i on thy path, o God

God over me,
God under me,
God before me,
God behind me,
I on thy path, O Lord,
Thou, O God, in my steps.
-Carmina Gaelica (Charms of the Gauls),
collected in the 19th century

I would love to be always enveloped in the Presence of God. My faith tells me I am always surrounded by the Love of God but the Presence of God is somehow different. When God is Present and with me in the moment there is a distinct difference. There is a Peace and Joy that supplants all worry and discontent. The worries of the world seem to melt away and are non-existent, if only for that moment. In the Presence of God nothing else matters.

One day my life will be like that – completely enmeshed with God. But until then I must walk this earth in faith and trusting in an unseen God. Well, unseen in the way my earthly eyes would see Him. My spiritual eyes see Him everywhere but my human brain doesn’t always pay attention to the information my spiritual eyes are sending it. And thus my days are spent in conflict.

This morning I prayed once again that I might choose the right path to walk down just for today. Yesterday (or was it the day before?) I chose the not-so-right path and strayed from the His Presence. But God is a Loving and Merciful God and helped me to learn from my errors.

My spiritual journey in this life has been a long and twisted one, winding through marshes and bogs, deserts and storms; folding back on itself any number of times. I am relearning lessons I thought I had already learned but not really, or maybe it is a new level or depth of the same lesson. Maybe it is just another layer of the onion. Maybe I don’t know and will never know. Maybe it is not for me to know. As long as God knows I am okay with that.

For this new year, I pray, God over me, God under me, God before me, God behind me. Enveloped in His Presence, walking on the path He as set before me.

 

Follow God’s Path by silent-sarah05

in this moment i choose faith

As we look deeply within, we understand our perfect balance.
There is no fear of the cycle of birth, life and death.
For when you stand in the present moment, you are timeless.
-Rodney Yee

Recently I have had episodes of weariness – so very tired – it has been a long, worrisome month. With Toby, my orange marmalade, ill for 4 days, all the worry associated with that, trips to the vet plus work plus Christmas gifts and obligations, plus, plus, plus. I love my furchild but his recent illness just added more stress and worry on top of everything else I worry about, like paying rent, buying groceries, having enough gas in the car to get to work – you know, the daily grind, especially if you are a member of the working poor. It is enough to make me want to crawl into bed and call in sick. But I won’t, puritan work ethic and all kicking in.

Instead, I choose to trust in the One I love and worship. I choose to trust that either I will find a way to make it through or a way will be made for me. I choose to be thankful that Toby recovered and only needs to put back those 2 pounds he lost (I like my babies fat and fluffy).

Today when I am very weary of this life I am leading I will choose to rejoice and be grateful for the good I have been gifted with. I will not go with what I feel: depressed, weary to the bone, sad, in pain and defeated. I choose to be grateful, to rely on my faith, to trust, to smile, to love and be victorious. Even though I have already failed one test set before me this morning, I will look past that and resolve to do better and try again next time.

God is most Gracious and Loving and while I don’t always understand why I go through what I do (in fact, I rarely do) I choose to trust in His Love and Grace. I choose to stand in this present moment and trust. What I will do in the next moment is up for grabs. But in this moment, right here, right now, I will make a choice for faith.

When every fiber of my being and body screams out for relief from this madness that is my life, my spirit will reach toward the heavens and grasp the hem of His garment and hold on. I will not let go until I am renewed and rejuvenated with His Love and Grace. As Jacob did in the Old Testament and struggled with God, I will not let go until He has blessed me. (Genesis 32:26) I will not give up. I refuse to give into the madness.

This day, this moment, this present moment, I choose faith.

 

 

jacob5

Alexander Louis Leloir, Jacob Wrestling With the Angel, 1865

how do I play the game?

For when the great scorer comes to write against your name,
he writes not that you won or lost, but how you played the game.
-Grantland Rice

It goes without saying, or perhaps it should be said, that we have all heard this saying before – that winning or losing is not as important as how you play the game. If you ever played on any type of team, that was probably said by the coach – at least when you were younger. But then, what do I know, I never played any sports. At least not unless you count gym class in Junior High School (what is now known as Middle School for those of you who are way younger than me). I only know what I have seen on TV and in movies.

Anyway, there is spiritual truth in that adage. What matters when I do whatever it is I do during the general course of the day is where my heart is. Am I being kind because I want to out of pure love or because it is my job to be nice? Am I being empathetic toward a distressed customer because I genuinely feel their pain or because it is required of me?

Without a doubt I can say it is both. Some people are easier to be kind to than others. Some people are easier to feel empathy for than others. It is much easier for me to be kind to an elderly person than it is a younger person. Why? Because my mother is up there in years and I would want someone to be kind to her. And the younger person should be able to handle the madness of this life without falling completely apart. Never mind that I fell apart when I was younger at the smallest thing. I am not that kind or sympathetic to myself so why should I be that way toward others?

But God is not like that. And neither should I be like that as well. As I go through this life I try to emulate the Love of God to others and try to see them the way He does. I am not always successful. In fact, I fail more than I succeed. And therein is the quote from earlier.

Is it truly not that I succeeded or failed, but that I made the attempt? According to Mr. Rice it is. But I am not so sure. I want to succeed. I want to be successful; failure is painful and annoying. I don’t even know if my motives are pure. How can I tell? I am so confused half the time and the other half I am sleeping.

Once again my thoughts are folding back on themselves and I have lost track of them. Suffice it to say that I will try each day to show the Love of God to everyone I meet and talk to. Success or failure depends on the moment of encounter, the mood I am in, whether or not I am in physical pain, or any number of other reasons. But only God can truly know my heart. Only He can see if my motives are pure. I can only try. And that will have to be enough for now.

 

Secretariat and jockey Ron Turcotte near victory during

the Belmont Stakes on June 9, 1973.

(Credit: Focus On Sport/Getty Images)

The ultimate sports champion in my book. Go Here to see the race. Amazing!