Of Exercises, Putting out into the deep, and Imagination

I ask you to permit me this brief detour before diving into the rest of the post, though as I continue thinking it is related. Prayer is, as you know, a conversation between God and ourselves. And the word from the Lord is, “trust the process and be patient through it. Be present, I have something for you here.” At a different time my brain and heart would have considered this a hand smack from God, however something in the last couple of years has changed and it is an invitation and the hand I see is one extended for me to hold while walking with God, Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

Last night at dinner I shared with my Sweetie the great joy I’m having exercising, both physical and the Ignatian kind, and that I’d love to get into writing clickbait headlines because they’re just fun. The look on his face, priceless as he both got it and understood the why, it is a delightfully creative endeavor to capture people’s attention in such a way that they want to at least start to hear what you have to say.

When writing Fallow I shared some about exercise, some about prayer, some about quilting. In praying through the Spiritual Exercises I’ve experienced a couple of things. Okay hang here for a moment. You all know that I teach free-motion machine quilting, right? In the beginner level class the content is focused at giving you the foundation for quilting in general, and free-motion specifically. When looking at it what I’m providing you is the framework, once you know this stuff the rest then will come over time. Or by the end of class you’ll know that hiring others to quilt for you is the right thing. Both are equally important bits of information. In other words I teach process what has to come over time, with each one of us, in different ways is an ability and the patience to trust the process. The only way to develop the ability to think, to pray, to write, to quilt, to grow in holiness, to exercise is to both trust the process and be patient with it.

Also there is a deeper call to patience because impatience can lead to something that is incredibly disordered in the physical exercise (at least for me) the way I’ve been pushing myself there is also reflected in the impatience in prayer and growth. The impatience in prayer and growth is also reflected in how I’m talking to myself while I work out. While I love the progress I’ve made and the goal is better health, I can see how pushing myself to get to a particular weight and/or size can be a tremendous problem. So for the rest of December I’m limiting what I do on the elliptical.

As I pondered I was reminded of this quote

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instead set about remedying them—every day begin the task anew.

St Francis de Sales

At the end of Fallow I mention that I’ll share one of the journal entries and the “entering into the Scripture” that came with it.

The reading is John 1: 35-39

It just occurred to me that John is a memory keeper, a writer, an observer, one who actively participates through keeping the details. Savoring the memories, no to keep to himself, rather to share with those who need to hear and know and become part of the story, the life. Like any good reporter details are key. Details that will prompt the reader to remember and to know what he’s talking about.

It is fascinating to me in this moment that John the Baptist cried out, “Behold the Lamb of God!
and the disciples with him left and followed Jesus.
Their conversation must have been something because they stayed with him that night and —-> reading ahead <— went and told Simon (Peter). So this was Andrew & John – friends, coworkers, men of faith and prayer.

Andrew and I went back to John in the desert. John is preaching repentance. Rend your heart! Follow YHWH with your whole heart, Repent!
Then while we were with John he sees this other guy and screams, “Behold the Lamb of God!” John is telling everyone that this guy is the Messiah, the Anointed one of God. Andrew and I left John and followed Jeshua, Jesus.
After a while Jesus asks us what we are looking for? So we ask where he’s staying.
“Come and see,” he says. And off we go for a delightful dinner of lamb, challah, honey, and vegetables. We met Lazarus, Mary and Martha. Martha is a great cook and excellent hostess. I do hope we get to see more of them again soon. Lazarus has a ready laugh.
Oh the conversation! He laughs and enjoys people, Jeshua tells good stories that when you think about them have a really good point and speak life. He draws us in. He draws us in like a woman to a well going for water to drink. He draws us in like lambs to a shepherd heading off to another pasture. There is something about him.
We talked all night long.
On our way to the boats we caught up with Simon, telling him all that happened. Andrew said, “We have found the Messiah.” And off Andrew goes, taking Simon with him to meet Jeshua. Andrew told me later about the conversation where Jeshua gives Simon a new name, he just met him so this is a bit odd (don’t you think?) and calls him Cephas (Peter). This is going to be an interesting experience.

Back to our regularly scheduled program. This is another week where I would like to ask you questions wondering both how you are in your faith journey and how the Lord is speaking to you, whispering words of love to you. I know full well it is not easy to express this experience and sometimes we don’t see it, hear it, realize that this is from God.

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