Monday, August 27, 2007

Reassurance in the midst of ebb and flow

I find the ebb and flow involved in the spiritual life to be quite a comfort. I could feel the flow for several weeks recently. When the ebb began to set in, it took a few days to realize what was happening. That's not unusual; it's a common pattern for me. But each time the realization dawns, I feel such relief. Ah, the flow will return. Have patience. Listen. Stay awake.

Reassurance that God (whatever I really mean by that word) will return. Never left. Only hidden somehow.

D and I had another grace-filled conversation tonight at dinner. He mentioned that lovely hymn, I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry.* So meaningful to think that we are not alone in the midst of all the seasons of our lives. In a way, it's the same thing. Have patience. Listen. Stay awake.

Reassurance that things change, yet God (what do I really mean by that word?) remains.

Summer's ended. We gear down here at home and at church, and now are called to gear up in other and new directions for the Fall. I seek new eyes. I seek a heart that stays open, remembering that there are many futures, after all.

I seek reassurance as well. Indeed, I pray for it. In this ebb, the feeling of reassurance may elude me, but now in the "middle ages" of my life, as the hymn says, I have enough experience of this yet utterly mysterious "God," to rely on faith to sustain me.

May it be so.

"I was there to hear your borning cry, I'll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold.

"I was there when you were but a child, with a faith to suit you well;
In a blaze of light you wandered off to find where demons dwell."

"When you heard the wonder of the Word, I was there to cheer you on;
You were raised to praise the living Lord, to whom you now belong."

"If you find someone to share your time, and you join your hearts as one,
I'll be there to make your verses rhyme from dusk 'till rising sun."

"In the middle ages of your life, not too old, no longer young,
I'll be there to guide you through the night, complete what I've begun."

"When the evening gently closes in, and you shut your weary eyes,
I'll be there as I have always been with just one more surprise."

"I was there to hear your borning cry, I'll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold."


"PS" said...

The ebb and flow of life you speak about is so true. As I was reading your post I remembered a book which speaks to the ebb and flow. It also has great prayers in it and is from the Celtic tradition. "Border Lands: The Best of David Adam's Celtic Vision)

Sista Cala said...

We were on vacation in Colorado earlier this month. While there we attended a "Cowboy Church" one Tuesday night. I don't know anything about their platform- but my in-laws go there for mid-week service. Anyway, the teaching that night was by a professional bull rider named Tilt James and he taught about the ebb and flow concept of our walk w/God.

Overall I wasn't too impressed, but one think stuck in my mind. He said that the ebbs should be times of reflection and growth. He said we should meditate on all that God gave us during the flow times and put it to use as the next flow approached.

RevDrKate said...

Ah the grace of living long enough to know it all comes round again. Beautiful post. Good reminder. Love the hymn. Thanks.

mompriest said...

Yes. Love the hymn and this reflection.

Jan said...

Katherine, it's taken me this long to write,beceause I didn't know what to say. I think you've written some deep truths here. I had an instance of reassurance this past Sunday, being reminded yet again that GOD IS. How I needed that reassurance. I like hearing about you and your husband and your discussions. I envy those.

Diane said...

I love this hymn, relatively new to us.. I'm also glad you are back ...more later...

Serena said...

What RevDrKate said ... thanks for this.

Jiff said...

One of my favorite hymns.
We sang it today as our closing....