Saturday, December 13, 2014

QOTM...*: Ruth Haley Barton

(*Quote of the Month)

With a nod to Gene Autry (whoopie-ti-yi-yo…), I’m ‘…back in the parish again.’ In the ministry call I’ve recently completed, Christmas and Easter were actually a slower time of year: administrators don’t tend to get many calls when pastors and churches are extremely busy. But this year it’s different; I’m doing transitional ministry work in a church in New Mexico among a wonderful group of people we’ve come to love, so am doing Advent preaching and leading a Christmas Eve worship for the first time in nineteen years. It feels great and I am as happy as can be!

But it also feels extremely busy! I’ve been trying to snatch some moments of quiet and solitude in the midst of the frenetic pace, of which, I confess, most is our very own doing. So I’m reading again through Ruth Haley Barton’s Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, and I come across this quote in chapter three the night before last, underlined from the first time I read the book:

Just as the physical law of gravity ensures that sediment swirling in a jar of muddy river water will eventually settle and the water will become clear, so the spiritual law of gravity ensures that the chaos of the human soul will settle if it sits still long enough.
~~Ruth Haley Barton              

The quote zinged (zung?) straight to my heart, and so, along with certain scriptures, I’m meditating these last thirty-two hours on these words as well. It also seemed a good quote to share today through this blog for your blessing as well. Don’t we need this reminder again and again? I sure do.

So, given the pace, I’ll keep this short and sweet today. But one more thing before I go: if you’ve the chance and are outdoors this weekend in unfrozen conditions, grab a jar with a lid before you go, stop alongside some waterway, dip the jar low into the stream or lake bed near the shore and scoop up some water and mud. Then bring the jar home, find a quiet place at some point in the next several days to sit and pray, shake up the jar, and set it down before you. Sit there long enough to let it settle while contemplating the gifts of God. Be blessed.

~~RGM, December 13, 2014

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