Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Flying High!

Since I share my birthday with the archangels, I decided to fly. Hal and I rode the seven-station zip line in the forest around Skamania Lodge, overlooking the Colombia Gorge. I like flying through the forest, every bit as much as I thought I would. We spent the night at the Lodge, in a room overlooking the river, and in the morning we hiked one of the trails, again through the forest.
This treat is thanks to Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends who, last year, gave a gift card to the lodge as a retirement gift, and we have managed to squeeze three trips out of it. This trip maxed out our card, but what a fine way to celebrate 70 years of life and grace.
Here are some photos.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

In answer to your question

Yes, I used to put God
in a box, but it turned
out to be a Jack-
in-the-box, and God
kept jumping out
and scaring me
at the most inconvenient
times. One day he
jumped all the way
out, leaving me
with this empty tin
cube, red paint peeling.
I finally threw it
away. God remains
at large.

Friday, September 4, 2015

This is the day

“This is the day which the Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
There is determination in that posture. There is intentionality. We will, we determine to, we intend it, it is our purpose. So joy and a grateful outlook are more than personality, more than a good night’s sleep, more than the background of a happy childhood, more than the right circumstances, more than the right body chemistry, more than good relationships. They are more than all the bullet-points that would go in a how-to-be-happy book.
Basic intentionality.                                                             
We will rejoice and be glad.
We will.
It’s also plural. We will. Me, yes, but me with. The others in my life, whoever they are, matter. They are part of the ingredients in the recipe for joy. And it’s the we in my life who can intend to rejoice and actually carry it off. We.
And it’s this day that is the setting—the context if you will—when all the joy happens. This very day. Not the past, as fine or as painful as it might have been. No nostalgic longing for what was or what might have been. And no blaming past tragedies, pain, abuses or mistakes for any present inability to rejoice. No.
And no looking to the future and thinking that if only this circumstance, or these people, or this place, or this much money…. No.
Right here. Right now. With these people. In these circumstances. This is the day. We will rejoice and be glad in it. And in no other.
Because this is the day that the Lord has made. Now we’re down to basics. Sovereign God has made, sustained, and given to us—this day. Because God is in it, behind it, before it, and surrounding this very day, it is possible. The joy is possible. It is possible to trust God to take care of us. To supply our every need. To help us forgive the past, be healed, and move forward with hope into the future. A future that will be full of days that God will make.
Because of God we can be in today. We can fully inhabit this day. This is the day. We can wisely intend to rejoice and be glad.
Rejoice—make a habit of joy. Re-joy. Do it again and again. Because of God, our source and sustainer. Be glad. Be—a verb of being. A state of being. An habitual way of life. Gladness. Gratitude.
Oh, Lord, Holy Spirit of God. Enable us today to seize the moments, to rejoice and be glad. Today. Because of you. Amen.