STILL WATERS RUN DEEP
He leads me beside still waters…Psalm 23:3
On a regular basis, I stop in the parking lots adjoining Wequaquet Lake and Jonah’s Pond here in Barnstable. I bathe my senses in cool breezes and gentle waters. All is at rest. All is calm. All is at peace.
Many of us struggle to find a still point, a quiet center, in this rapidly turning world. While our days have fewer activities – although many of us have come to have a personal relationship with Zoom or Skype these days – often we feel agitated and ill at ease. We want certainty and we receive uncertainty. We want peace and we feel anxious. We want to know what’s next and there is no road map.
The times call out for still waters to rest our spirits. Not to deny or retreat from life but to regather our spirits to face what comes with courage, patience, and love. To discover our sense of agency and power in a world out of control.
There is always a quiet place, deep within us. The Vietnamese Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says “peace is every step.” He counsels us to find peace in the moment with a gentle breath prayer. Take a few moments to try this:
Breathing in…I feel calm…Breathing out…I smile.
One my own spiritual guides Allan Armstrong Hunter taught a similar breath prayer –
I breathe the spirit deeply in…and blow it gratefully out again.
God’s still waters are just a breath away. Calm in the storm is as close as the next step. Throughout your day, pause…let go of the frenzy…feel a sense of deep peace within you…
The time will come to act, to respond with love, but first find the quiet center of peace, the still waters of love.
Give us restful waters, deep peace, and great love to face the challenges of this day. Amen.