Paying Attention

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day. – Mary Oliver

beachcross (1)

This week has been an especially painful struggle with holding what feels like a call to some new work, and a balance with my current life.  I basically enjoy my employment (in a few varied areas), the places it takes me, the things it allows me to see and grow into.  It’s not one typical “job” for me.  Most of the time that is alright…

But lately I have felt again that tug to something….more.  I’m helped by my faith community, my school colleagues, and dear friends and family in continuing to explore that.  I have some insights but not really any definite path.

I have been reminded, however, about paying attention.  And how Grace shows up in a clear message when we least expect it.  Yesterday, in a walk on the beach, a small cross was hung on the parking fee machine.  I could not have missed it.  I have a sneaking suspicion it would have shown up hung on anything I needed to connect with on that beach in that time.  This has happened before….

In a day where I found myself asking “Why me?” and “What now?” over and over again there were no clear answers.  But I found a deep reminder that perhaps I was sitting patiently with the right questions.  When I am willing to sit in that place of unknowing the clarity that I long for does not come easily most of the time.  But that sense of Divine accompaniment, of rightness of direction, often helps to ease the confusion.  It certainly did on that beach.  I did not hear “here’s the answer” but I did clearly sense “keep paying attention”.



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