Psalm 145:4–5 “One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works will I meditate.”
Emily: “Oh, earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it– every, every minute?
Stage Manager: No. (pause) The saints and poets, maybe they do some. Our Town, Thornton Wilder
Years ago I made a brief attempt at meditation, which brought on panic attacks, not peace, so I quickly gave up. When I shared this with a practicing meditator she responded, “That’s good, that’s good. That’s a stage to wonder about and work your way through.”
Since then, practicing meditation has been on my to-do list, something I plan to try again someday. I believe the research that says it would be good for me, improve my mental calm, my physical health, my relationships, etc. But I’m afraid, both of the practice itself (what in the world might come into my head if I really let myself go) and the giving up control over the time, which could be used in oh so many different ways.
Today, I am hearing the psalmist’s determination to meditate on God’s wondrous works and Our Town‘s Emily’s question about human beings realizing life while they live it in conversation with each other, and prodding me. While in no way a meditator, poet or saint, I am capable, with effort, of paying attention to my life. I believe that many of God’s wondrous works are the simple ones Emily remembers: “clocks ticking…. Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths… and sleeping and waking up.”
Some simple moments from my life today for which I am grateful: waking up, eating a delicious Bartlett pear, sitting in the pews for worship, praying for the Philippines, hearing the choir sing “How Can I Keep from Singing?”
This week I challenge myself to take time during each day to pay attention to moments of my life, to realize them, to name them, and to be grateful.
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