I am very grateful for this opportunity to be part of your church community, and help with this service. I appreciate the encouragement and the support I received, and thanks to the team that it takes to put this service together. I really appreciated the lectionary books that Bernice was able to give to me, that helped to guide me and were very helpful.
In the second reading today in Mark, as in many stories in the Bible, the verses speak of going up onto a mountain, being in nature and in a private place . This is where the events of Jesus transfiguration took place as well as a number of other amazing and non ordinary events.
It would have been overwhelming to have just one of these experiences happen: Jesus transfiguring into a light being; prophets appearing out of the air and speaking with them; hearing loud voices in the clouds, but to think about it, – what would you do, or how would you feel if something we would call supernatural happened all around you??
The disciples reportedly fell on their faces, started saying things totally off topic and then went through a time of completely doubting it ever happened. These kinds of reactions sounds real to me…..
I am positive though that an experience like this would never leave you. If you experienced anything like this, I believe you would be able to go back to that memory and feeling whenever you recalled an amazing moment like this.
Reading this story helped me think about “What inspires Me, or Who inspires me?”, “What have been those inspirational moments in my life?” Looking at the dictionary meaning of the word “inspiration”, the historical origins of the word are “the breath of God” “to inspire” or “ to breathe in spirit”.
Each of us has had those moments or situations where we felt our breath catches, when we feel the wonder of life, the power or the tenderness or beauty that touches our soul…. Maybe when we’ve stood in nature, seen a sunrise or an incredible sunset, been at a birth or birthed a baby, the feeling of the miracle of life:
– maybe the memory of our first car, and the feeling of freedom or power behind the wheel. For the Seattle Seahawks fans, it was a memorable miracle in the semi final game, their Spirit of never giving up and making almost impossible plays to come back for the win
One of my memories that warms my heart whenever I think of it, happened when we spent a couple weeks in Kauai. It was early in the morning and I was standing in the shallow surf, the waves rolling in, and the sky getting brighter and brighter. I noticed this very large monk seal rolling in on the waves… I had seen these seals sleeping on the beaches during the day and they were protected by yellow tape so that they weren’t bothered. As this incredible animal was rolling in on the waves, his or her eyes were completely locked on mine, as she was rolling in, never taking her eyes off me. The look in those eyes was unforgettable, big soft, tender looking eyes, I had no fear, just a feeling of connection that I will always remember in those large gentle eyes…..
Let’s take a moment and remember the feeling of a time in your life, that you felt was an amazing moment, a connection to the wonder and the inspiration of life, a place or a person that has given you a lasting memory…..
In looking at what inspires us, the Scripture reading in 2nd to me, talks about how we inspire others. How we carry a light that shines, inside everyone of us. I always loved the song, “This little light of mine”
My job as a therapist and counsellor, is to find that light in everyone I see, no matter who they are, or no matter how tough their lives might be at the moment. … No matter how many mistakes they may have made, big or small, no matter how bad their rap sheet is, or their Social Worker reports to me….. We’ve all made mistakes, some bigger than others, but we’re all children of God, and God is the most forgiving, most loving God.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t have to set limits and call people on their stuff, every caring parent or aunt or uncle has to do that, but I know that if I notice their little light, they will notice it too, and it will grow…..
My clients are the most inspiring people I have ever met. Most of the people I see have had addiction issues or anxiety, depression, just like some of us, and underneath this, they almost all are very tender, sensitive people that have had awful experiences, even if they are hiding their vulnerability in anger or addiction or some other form of coping with their pain.
So I look for the goodness in life, for the miracles that are everywhere, because I know if we look for the miracles, we’ll find them, and if we look for what’s wrong with life, we’ll find that too. We have that freedom of choice, to choose what we focus on, to choose where we want to look…
I did notice that today and everyday I didn’t even put on my “to do” list, … make sure the sun comes up and goes down…. Check to make sure my heart is beating and my food is digesting…. And make sure that my body’s trillions of cells are working together.
I did notice that even though we drove from Kamloops to Kelowna, around to Salmon Arm and here to Sicamous, we didn’t have one flat tire, or hit one scary pothole… I know when I am riding a bike, and there’s a big pothole, if I focus on the hole, and freak out that I’m going to hit it, Guess What …. I can do it, I can hit it…. I also know if I widen my gaze, and keep my eye focused on the Solid Road, that’s when the pot hole doesn’t pull me in… I’ve kept my eye on the Prize so to speak….
There’s lots of pain in life, life’s not easy sometimes, and yet if I can be gentle with myself, and trust that “little light that shines” it will help me focus…. And choose what I need to do , to feel that one little bit better at a time, over and over again….
I do check regularly to make sure I’m not being an ostrich with my head in the sand. It’s pretty impossible to be an Ostrich these days, as Social media, facebook, the news, TV, all make sure we hear about so much that is painful and horrendous in the world. Even without watching the news, I still hear about and pray about some of the world events and local tragedies. I also see enough pain in my own life, in my family, in the lives of the people I work with….. that if I’m going to let my little light shine, I can only bite off so much to chew on, so for me, I have to turn off the news, not saying that’s right for everyone, but for me ….. as OPRAH would say…. what i know for sure.. is that : I DON’T HAVE CONTROL OF WHAT HAPPENS, but I do have control or do my best to take charge of how I respond or handle what happens in my life.
THAT’S THE KEY FOR ME…. I know for sure I’m not an ostrich, and I believe it’s my job is to take good good care of myself, so I can love up my family, my friends, people I work with and care about, people I meet in the street or across the counter. Each one of us has to know ourselves well enough to know our limits, how much can we take on, … and still let our little light shine….. which is what I came here to do…. AND TO SING, I DO LOVE TO SING… I know that for sure…
I truly know for sure, that when we do something we love and loose track of time, and enjoy a simple pleasure, something that brings joy to your heart, or peace of mind, maybe it’s knitting, or making a wooden puzzle, reading a good book, going for a run, or cooking a meal, playing with your children or grandchildren,…. We are shining light into the world and anyone we bump into at that time, they are going see the light around us, the smile on our face and we’re going to add a watt or a kilowatt of light to the world.
I loved hearing one of my clients, a grandma , totally tired out, raising her 4 year old granddaughter, lots of tough stuff going on in her life…. She still got so excited with her granddaughter about the clouds that they see in the sky. That’s inspiring. That’s a warm fuzzy feeling….
These are our GIFTS TO THE WORLD, Just like the gift of seeing Jesus becoming a bright light, or having your most revered prophets appear to you, out of thin air, each of us have gifts that we share and people we may know or may never know, who are inspired by us.
I used to think I was going to make a much grander splash in this big old world, and now I know it’s like throwing my own little rock into a calm pond,…. it ripples,…… I don’t even know how far those ripples travel, and what shores they will touch, the important thing is that I’m still having fun, throwing rocks….those that know me, know I do love rocks….. I love simple pleasures, I love that I was taught how valuable they are…. They feel like gifts from God to me. They’re inspiring……as inspiring as the people I meet and the sights and sounds of nature that I am gifted with….