Paying attention to the ordinary ...

I was watching a storm roll in this weekend. I love impending storms.

So I stepped outside onto our screened-in porch and gazed up at the roiling sky.

It was a strange confluence of events ... it was raining, dark clouds were flying past, and the sun was peeking out, all at the same time.

A hawk caught my eye, high up in the sky. It was coasting on the shifting winds, up near the darkest clouds, peaceful and slow it coasted as the wind swirled, the thunder rumbled, the sun shone and the rain fell.

And the beauty of it all took my breath away.

It reminded me of some great writing I had just finished reading by Kent Dobson:

"The spiritual life is my actual life ... The sum total of our experiences, in all their messy glory, is where we live our spiritual lives. The walls come down between sacred and secular. The car ride on the way to church, when we're yelling at our kids to shut up, is just as much our spiritual life as the music we pretend to like when we get there.

Who we are, right now, is enough. The life that we're living right now, is enough.

God will not show up if we're good enough, right enough, spiritual enough, or somehow have the moral fortitude to ward off all ambiguity and messiness. God will not meet us on top of a mountain, just because we make a big deal out of going there. God is not actually hiding somewhere or waiting for us to play the game of beliefs in order to pass the eternal mega-test.

We have to learn to trust our real life again, the one we live in our body, spirit, and heart ... the secret to this kind of spirituality is to pay attention to the ordinary.

That's where God shows up."

Watching that hawk,

experiencing that impending storm,

hearing the rain pitter-patter on my roof,

feeling the wind of my cheeks,

looking for the rainbow,

I was "paying attention to the ordinary."

This IS the spiritual life; there is no other life. The porch from whence I witnessed these things was my temple. My spirit worshipped. My heart sang. I whispered "thank you" over and over and over. This ordinary moment became holy.

Or maybe I should say, this ordinary moment always was holy - every moment is holy.  I just became still enough, awake enough, attentive enough, to notice.

Amen.

Tags: Prayer, Worship, Sabbath Rhythm, Living Gratefully, Celebration, Developing a Rule of Life