Once again, my schedule is a bit out of control. I am headed off, in a few hours, to our Diocesan Convention. Because of this, I am reposting a previous meditation a day early. It seems rather appropriate to me today, anyway. I need to hear it again and again.
“Sit down and be quiet. You are drunk and this is the edge of the roof,” writes Rumi, a 13-century Sufi poet in his poem, “The Edge of the Roof.” When my retreat leader said this, my attention was immediately captured. I wondered how many times God says this to us and we aren’t listening. How many times does he say this to me? How many times would I have avoided disaster if I had sat down with God in quiet before I did something or said I would take on something? I recall a few times that I did not and the results were not the greatest. However, there are other times when Jesus says something similar to the above. “Listen to me. You are about to head in the wrong direction. Be still. Pay attention.”
“There is an old joke about a farmer who bought a mule that was supposed to listen to whatever it was told to do. The farmer told the mule to pull his plow, but the mule refused to budge. The farmer yelled at the beast, pleaded with him, cajoled him, but to no avail. Frustrated, the man called the previous owner to come over. “I thought you said this mule listened to whatever you told him to do,” he complained, “but he won’t listen to me.” Without a word, the former owner walked away and returned with a big stick. He took the stick and swatted the mule once across the rear end. Immediately the mule began to pull the farmer’s plow. “See?” said the man, “He listens real good, but first you have to get his attention.”
“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” writes Mary Oliver, Poet. We have heard that or something like that quite a bit lately, haven’t we? Jesus might not whack us with a stick to remind us to pay attention, but he does have a purpose for our day and would like to talk with us about that. If we continue to act without taking time to listen, we might fall off the roof even if we consider what we are doing to be in line with his design for us. Or at least, that is my experience.
The psalmist says:
For God alone, my soul in silence waits; truly, my hope is in him.
Truly, he is my hope and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall not be shaken.
In God is my safety and my honor; God is my strong rock and my refuge.
Put your trust in him always, O people, pour out your hearts before him.—Psalm 62:6-9
‘For God alone, my soul in silence waits. There is probably a good reason that in our Trinity Rule of Life, “Pay Attention” comes before anything else.” – A Friday Meditation – October 12, 2012, dlw
Peace and Good ~ Donna