Saturday, September 28, 2013

QOTM...*: Parker Palmer

(*Quote of the Month)

The soul is like a wild animal -- tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient, and yet exceedingly shy. If you want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out. But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree, the creature we are waiting for may well emerge, and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the wildness we seek.
~~Parker J. Palmer

Rocky Mt Bighorn near the trail

Parker Palmer is a Christian writer, educator and activist who has focused his career on issues of education, social change, community and faith. A Quaker, and founder of the Center for Courage and Renewal, his most recent book addresses the importance of civil public discourse, and is titled Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit. The above quote, however, was taken from page seven of a book my pastor and good friend Paul recommended to me a couple years ago, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation.

Black bear ambling through our campsite 
What I appreciate about the quote is that it is a quality expression of something natural and something spiritual at the same time.  I have sat in those woods at the base of a tree and I have crashed through them, both literally and spiritually. Of course, sometimes it is even literally sitting at the base of a tree that my soul discovers the spiritual meaning it seeks. It’s why I write this blog.

So, are you soul-searching these days like me? If you find it a struggle, as I sometimes do, perhaps you are looking for God
Hidden newborn whitetail fawn
in all the wrong places. Perhaps nature will speak to you as it does me and you will find God there. Or perhaps you will find God by pursuing a new spiritual practice, asking a friend to pray with you, reading through the Psalms or the Gospels, connecting with a Bible study or Bible discussion group, engaging a spiritual director, or reading a spiritual classic. Whatever, remember that there is often a wildness to that search, and a wild One to meet at every search’s end. Though that One can speak in a still small voice, he can also roar like Susan and Lucy’s Aslan.

~~RGM, September 27, 2013

P.S. Next up? From My Nature Journal...

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