A quiet mind, an open heart, a deep breath. This is the practice in the midst of Butterbraid deliveries, Lenten plans, bulletin approvals. A quiet mind, an open heart, a deep breath. To find and connect with the Center that is always Present. Cultivating peace in the midst of an unexpected very large snow removal bill, getting ready for an event that seems to have a number of loose ends, a blog post that seems to lack focus.
A quiet mind, an open heart, a deep breath. To remember to let go of that which I cannot change, courage to change that which I can and tap into God’s wisdom, God’s grace, God’s strength to discern one from the other. God is God and I am not. To ask for the perspective to clarify what is the next task to tackle. To seek serenity in this moment, I pause. God is the Source of Serenity.
Be still and know that I am God! Psalm 46:10 This time I notice the exclamation point in verse 10. ! Surprise, astonishment, strong emotion! Psalm 46 starts with, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present ( also translated as “well proved”) help in trouble.”.
Be still my heart. God knows I need God’s help. The words of wisdom come to me in scripture remembered. The joyous sound of children, the chatter of those who are connecting and learning and growing is also present in this moment. A quiet mind, an open heart, a deep breath. So I take a breath. In this moment I will name this pause -the God breath, the breath of life breath. As I “catch my breath” I am asking God to keep me here now and nowhere else. It’s the "keep me here" breath. It is the power of quiet. My mind gets busy. I am distracted and take another breath and pause. A quiet mind, an open heart, a deep breath.
This morning, in chapel with our preschoolers, we lit the candles; to quiet our minds and open our hearts. The beauty of fire, of flame in the sanctuary that becomes just that - sanctuary. There is a pause in our time to together as the preschoolers watch the student whose turn it is use the candle lighter and light the candles. We pause. This is a God pause. I take a deep breath.
This year we have chapel every week- three times. We are taking time as we start to pause. To light that candle is a prayer. To practice the quiet is also a prayer. This is the prayer with which I started today, “May I awake, O Lord, to do thy will”. In the quiet I remember. I offer it up as a prayer again.
God what is your will for me in this moment, on this day, as my heart races when I see the snow removal bill? To pause, repeat- “thy will be done”, to ask the question and make the connection. Do the next thing. That is what comes to me. Ask the questions about the bill, look at the contract, ask for help, take the next step. Be present with a quiet mind, an open heart, a deep breath.
At the end of our chapel time we pause. A preschool student is given the candle lighter and extinguishes the candle. The smoke swirls up. We pause as we quietly watch. This moment becomes its’ own prayer. This. God’s will to be fully here in this breath. Yes! Be still and know that I am God!
Reminded in the quiet and in the pause that it is God who is our refuge and strength, a very present/well proved help in trouble. Be still and know. Send the email, answer the question, ask for guidance. Get ready for afternoon chapel with our next group of preschoolers. A quiet mind, an open heart, a deep breath. I allow for space, for the pause.
There is power in quiet even as there are sounds all around. The quiet is not only a practice when it is silent around me. The quiet is in a breath. The quiet is in the deep trust. The quiet is what we get to practice as we light candles, remember Scripture, write one work after the next. The power of the quiet is in the surrender- letting go in this moment that which I cannot change while I ask for God's help to change what I can.
So as I finish this blog I take the time to remember God is my refuge and strength, a very present and well-proved help in trouble- no matter the size of the trouble. And quiet mind, an open heart, a deep breath. Place the snow removal bill, the ordering and understanding of toner for the copier, the tasks that are yet to come into the tender loving care of this God - the refuge and strength God! And so it goes a breath at a time....