Trail Mix

Fifth Thursday

Deacon photo

It’s technically spring here in Boston. To be fair, we’ve had a few warm days this week, and it’s raining now. But we’re expecting snow tomorrow, March 28th. I love the seasons, even winter, so the snow this year hasn’t bothered me. But it can get old with the days being so short, when day after day, there’s nothing but more snow in the forecast. My dog Deacon and I get pretty desperate for spring.

On Tuesday it was sunny and close to 50 so I loaded him in the Subaru and took him for a hike. The trail was mostly snowy, but it sometimes gave way under my boots, and portions had melted into mud. I had to watch my step most of the way up the hill. Midway up the hill I stopped to rest and realized I’d barely looked around me at the beauty of the snowy trees, hadn’t appreciated the warm sunny patches between the trees, or given thanks for the blue sky I could now see. All around me, Winter was giving way to Spring, but I had to lift my head to see it.

I can easily get bogged down liked this in my daily life, seeing only what’s right before me. I often dwell on problems and rehearse situations and conversations that may not ever happen, turning them over and over like a dog with a bone. I can drive myself to distraction with such thoughts. I need a reminder that God is with me, offering me peace at every turn, if I just look to him. Worrying over things, big or small, keeps me from the present moment, where God is. When I need a bigger vista, I look up. “But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.” Psalm 3

Today’s prayer practice: Seeing with new eyes

Sit in the stillness and breathe deeply, inviting God to still your thoughts. Meditate on Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” Give him your full attention, then wait as he lifts your head above your daily concerns. Where do you most often live? In his peace and serenity? Dwelling on disappointments? Focused on unanswered prayers? Stuck in a thought pattern that keeps you from seeing God has more for you? What might he want you to see? What are you grateful for today? How would you like to respond to God?

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