Thursday, July 02, 2009

Celebrating the sacred

As I traveled around the labyrinth at First United Methodist Church in San Diego on June 30, as my parting devotion of my appointment there as a local pastor, what came into my mindfulness were multitudes of times when I had been in prayer with people.

It was such an appropriate reflection for all my time there as a parent of a toddler in the preschool, as a member, as a student pastor and then as an appointed local pastor. Prayer centers me and prayer centers my ministry. To be flooded with memories of prayer was prayerful unto itself.

As I exited the labyrinth, I began to reflect on the New (appointment) Year. Last year, I actually committed some New (appointment) Year's resolutions to writing. So I began to reflect on what resolutions I might have for this VERY New Year. What came to me as an overwhelming awareness was my desire to celebrate the sacred wherever it appears.

As if on cue, the sacred hopped into my garage on July 1, New (appointment) Year's Day, in the form of a Horned Toad. I haven't held a horned frog in my hand since I was 10. I still hold an image in clear memory of catching and admiring one along the driveway of my grandmother's house in Jacksboro, Texas. I had never seen one outside of Texas. And this little baby came hopping up my drive and into my garage. Ryan saw it first and was amazed. It was as if a baby dragon had hopped into our awareness. I was delighted by his delight. And I knew as I held this horned toad and marveled at it some (ahem) 40 years later that this, THIS, was the sacred I had vowed to celebrate. It was one of those moments of connection with the Divine, one of those awarenesses of the transient and not-entirely-stable nature of time that connects me to all I have been and helps me imagine all I will be. It was as if the family totem had come to life to offer me blessing. I felt my tenuous Native American roots come alive with this gift of presence.

And so, I celebrated. I celebrated the sacred.

Last year, my list of New (appointment) Year's resolutions read like a litany of literary desire, hopeful appreciation, and trust in the Spirit:

1) Read more poetry.
1a) Write more poetry.
2) See more theatre.
2a) Research cheap ways to see theatre in San Diego.
3) Thank promptly.
3a) Live in an attitude of gratitude.
4) Keep it clean -- the desk, the coffee mug, maybe even the language
5) Delight daily in something.
6) Renew my resolve to follow the leadings and guidings, nudgings and shoves of the Spirit.
7) Hold on to hope.

This year, my singular resolution is more centering prayer than litany:
Celebrate the sacred.

And my hope will be that those celebrations sometimes include poetry, sometimes theatre, sometimes delight and always Spirit presence and great gratitude.

I am grateful for the Horned Toad
That traveled across time and memory
To bless the beginnings of this ministry year
To bless the future from the past
And to remind me that wonders never cease.

Thanks be to God!

1 comment:

Jeri said...

I love the last picture in your blog. It is as if the frog is smiling at you in approval of your resolution.

and so the frog and I say "You go girl!"