Christine’s Corner – Blog – November 18, 2011
I have two journals, one that reflects my daily (or weekly, depending on my moods) thoughts, hopes, dreams and prayers, and the second which is more like a scrapbook – filled with quotes, hymns, prayers that others have written. They provoke moments for reflection and moments of amusement – like this whimsical one from the Portland Oregon Historical Society:
During the 1970’s, weather forecasters relied on two touchstones to predict the weather: the National Weather Service and the goats that grazed on Mt. Nebo. Variable high goats = good weather; widely scattered goats – = partly sunny; low pressure goats (i.e.; grazing at lower elevations) = rain or snow. The goats had a 90% accuracy, and the National Weather Service – 65%.
What touchstones do you use to predict the weather in your own life, and how accurate are those predictions? Turning again to my journal, I found a wisdom answer to that question in a recent entry from the book Unexpected Destinations: An Evangelical Pilgrimage to World Christianity, the 2011 autobiography of Wesley Granburg-Michaelson, General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America. He talks about his struggle, as a college student, to both nourish his soul and enact a relevant witness in the world.
He insists that the inward journey of a spiritual life must find outward expression in “inner attention, listening prayer, attuned exploration of God’s work in [one’s] life and the discovery of gifts intended to build up the body of Christ for strengthening its witness in the world…..God’s work is the transformation of lives, but also of communities, societies and the world.”
In other words, we must do our best to adjust the chaotic pace of our lives– especially the multiple demands of seminary, work, family and church responsibilities – with a clear awareness that we are not doing this for ourselves. Let us discipline ourselves to graze and not neglect prayer and time with God – with the excuse that we are too busy each morning, or too tired each night. Let us not allow the rush of life’s “necessities” to override our need to attune ourselves to the necessity of God who calls us to live and move and have our being in a way that commits us to community and then to justice.