13 October 2011

Meditation: "Staying Connected to the Source"

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. --Psalm 42
The fulness of life is in the hazards of life. --Edith Hamilton

Dear Friends,

About six weeks ago I did something foolish. I headed out for a run on a Friday afternoon on a scorching hot day. It was in the upper 80's on this particular Friday. Actually, going for the run wasn't foolish. I don't mind running in hot weather. What was foolish was not thinking about where I would have access to water along the way.

As I headed out, I felt really great and thought I might go farther than the 3 or so miles I intended to run. And so I altered my route accordingly, not taking into account the need for water. But it didn't take long for me to realize that I was going to be thirsty, very thirsty, before I made it home. This is when I began kicking myself for venturing out in the heat so cavalierly and even pushing myself to go farther than prudent given the weather.

As I've thought about this, I recognize that this is how we approach life at times--occasionally with unfortunate results! Sometimes we go rushing into life, full of our plans and ambitions, without remembering that we need to stay close to the source of our life, to that which nourishes and sustains us. We can rush forward so quickly that we aren't always mindful of our limits, of ensuring that our path will pass near to sources of God's life-giving Spirit. To put it differently, sometimes we can get too far out in front of God, and then the thirst hits! It's good to push our limits, to steer away from complacency. (I heard someone say this morning that the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth!) We shouldn't fear to venture boldly into our lives. God is with us! But it can also be very wise to pace ourselves and be intentional about connecting with God the source and wellspring of our life.

Interestingly, on this run I passed by the homes of four people from my congregation. As thirsty as I was, did I stop to ask for water? No, I toughed it out and ran all the way home before I had any water to drink. I may have reached my goal that day had I simply asked for help. I'm confident water would have been offered, a symbol for God's nourishment and sustenance as I ran my race.

May you move through your days near to and connected to the source of your life--God. And when you venture forth into something new, may you have the grace to seek God's help--in whatever form it presents itself!

Blessings, Jeremy