Meditation Monday: Five Reasons To Rethink the Path Ahead

by Christine Sine
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by Christine Sine

Life doesn’t happen the way we want it to. I love the beauty of spring, but the asthma and allergies it awakens in my body are something I wish I didn’t have to cope with. We know God loves us, but that love isn’t always expressed in the ways we hoped for either.

As I sat here this morning thinking about this I realized that what I need more than anything in this challenging season is a change in perspective both of the ways I perceive my problems and the ways I perceive God’s interaction in them.

As I thought about this I was reminded of a walk I took along a beach in Tsawwassen B.C. with my friend Kim Balke. The breathtaking beauty of the mountains, the salty freshness of wind and the barrenness of the trees were all inspiring. In one tree sat 5 bald eagles, majestically surveying the morning scene. Not wanting to disturb the serenity of our walk, I decided to photograph them on the way back.

However as we headed back towards the car, the barren tree in which the eagles perched looked empty. I immediately started making fresh plans to return for a photoshoot.  As we moved closer something remarkable happened, however – suddenly the eagles came into view. How they had hidden from view in that barren tree I don’t know, but they had.

Rethinking the Path Ahead

I chose the photo above for this post because the different labyrinths and the Celtic cross are all images that remind me to think differently about the path ahead. Here are some thoughts that came to me as I reminisced on this pleasant memory this morning and meditated on my labyrinths and cross.

  1. How do I need to rethink my plans, perceptions, and understandings in order to move forward into the promises of God? So often I make new plans because I can’t see what I hope for. Sometimes I mess up and get ahead of what God is doing because I think I understand. A little like Abraham trying to get a son and not seeing how God could possibly accomplish it. At other times my vision is limited because I have not walked far enough along God’s path to see what is really there. Impatience, limited understanding, lack of faith; they all distort my perspective and make it hard for me to see life from God’s viewpoint. How often do we all mess up what God is wanting to accomplish in our lives because we don’t trust that God is able to accomplish all that is promised?
  2. Rethinking my perspective of God: To be honest, when life gets tough, especially when I get sick, it is hard for me to believe in a loving God. Yet contemplating a loving God rather than a punitive God reduces anxiety and depression and increases feelings of security, compassion and love (How God Changes Your Brain). If I rethink my asthma and allergies through the framework of a loving God I realize that these have made me more aware of my breathing and as I focus on my breathing and breathe more slowly, I become more relaxed and secure in the love of God.
  3. Rethinking transition times: As the seasons change what do I need to let go of in order to fully enter the richness of this new season? This is a question I usually ask myself at the end of each calendar season, but I realize it is also an important question to ask during any transition. Maybe I am more like the Hebrews than I like to think. They only let go of the leeks and garlic of Egypt with reluctance even though they knew that God promised them a land of abundance.
  4. Rethinking the language we use: As I look at our world, what language do I need to change to become a better steward not just of the earth itself, but of caring for neighbours and justice for the vulnerable. Have you noticed that “progress” usually means cutting down more trees? And a prosperous economy usually means lots of benefits for the wealthy and few if any for the poor? Maybe we even need to invent new language to help us see and hear more clearly.
  5. Rethinking who I am not in terms of what Christ has done for me, but in terms of what Christ wants to do through me for others gives me more of the perspective Jesus lived with. What if I read life: through the lens of laughter and fun? through the filter of justice and peace? through the framework of gratitude and thankfulness?

Not surprisingly, my thoughts this morning also led me to a new prayer poem that focused on breathing.

Breathe in,
Know the exquisite wonder
Of being fully alive.
Let the eternal breath fill you
with light and love and beauty.
Breathe out,
Let your light shine
for all the world to see.
Each breath a pause, a death,
And then reborn in wonder.
Breathe in,
Until the glory
of the ever present, ever caring One,
penetrates your soul.
Relish this moment,
Of God’s creative presence.
Breathe out,
Share the wonder of eternal love,
Rejoice in awe at the unknown path ahead.
Let the holy and righteous One,
Lead us into life.

(c) Christine Sine 2022

Hebrews 11:1 reminds us: Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. So let’s all keep walking today along the path that God spreads out before us. Let’s hold onto God’s promises believing that in the right time and in the right place God’s perspective will burst in upon us and enable us to see.

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