By Michael Moore —
As Christine Aroney-Sine reminds us in her most recent book The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting in God, God can be found in the most creative and often unusual places if we simply slow down and look with the eyes of our heart. In the hurry and scurry of the post-Holy Week and Easter season for this particular Padre, I have had to constantly remind myself to slow down and simply be still. One way that Denise and I have done that is by taking intentional time to simply “be” in our back yard, the Rocky Mountain National Park. One thing that we often notice is how so many visitors to the park are in such a hurry to check something off of their list. They rush up a particular trail or climb a particular peak simply to say they have done it. One of my dear parishioners who died this past March used to volunteer a lot at the Estes Park Visitor’s Center. He told me a story once about a visitor who came in and asked him a question. “I only have an hour to see the sights. What can you recommend for me?” His reply was, “Unfortunately, I can simply recommend that you need more than an hour to explore and savor this area.”
On May 3rd, we took an opportunity to go into Rocky for a bit of a wander. We came across this yearling Bull Moose when Denise just happened to see him and his Mama down in a valley off the road. We pulled over into a pullout, grabbed our cameras, and made our way to visit Mama and her Yearling. Just as we had come across this Yearling’s Father the previous October during an intentionally slow hike and spent some sacred time with him, we were able to spend sacred time with this Mama and Child. One young couple stopped because they saw us down in the valley. The four of us enjoyed this time and the couple remarked that it was sad that so many people drove by so quickly that they failed to notice what we had discovered. Unfortunately, the peace didn’t last long as groups of visitors pulled over and began making a bit of a ruckus which disturbed Mama and Child and they departed.
This is one of many lessons the Spirit has been teaching me lately. During Lent, I took an Abbey of the Arts on-line course which was a companion retreat to Christine Valters Painter’s book, The Soul’s Slow Ripening: 12 Celtic Practices for Seekers of the Sacred. One of the prominent features for me of this retreat was the invitation to slow down and simply receive the images the Spirit offered through my photography.
In this season of Awe and Wonder, I do hope that you will join me in slowing down to simply Be Still and receive what the Spirit is offering to you.
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