Shirin McArthur

prayerful pondering

Day by Beautiful Day

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We had warm, beautiful, sunny weather much of last week. It got close to 70 degrees on many days, and I couldn’t help reflecting on the stark contrast with New England, where we used to live, as the highs there were in the single digits (not counting the wind chill) and the snow kept piling up. We’ve even had an unusually wet winter here, so—for a change—I’m not jealous this year of all their precipitation!

And yet…it was a struggle to get through some of those days last week. I’ve finished the abbess book, I’m in dialogue with a potential new client about a project, and have a number of other things that need to get done—some of them very soon.

But I just can’t seem to concentrate. Perhaps it’s related to a type of early-spring fever; on Wednesday afternoon I helped take some children out hiking on Boston Hill, and it was great just being out there, noticing what came to mind, making up parables about old mining pits and desert thorns.

In fact, it was so much easier to be out there, in the winter sunshine, exploring with the children. Much easier than sitting with the unknowing that comes during periods of discernment, when doors seem to slam closed on your fingertips and you back away, smarting with the sting and just wanting to be able to see the way forward.

wooden bridge DSC_2410But we can’t always see. There are cycles in our spiritual lives, as there are in the changing seasons and the shape of our work. We can’t always see where we’re heading—perhaps most often when we really want to.

And so, day by beautiful day, I’m “showing up” for my life as best I can. Sometimes I succeed; other times, not much gets “accomplished.” But the one thing I realize is that, as I struggle, I keep turning to God and saying “Please help. I can’t do this on my own.” And that is probably the most important step I’m taking. By keeping my eyes open, having compassion for myself, and reaching out for help, I’m walking my journey as best I can, one day at a time.

Do you have seasons like this—where you can’t tell what is ahead, but you somehow know that things are shifting? Are you perhaps also in one now? If so, you’re not alone. And if you’ve walked through those seasons, but aren’t there now, I invite you to say a prayer for those of us walking this way now….

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