A Note From Pastor Laura
Lately, I've been intent on savoring something every day. The dictionary tells me that to "savor" is to taste good food and enjoy it completely. This definition would be accurate according to La Cucina Italiana, a magazine dedicated to the art of Italian cooking and Italian culture. I'm reawakening to savoring life by thoroughly relishing some basic things. When I focus on savoring ordinariness to matter how askew the day goes, I remain calm and accepting. I've been finding a lot of things to savor, I mean truly savor, like drinking in the fresh air after a rain, pondering the words of poetry, relishing the kindness of a stranger, enjoying the feel of my dog's soft fur on his ears, and delighting in the laughter of a grandchild.
Psalm 34:8 suggests that we "taste and see the goodness of the Lord." I like Nan Merrill's translation of this in her Psalms for Praying. "Taste and see! The Beloved is with you. This verse is often used in reference to the Eucharist or Holy Communion but it can also be applied to the eucharist of our daily lives, to those situations where we savor and find satisfaction in the goodness of God amid the common or ordinary pieces of life, in the same way we God's goodness or the divine in the ordinary elements of bread and wine.
A brief quote by the Eastern sage, Wu-men, is what led me to think about savoring. He writes, "If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life." Sorry to say, not every day is the best season of my life. When my mind contains those unnecessary things Wu-men cites, then that leads to my failure to savor and enjoy life. This is especially true when I am pressed, in a hurry and running around trying to get things done. To counteract this tendency, I have been savoring the dawn, getting up in the dark so I can simply sit and wait for the light. This simple changes has given my days an entirely different quality, one that has a constant, anticipatory, welcoming hue. I've also been deliberately savoring nature on some very small weekly walks (still recovering from some recent back surgery), taking in the texture and color of newly appearing flowers and tree buds, even approaching the frazzled looked patches of spring and new summer grass in people's yards and definitely enjoying the frolicking rabbits and singing birds.
As I was savoring the sunrise the other day, I remembered a prayer by Joyce Rupp, in her book Prayers to Sophia. It speaks of enjoying the blessedness of "what is." I share a part of it with you in case you have also forgotten about tasting, seeing, and enjoying what is good or divine in your life.
I hear you call to me this day:
"Behold! Enjoy! Appreciate!
Welcome all who enter this new day.
Live wild with rapturous wonder.
Look with awe and smile with elation.
Forgive those who stand at a distance.
Thank those who have settled in your heart.
Be tender with the rough edges of yourself.
Taste each morsel of life with fullness."
May I live each day with heartiness,
keeping things in clear perspective...
May I not zoom mindlessly through my days
missing the passionate gift of life.
What will you savor this day? What will delight your heart? In what will you relish? Where will the divine be revealed in the ordinariness of your life? May you "taste and see the goodness of the Lord."
Also, I hope you'll go through each page and check out the upcoming fellowship and unique worship opportunities - like the FREE CONCERT on June 3rd at 3 pm (see Fellowship Events and See Below) and the MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE on May 27th and RURAL LIFE SUNDAY on June 3rd (Worship Page). These events will provide space for you to relish the gifts of music and song and experience God in perhaps, a new and meaningful way.
Rejoicing in our extra-ordinary life together as the people of God,