Monday, June 15, 2009

Marveling in My Own Backyard

I often go outside to just sit and think. I usually end up on the swing set, letting my bare feet slowly brush the grass as I swing. It's nice. At some point I find myself marveling at the blades of grass and the bare patches of brown earth beneath me, and you know, I am really intrigued and fascinated by them. They are very simple things, and yet here I am, contemplating life.

God, the ultimate painter, sculptor, and architect made this tiny little blade of grass. That cotton ball cloud. The handful of red dirt in my palm. The blue jay sitting on the fence. The cool breeze. A tiny yellow dandelion. The raindrops falling on my face. Everything that surrounds me, everything that I know we all take for granted at times, is a gift from God. It seems as if I am just a small piece of the proverbial puzzle, and yet, I know that I am a significant piece...everyone is. God loves us all and gave life to us all. Better still, He created our surroundings. We truly live in a wonderful world, a beautiful one.

It is enjoyable to marvel at all of creation, even if it's just your backyard. It's nice to be able to sit and pray and give thanks to God. I especially enjoy contemplative prayer. It is both simple and deep. You contemplate the simple things, and yet they become so much more when you think about where it all comes from.In his book New Seeds of Contemplation, Thomas Merton defines contemplation well:
"It is that life itself, fully awake, fully active, fully aware that it is alive. It is spiritual wonder. It is spontaneous awe at the sacredness of life, of being. It is gratitude for life, for awareness and for being. It is a vivid realization of the fact that life and being in us proceed from an invisible, transcendent and infinitely abundant Source. Contemplation is, above all, awareness of the reality of that Source. It knows the Source, obscurely, inexplicably, but with a certitude that goes both beyond reason and beyond simple faith."

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