Tilden Edwards wrote a book entitled Spiritual Friend: Reclaiming the Gift of Spiritual Direction. He is the founder of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, where many of my teachers studied.
Edwards spoke to my heart of a “calm trust in grace winding its opening way” through one’s life.
Grace has been winding its opening way through me. I stood in a small park last Spring and saw with fresh eyes each raindrop on the grass, the trees, and the lily pond as grace. A gift that was mine for the taking, created by unseen forces.
I walked around the pond and took pictures of water lilies and a small cottontail rabbit nibbling, undisturbed, on lush wet grass. It was an experience of grace.
This year I have visited monthly with a spiritual director in between classes to become a spiritual director myself. “Direction” is a bit misleading; it’s more like a conversation about one’s spiritual life. How does spirituality shape the way I live in the world? What’s the reason for prayer?
Since August I have been more faithful (again) about daily meditation / contemplation / prayer / what have you. I’ve increased the time gradually all the way up to 22 minutes in the morning and about 2 minutes at night as I settle into restful slumber.
In the evening I take a series of three breaths and repeat as long as needed while I focus on being grounded, on being full of gratitude, and on God as Love. The three Gs make it easy to remember:
1) Grounded. I belong here and I can rest now.
2) Gratitude. For grace that came my way this day, for friends, for opportunities and challenges, I give thanks.
3) God. Let all abide in love. Let love guide our lives.
Gratitude in the morning for having seen a new day, and gratitude for the day as I drift off to sleep, are now the bookends of my daily life. How does grace “wind its opening way” through your life?
Thank you for this beautiful and grace-filled piece.
Thanks, Susan! And thanks for encouraging my spiritual explorations.
Thanks for the beautiful photos and sharing…Jill
Thanks, Jill! And the Studebakers were in top form last night!