Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Different Kind of Rainbow

I finished My Grandfather’s Blessings by Naomi Remmen, last night. What a blessed book. If she isn’t a believer, Jesus, she ought to be. Lead her, Spirit, to the Son; let her be one of the sheep from a different fold who come to know you, Father.

She tagged an incubus thought that I had yet to birth: “Perhaps real wisdom lies in not seeking answers at all. Any answer we find will not be true for long. An answer is a place where we can fall asleep as life moves past us to its next question. After all these years I have begun to wonder if the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.” P 338.

She augments with the idea that as we court relationship with Mystery our need for smaller certainties fades. This need for sure certainties is replaced with an ongoing sense of awe, wonder, and growing gratitude to the One whose ways are as far above our ways as the heavens are above the earth.

Another thought she gave me as a jewel when the sun hits it: “fear is the friction in all transitions.” One role I have had and will have again is that of emotional WD-40. A little squirt here and there acts as lock-ease for the soul in motion from one small certainty to something else.

And another little story of a boy who had found a rainbow trout washed up from the cresting river into what was then a shrinking draining ditch. The trout was struggling to survive. The boy was heartbroken. He picked the trout up and rushed it back into the river. He remembered later, on his dying bed as an old man, the shiver of rainbow delight as the trout realized once again it was part of the river. As he too was soon to be.

One final snippet. When the Concorde was traveling at Mach 2, 1,350 mph, it used multiple computers to keep it on course. When traveling at such a high speed human reaction time was far too slow a corrective. So one computer was constantly jiggling the other back on course. They made little whirring noises as they corrected each other back and forth. One attentive passenger, who had been given a tour of the cockpit on the Concorde’s maiden voyage, asked, “what per cent of the time is the plane off course?” The pilot replied, “about 99% of the time. However we will arrive in Paris from New York at our projected time, plus or minus 60 seconds.”

The feedback systems between computers aren’t frictioned with the need to be right. They accept correction without quarreling. Could two pilots correct each other thousands of times in one flight without overheating defensiveness and argumentation? Could I stand to be wrong 99% of the time without losing courage? Lord, give me the humility to be corrected, adjusted, tuned to your hovering Spirit, moment by moment. Let me recognize when that correction from You comes thru another, or a stubbed toe, or a closed door as readily as through a hunch, word of knowledge, or flashing insight.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Streaming Glories

Another glorious day. Fulfilled promises was a theme as I walked near Troutbeck, a little village outside Windermere. I’ve been working on scripture memory, as I’ve written in the past. One of the chapters I’d tucked away was Deuteronomy 8. One of the verses that made me smile always when I was repeating it, was: “I’m about to bring you into a good land, a land of brooks and rivers, springs and lakes, streams flowing out of the hills and into the valleys…” And another chapter, more famous, Psalm 23, “he makes me lie down in green pastures….” That’s because I’m so daggum stubborn that I won’t lie down on my own accord; so He has to make me. God be blessed, even as he blessed me with streaming trails of glory flowing among resting sheep.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Found in the Mist

             The Lord seems to be speaking to me lately, as I walk the fells, of humility and obscurity; letting that be okay. He uses just plain people, not hifaluting folks. So today the moors, the fog, the drizzle, the enveloping woods, grazing sheep, and swirling mist were all perfect. I folded right in and was lost from sight immediately, if not sooner.

Here in the Lakes you are surrounded by invincible evidence of a Living Artist at work. In the face of such autumn audacities towering over me, crunching underfoot, thundering beside me in the river and falls, misting my lips as I move through the patchy fog—how can I be other than grateful to be a tiny little part of His Story unfolding with each breath? I was reading a sermon by my friend, Gary Stubblefield, today. He spoke of plagiarism as being ingratitude & theft of intellectual property. The assertion of self sufficiency is cosmic ingratitude & theft of God’s claim on the entire universe. Humility is the opposite of self sufficiency. It’s a grateful fear of God, a jubilant reverence that revels in God’s stunning goodness toward us. It’s been a good day. No, scratch that. A glorious day.