Friday, Lent Day 15. Today pause and savor this poem by John Kiemele, entitled “With Interest.” John is on staff at the Rolling Ridge Retreat Center in North Andover, Massachusetts. Here & Now is broadcasting coast to coast with this post.
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You will make known to me the path of life;Psalm 16:11
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
The Fullness of Joy
By Sandy Shipman
a Selah Companion &
part of the Selah community
Many of us fortunate Americans know the stuffed feeling after Thanksgiving. We ate more than our fill of turkey and stuffing, potatoes and gravy, yams with marshmallows, green bean casserole, and Brussels sprouts. (Every family has that dish that must be made, but few eat.) We garnished with some hotly debated form of cranberry puree and probably olives, one for each finger. We looked around the beautifully decorated table at the mounds of food left over and wanted more, but we were stuffed. Not another bite can be eaten. And we know more is waiting in the kitchen. One or more variations of pie: pumpkin, mincemeat, pecan, apple. This moment of plenty requires us to rest, to digest.
So it is when I practice gratitude. Giving thanks for my simple breakfast invites me to notice all the preparation that brought me my granola and yogurt and blueberries. I consider all the unknown hands that worked together, farmers, pickers, truckers, stockers, each with lives and dreams and aches and their own gratitudes. I marvel at the natural process that made a delicious berry come from a woody branch, that started as a tiny seed. And I have dozens of these tiny miracles right in my bowl! And how do I even fathom that creamy yogurt started in the earth as grass seed, and divinely became milk, and through fermentation of all things, becomes yogurt. I am stuffed already. I haven’t even considered yet the granola with all its different grains and seeds or the ceramic bowl itself, or the wooden table or the warm house or the loved ones within it. And I know more is waiting outside! How will I get anything done today with such a feast of blessings to notice, with so much thanks to give? This moment of plenty requires me to rest, to digest.
In your presence is fullness of joy.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Here & Now. We’re thankful for you.
Listening into Advent
Join us for a Quiet Day to Prepare Our Hearts for the Season
Rather than falling prey to the frenzied expectations of gift-giving and holiday gatherings that lose the meaning of Christmas, take this day to sit before the Holy One in quietness and rest. Whether in centering prayer or journaling, or any combination of spiritual practices, the time spent with God opens you up to enter into the season with a centered heart.
Join us beginning November 25 as Here & Now celebrates Advent and Christmas with a special series of reflections curated with you in mind. Like the Advent Calendar you enjoyed as a child, you’ll find a sweet contemplation to savor each day you open the Here & Now blog. I can smell the Christmas tree already. Debora Buerk, Editor, Here & Now