Words for the Soul

Spiritual Reflections & Insights

A Summer Saturday Reflection

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

 

I am holding on to the present- by way of reflection, photographs, and gratitude.

How hard it is to stay focused on the now. Regret from the past and anxiety for the future must be tamed. Insecurities accepted and fear surrendered.

Just when I find a home in right now, I am invited to let go.

As the majestic colors of a sunset fade into darkness, so will the present- only contained in a precious and fragile memory.

I find myself pondering as the night closes the day’s chapter:

My children will never be this age again. Nor will I.

Did my last encounter with a loved one already occur?

Where is God, right now- in this breath, in my surroundings, in my heart?

Finding the divine in this moment is getting easier. Letting go, not so much.

Courage: What If?

My almost 5-year old daughter loves the classic film, Wizard of Oz. A popular choice for our “Friday movie night,” I often find myself smiling as the Cowardly Lion purrs the familiar word, “courage.”

Yesterday, the Catholic Church celebrated the feast of Pentecost- marking the experience when the Holy Spirit transformed the disciples of Jesus, sending them forth with a new tool kit of language, skill sets, faith, and yes, courage.

Reflecting on this experience so many years ago, I pondered this question : What if the disciples never left the upper room?

It is no surprise that the friends of Jesus would retreat to a safe place to pray as they mourned his death. Along with Mary, they went to “the upper room,” the place where they would eventually, and most likely unexpectedly, receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The upper room is also believed to be the place where the Last Supper took place.

Of all places they would go, this space makes most sense. When we lose someone we love, it is natural to recall our most recent memory. We cherish it, as if we hold on to them just a little bit longer in that mental and physical space.

That Passover meal was for many the last time they were with Jesus. The intimacy of him washing their feet. The breaking of the bread. The warnings of what was to come. The fellowship, the laughter, and the prayers. 

It was safe here.  This room was home.

What if they never left? 

When Pentecost happens,  they are pushed forward. But what if they still stayed in place? What if they didn’t accept or truly believe in the call and presence of God that was shoving them back into the world?

It is hard to imagine Christianity spreading to different parts of the world without these disciples moving into action. The threat that led to the persecution of countless early believers would have quietly faded like many other social movements after the death of their leader.

What if?

In our own lives, we, too, can find comfort in our own upper room- a place that is familiar and safe as it once served its purpose. This could be a physical space, but it can also be a mental or emotional place, or even a familiar relationship or community.  There comes a time when God calls us to forward- something new as it is frightening. Flames may not fall from the heavens, but the universe finds its ways to point you where God needs you to go- only if you have the courage to listen and to act.

Let’s revisit the “what if” question from a personal perspective. Will you look back at your life when the number of trips around the sun are  winding down and wonder, “what if I had the courage to step out of the safe and familiar to trust the unknown path that God summoned?”

What if?

May this Pentecost remind you of the divine that is already burning within your soul, nudging and shoving you into the next chapter- to chase the dreams that God planted on your heart, to respond with love in places of hate, and to heal where there is hurt. Like the wounded and mourning friends of Christ, ask God for the courage to animate your dreams to bring the “good news” to all in your midst.

 

TRUST

 

It was a beautiful day in the New York area, with temperatures in the low 70s. As I noticed the fullness of the trees, the appealing sounds of chirping birds, and the  welcomed warmth of the sun, I found myself recalling how this landscape was so different just a few months ago.

The trees were bare, the birds were absent, and the chill of the winter dominated the scene. As the world kept spinning, the inevitable occurred as promised new life had its say, and it now dominates the season.

As I reflected on this transition, I realized howI can naturally trust in the darkness of winter that the sun will return. I do not doubt that the leaves will form, the grass will grow, and the temperature will rise. Maybe it is because of its track record, but I never doubted in January that a transformation was going to occur in April.

When I look inward, I try to take this lesson with me. I hope to trust in the same divine hand that makes the world turn is leading me into greener pastures. Perhaps it is the unknown, the risk of future next steps, that limits my ability to fully appreciate my own transformation.

What if I could trust in my own destiny, as I do in the changing of the seasons, the rising of the sun, and the stars at night?

What if I can believe that even in the dark winters, that like the hidden seeds in the ground, new life is slowly preparing for the next chapter?

Albert Einstein once wrote, “Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”

As the sun shines stronger during this time of growth, might we, too, allow the external to influence the internal. May we become like our surroundings, basking in the divine love that is always there, just waiting for us to trust and to accept the changing of the seasons and of our lives.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

A Makeover

You likely noticed that www.DrJimmyWalters.com had a renovation. After two years, it was time for an upgrade. It also allowed me to expand the website to include some of the great work that is inspired by my book, Dreams Come True: Discovering God’s Vision for Your Life.

This includes more information on speaking engagements, workshops and trainings, and retreats. I am excited to share these opportunities with a larger audience after facilitating these events locally and at a number of national conferences over the past decade.

This blog has been renamed “Consider This” to focus these reflections as sources of inspiration and hope. This remains faithful to the original intention of this blog which was inspired by my Lenten journey in 2019 to invite deeper thought and insights into matters that connect spirituality, vocations, and our daily lives.

Thank you to all who have visited before, and welcome to all our new visitors who join us on the journey.

Until next time…