Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tuesday Reflection: Past, Present, and Future

Dear Friends, Today I offer you the words of a choral piece I heard this past weekend at a performance of the National Lutheran Choir.  I offer this as a source of reflection and meditation as you move through the day--through this month, which always seems to surge towards the holidays and into the beginning of winter. 

The Present Tense
(From Magnificat For A New Millennium)
Fred Kaan

                Thank you, O God, for the time that is now,
                for all the newness your minutes allow;
                keep us alert with your presence of mind
                to fears and longings that move mankind.

                Thank you, O God, for the time that is past,
                for all the values and thoughts that will last.
                May we all stagnant tradition ignore,
                leaving behind things that matter no more.

                Thank you for hopes of the day that will come,
                for all the change that will happen in time;
                God! For the future our spirits prepare,
                hallow our doubts and redeem us from fear.

                Make us afraid of the thoughts that delay,
                faithful in all the affairs of today;
                Keep us, Creator, from playing it safe,
                thank you that now is the time of our life!

Suggestions for Reflection
Read through this poem slowly and note what resonates with you. What words and phrases stand out for you? Reread it and pay attention to where you want to glide over the words and move on to the next thought. Of course, those are the exact words of opening and discovery for you--pinprick words that invite you to pay attention and go a little deeper.

Read this piece aloud. After each stanza pause and let the words roll around you and within you. Stop reading them the way we read the mail or the headlines of the newspaper or the novel on our bedside table and instead, listen to them. Whose voice do you hear? What are the words beneath the words being whispered to you? What is the call within these words just for you? 

Are there lines that bring someone else to mind? If so, those lines can be your prayer for that person, but let those lines be an invitation into your own heart. Where do you need to open? What is the message for you?

An Invitation
In the present where are you not alert?
What parts of the past need to be left behind?
How can you move into the future without fear?
In what ways are you delaying and playing it safe?
I would love to know.

"thank you that now is the time of our life!"

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