by Christine Sine
Last week you may remember I shared what has become my mantra for 2018: May my life be in rhythm with eternal breath.
As I enter this season of Epiphany, I realize how easy it is to feel that we need to move into high gear as we accept the challenge to go and share the wonder of Christ out into the world. To fully share the glory of who Christ is and how he wants to transform us, however, we need balance. That is what has been in the forefront of my mind as I created a new meditation garden for epiphany.
The rhythm of God’s eternal breath which calls me out into the world to follow Christ beyond Bethlehem, is not easy to achieve however. It balances stillness and motion, contemplation and action, light and dark, breathing and breathing out. My passion for action – not for justice, sustainability, equality and healing, but for everything I put energy towards – must be against a background of quiet contemplation, centering prayer, moments of stillness. I need time each day to sit in the presence of God and enjoy quiet refreshment, allowing my soul to be renewed.
As I started using my new garden yesterday it became apparent immediately that it was not complete. I didn’t just need balance in my life, I needed balance that encouraged me to follow the Christ star more intentionally, and with more zeal. So I added a Christmas ornament I was given when we were in Prague last year and a candle with a Celtic cross on it that I have had for years. Together they remind me that balancing my life will more effectively lead me beyond Bethlehem, back to Jerusalem and beyond the cross to God’s resurrection world which we celebrate at Easter.
Once again, in the crafting of this garden, it is John O’Donohue who has inspired me and I want to share his words from Beauty: The Invisible Embrace and encourage you to take time to reflect on them as I have done this week and will continue to do throughout the coming weeks.
He says: Stillness is the canvas against which movement can become beautiful. For motion to be fully appreciated it must move against a background of stillness. When everything is in motion, we end up with chaos and frenzy. O’Donohue likens this to the grace of a river in motion which is the imagery I focused on as I created my garden. Movement and stillness – the balance of white and black stone, of dark and light shells, of dark and light plants separated by a curved line. And on the left, new promise for the future – a blossom forming.
A river blends music of movement with an enduring and accompanying depth of stillness….. If we could find a rhythm of being which could balance a contemplative grace, a poetry of motion and an accompanying stillness and silence, our pilgrimage through this world would flow in beauty through the most ragged and forsaken heartlands of confusion and dishevelment. It would continue to hold a clear flow-line between the memory and depth of the earth and the eternal fluency of the ocean and never lose the passion of flowing towards the ever new promise of the future (114)
What Is Your Response?
Take time today to meditate on O’Donohue’s words. What do they say to you about the balance you need to accomplish during this season? Prayerfully consider how God would have you respond. Are you prompted to write a prayer, craft lyrics for a song, draw a picture or create a garden like I have to help you focus?