Shirin McArthur

prayerful pondering

Lenten Poems

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Today I thought I would share a couple of my Lenten poems. Clearly, there is a theme here…perhaps one with which you are familiar…. I invite you to ponder what rises for you as you read, and let it lead you into prayer….


Running in the Present MomentIMG_2173 crop

Lent is booked

Solid

With activities:

Family visits

Travels for work

Travels for pleasure

Travels for “rest”

Oh, and home renovations

 

No time for stillness

Except in “stolen” moments

 

How does the Dalai Lama do it?

I imagine his schedule

Must be just as crazy

 

I remember reading somewhere

Sometime

About his ability

To pay attention

To respond to you

As if you were

The only person in the universe

 

That is truly

Living in the present moment.

 

I also imagine

That he can do this

Because

He has handlers

Who pay the bills

Organize the tax paperwork

Book the plane flights

Cook dinner.

 

Is it possible

For an ordinary person

To imitate the Dalai Lama?

I can only try.

 

I can wake each day

With the goal of

Running in the present moment

And keep an eye out

In my peripheral vision

For the Spirit

Who runs alongside.


 

Of Shoulds and Oughts and Crazy Talk

I am not a robot

But some days I struggle

To resist societal definitions

Of work

And rest

And the forbidden fruit

Of lying in the winter sun

Like a cat

Letting myself release

My human doing.

 

Internal messages

Deeply ingrained

Then projected outward

On loved ones

Who worry.

 

I wonder

How life would be

As a modern monk;

A different set

Of shoulds and oughts

Entwined around a rhythm

Of prayer

And work

And rest

And recognition

Of human being…

 

Come,

Spirit whispers.

Lie in the sun

With me.

 

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