I love Einstein’s motto.
A young reporter once asked Einstein if he could go into detail and explain the Theory of Relativity for the interview at hand. Einstein looked at him and said, “Young man, I make it a practice never to retain information in my head that I can easily look up in the library.” Let the library carry the burden of the data that I don’t need everyday.
Thus, I am riding on automatic pilot a bit more often than carefully being attentive to the details around me. My sister tells me that I “rent space” in my body instead of inhabiting it thoroughly. I don’t really have an argument for that!
Therefore, many times I am surprised by life! I am easily amazed at the creativity and diversity of the world around me and of the people I encounter during the day, especially when something new pops up and demands attention.
I was in the store, grocery shopping on the weekend, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Have you ever seen one of these before? They are called Buddha Hand Lemons. I had to take a picture for you! How do you eat these things? How do they grow – on a tree like regular lemons?
I don’t often stand still gazing at produce, but this time I HAD to.
These lemons were such an interruption to the normal shopping excursion. No “business as usual” here at all…and that is what it took for me to look twice at the amazing things that God is doing.
When we were children, we lived within 15 minutes of the beach. We spent many hours in the sun, crusted with sand, building castles or looking for shells; for sand dollars.
For a while my sisters and I surmised that perhaps we had picked them all up – that there were no more to be had.
Yet, this just doesn’t fit with the way God works.
A God of abundance and generosity is never outdone…God is always giving. The key here is, am I watching…am I listening? I mean, what exactly does God have to do to get my attention? I know, God grows Buddha Hand Lemons!
The beauty and changes in nature highlight for me the activity that God does everywhere else. It is much harder for me to “rent space” in my head when I am surrounded by the extravagant color and shapes of the outdoors. It is like God gives me a gentle shake and says, “Don’t miss what I am doing here…what I am doing in you, too.”
So…what is God doing today in your life? Is there something new happening? Is someone calling for a little more time and energy from you? It could be God’s communication…not just for the good of the other, but also to get you to re-evaluate where you are going right now. Slow down, take a deep breath, and exhale and connect with someone outside your head.
Automatic pilot is good for some things – it let’s me focus on what is really begging for my time and attention. Like God…
Hold Your Horses!
We are not a patient people anymore. We want… we want… we want it NOW!
Television / internet / cell phones / text messages / advertising and marketing condition us toward instant gratification / immediate satisfaction. But Holy Saturday is a day of waiting… an important time to wait in darkness to see what new life God will restore in each of us. As Jesus lay wrapped and buried in the cave, so we also must lay still in the silence, longing for God’s hands to deliver us into freedom.
Retreat Day 4: Holy Saturday
1. Begin this retreat by going to a place all alone. Sit on the floor and wrap yourself in a blanket in a way that will put you in as much darkness as possible. Close your eyes and sit still. Imagine that you are in the tomb like Jesus… waiting and waiting and waiting… not fully dead but not fully alive.
Where is God? You were certain that God was going to save you, but so far… nothing. Where is God? Stay there for a while.
2. When you are ready, go over to your computer and listen to this…
3. While you were waiting in your tomb, did you feel like you were in the hands of God? What other times in your everyday life do you feel like God’s hands are holding you?
4. Retrieve your paper/journal that you have used these past few days. Using a different color pen or marker, write a prayer to help you remember that you are always in the hands of God.
5. Finish your retreat today with this…
Tomorrow… Easter Sunday: Light Up the Sky