Sunday, July 9, 2017

Surveying the Garden by Listening to Our Lives

In the stillness of the garden we are given space to take an honest look at our life. Here we observe our activities, relationships, attitudes, frustrations and inner longings. We pause to listen to our own life.
If setting aside time for solitude is difficult in contemporary culture, listening is even more so. It is much easier to keep busy and avoid looking too closely. Often we have an inner sense that we will not like all that we see. We do not really want to hear what our life, our bodies, our friendships, our hearts are telling us. Yet, listen we must, if we want to grow spiritually.

In order to listen to our lives, we must take the time to stand back and observe. Observation needs to be objective. I must be willing to look at reality, not what I would like reality to be. What do I see when I look at my life?
Where are the activities of my day life-giving? What situations or commitments are life-draining for me?
Where do I sense hope? In what areas do I feel stuck, disappointed or in despair?
Who are the friends in my life with whom I can share my hopes and dreams and disappointment? Do I feel safe and secure? Where are there lonely holes in my life?
What is our physical body saying to us? It might be a simple message of the need to take more time for exercise or sleep. Or, perhaps the weight we have gained is pointing to an inner ache that we are trying to medicate by eating too much comfort food. What does the pain tell us? Maybe we are pushing too hard, trying to find fulfillment—or approval from someone—by our accomplishments. Maybe the physical pain is a manifestation of inner grief that we have suppressed too long.
As we ask these questions, we sometimes discover that we are alienated from ourselves.
Here we listen to our own life, our own heart. If we are silent and attentive, we will begin to hear what is inside us—sometimes joyful cries of thanksgiving, other times loud cries of anger, still other times silent cries for help.
2017 © Glenn E. Myers

This series is Creation Proclaiming God’s Divine Nature, as Romans 1:20 declares, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”

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