Saturday, September 7, 2013

Reflections from the North Land: All Creation Praising God!

North Shore of Lake Superior

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
  let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
  let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
  they will sing before the Lord! (Ps 96:11-13)

Last weekend Sharon and I relished three days on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Staying at our favorite cabin right on the water, we lingered the whole morning sitting on the rocks, soaking in the sun and the waves and the fresh breeze. Reading, sipping coffee, praying and sharing were the sum of our whole agenda there. It was a true time of being led beside quiet waters while the Lord restored our souls (Ps 23)!

Our first morning, Sharon shared with me reflections from a chapter she read in Albert Haase’s wonderful new book, Catching Fire, Becoming Flame. He gives four simple steps to help us be fully present to God each moment. [1]

Ask yourself: Where am I? So often we are physically in one place, but mentally a million miles away. This was a helpful question for me while on the North Shore. Every so often I would just ask myself: Glenn, where are you? This would remind me: Wow, I am at our favorite spot on Lake Superior basking in the sun! I want to be fully present here! I’m going to delight in every moment!

Next, we need to be attentive to what is around us. What do we hear, see, smell? Haase suggests we take one of these to focus on. The morning I took the photo above, I centered on what I was seeing. Iwas enthralled with watching the sunlight twinkle in the spray from the waves as they crashed against the rocks. It was just beautiful.

Next, we reflect on what we are seeing, hearing, touching or smelling. We ask ourselves: How do I see God in this? What character of God is revealed? As I watched the waves that morning, I was caught up in praise. Each splash of the lively waves simply showered forth praise to the creator!

Finally, take a few moments just to adore the Lord. That is what I did that morning—I sat in silent awe of our awesome Creator. I let my heart sing praise to our God, joining in the celebration that the waves sprayed forth.

As Psalm 96 declares: Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; / let the sea resound, and all that is in it!

[1] Material adapted from Albert Haase. Catching Fire, Becoming Flame: A Guide for Spiritual Transformation. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2013.

© 2013 Glenn E. Myers

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