Sunday, November 21, 2010

Winding Road

Today our sermon was on the story of Joseph. Whenever I hear that story, I am amazed at the way God's plan is accomplished in spite of the many twists & turns along the way. As we've been reading the Old Testament in our Bible reading program it comes through again and again. Adam & Eve blow it, God's plan goes on, the Israelites blow it, God's plan goes on, Joseph's brothers try to get rid of him, God's plan goes on. I keep imagining this winding path going through all the stories, sometimes forward, sometimes circling back, around obstacles, but going on. I thought of it again as I was working on some Advent material, tying the Exodus story to the Advent of Christ's birth, to the Advent of the new creation. Praise God for his plan.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just sitting

Today we went to Capitola and just sat by the ocean watching the waves and the sky. It was beautiful.

We didn't talk much. I didn't think about a whole bunch of stuff either. It was good.

On the way home as I was thinking of how little we sit and do nothing, I remembered something from a James Herriott book. He wrote about a family, I think it was a sister and two brothers, who lived on a farm, and after their day of work, they ate supper, then sat on a bench on the porch. And that's all they did, just sat for some time and then went to bed.

I thought, too, of this British comedy I watch called "Good Neighbors." In that story, a husband and wife try to be self-sufficient in the suburbs, living off the land. In the evenings they sit on two kitchen chairs facing their big wood-burning stove. And they, too, just sit. Of course since it's t.v. they talk, but still they're not watching t.v. or anything, they're just sitting.

I sometimes feel guilty that I want to occupy my mind all the time. When I'm doing boring things in the kitchen, I much prefer to listen to my iPod while I work. Or when I walk or exercise. If I don't listen to something while I walk or exercise my brain seems to absolutely lose its ability to think. After a while I start mindlessly counting my steps. It's agonizing. Even when I've tried to use that time for prayer, after a while I can't think of anything more to pray about and it's 1, 2, 3, 4, aaauugh. You'd think I could be alone in my mind for a while!

I've heard it's a discipline, it takes practice. I guess I don't want it bad enough to put in the time. Shallow or not, I think I'll keep listening while I work or walk.