So looking for blessings as I walk.
And now I am home, and this is in my email …

Our Eyes are upon You

In a way, one of the most emotionally healthy prayers in the Bible is the one offered by obscure King Jehoshaphat: under attack, about to lead his people into a difficult battle, the King prays, “Lord, we do not know what to do; but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:12).

The life of faith isn’t about having all the answers, or never questioning; in fact, the deeper we go with God, the greater the mystery. Sometimes we have no clue what to do; but we can relax, as not knowing can be a hopeful dependence upon God alone. “Lord, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

How do we keep our eyes upon the Lord? Too many of us wait until there’s a crisis; then desperately we wonder, Where is God? It is so much better, healthier, and more satisfying to know where God is all the time – and the way to live near God is by spiritual habits, practices, disciplines. Time must be blocked out for prayer, reflection, reading – and these set times must be inviolable. If praying can be postponed this time, it can be next time – and pretty soon you aren’t praying at all.

In our emails this month we will suggest some practices that may prove helpful to you. They aren’t easy; we won’t feed you delicious little morsels of inspiring, cross-stitchable witticisms. Physically, we don’t get healthy but eating sweet little candies; it takes a well-rounded diet, saying No to the sweets, exercise, a whole new life.

The first, essential commitment is to say I will keep my eyes upon the Lord; I will relax and be attentive to God. With so many distractions, and so much busy-ness, you have to carve out time, and a place – and decide this will be the year God becomes not just another thing, but thebig thing.

And so as Lent is underway, together let’s find our way to God, not merely in a crisis, but today, tomorrow, this afternoon, tomorrow evening.

A prayer from the Daily Office: “Father, I know how often I am carried away by too many concerns and demands. Deliver me from this whirlwind around me, and in me. Heal my tired, weary spirit, allowing the wisdom that comes from rest in you to flow deep within me.”

James

james@mpumc.org

So maybe I am where I am supposed to be.  Crunch, crunch, crunch!


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