Week Three - Soaking it up
The first two weeks concentrated on process: ways we can pray scripture. How do you welcome God to guide you in your prayer? And how, in your conversation with God, do you feel guided?
You will return to the previous weeks many times as you reflect on different ways to come into God's presence. There is no right way - you might begin with some of my suggestions and the Spirit may lead you into God's circle of love in a surprising way. This is good.
It is spring - well almost summer. Saturday, June 21st is the day. For the most part, we have our seeds sown and our gardens have begun to show signs of new growth. Reflecting on this, read Mark 4: 1-9.
3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” (NRSV)
I'm am using Carolyn Stahl's book, Opening To God for this week's exercise. She suggests this meditation affirms the past, with its mixed experiences and the future, with its potential (p59f)
"Take a few deep breaths. Get a sense of yourself on a small hill by a lake . . . Feel the warmth of the sun . . . Now, as you look toward the beach, you see people gathered . . . Notice the Christ standing on a boat, talking to the people. . . You go down the hill to the shore . . . As you watch and listen, you hear the Christ talk about seeds which represent how one responds to the gospel. Some seeds fall along footpaths, on the rocky ground, among the thistles, and in good soil. The Christ gives everyone five seeds . . . Receive your seeds and move away from the crowd, to any place that feels right to sow your seed. Imagine yourself throwing these five seeds, allowing them to land where they will.
The first seed lands upon a footpath. The birds come and eat it up. Allow yourself to reflect upon something in your life that was picked out before it had a full chance to grow . . . be aware of your feelings.
The second seed lands upon rocky soil; it takes root, but dies quickly because it has no depth. As you see this seed grow, then die, allow it to represent something in your life that withered because it was not securely rooted. Let yourself feel what occurs . . .
The third seed lands, grows, but is choked out by thistles. Become aware of something in your life which has been choked out by other interests, activities, values.
Your fourth seed lands, takes root in good soil, grows, and bears fruit. Watch this take place . . . Now observe what in your life has borne great fruit. Get a sense of that ripe fruit . . .
Your last seed represents your future. Watch it and allow it to unfold. It may represent an aspect of your life now, as it unfolds in the future, or it may represent something completely new. Allow it to mature . . . Let the seeds be carried to wherever they want or need to go. Become aware that seeds nurture us and others, far around the world . . . Sense all these sharings of seeds. Do what you want to do now. Either go back to the hill, finish something with one of the seeds that needs to be finished or anything else. . . Become aware of your surroundings, and when you are ready open your eyes.
Keep a record of your findings in your journal to which you can reflect.