Friday, March 23, 2007

The Rev Gals Friday Five: Rivers in the Desert

Songbird writes: I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19, NRSV

As we near the end of the long journey toward Easter, a busy time for pastors and layfolk alike, I ponder the words of Isaiah and the relief and refreshment of a river in the desert.For this Friday Five, name five practices, activities, people or _____ (feel free to fill in something I may be forgetting) that for you are rivers in the desert.

This is one of my favorite passages, for reasons too complicated to go into here. And a nice, simple Friday Five, which is good because I am a bit overwhelmed.


1. Camping

Yes, that is me. We like reenacting, so camping is a way to step outside our usual life and be someone else, in a sense. I always find a change of pace, scene, schedule, and so on, to be refreshing.

2. Reading

This is so rare these days, but I like reading by myself, in a solitary place. Or maybe I have quiet music on. Sometimes this means reading my Bible and taking time to savor and ponder. Some times it means reading something totally unrelated to my usual reading-to-learn. If it is a stream in the desert, it isn't going to be a deep volume by Bonhoeffer, etc. though those are important.
Other times it means reading something fictional. I've been "transported" by books ever since childhood. A current recommendation for those who want a different world is the trilogy "The Circle" by Ted Dekker. The books are titled, Black, Red, and White. I would not have purchased them for myself but they were a gift. It is good fantasy writing with a decidedly spiritual bent. As I read about "Justin" (the Christ figure) my understanding of God's love for me was renewed!''

One of my favorite reading spots at home.

3. Water

Up in beautiful Door County

Speaking of rivers in the desert, water is very refreshing for me. My favorite sound is a stream running over rocks. Not something I hear in my current part of the world, but a vivid audio memory from childhood trips into Sequoia or Yosemite National Parks or places like that. All kinds of water are soothing. A lake, pond, river, stream, ocean. My friend Much2Ponder showed me a nice spot about three miles from here where one can park the car by a grassy stretch of park along the river. Across the way is a tall steeple and, occasionally, bells. A great place for a short stop to pray and ponder or just be.

4. Prayer in our sanctuary at night

I love our little church at night. I can light some candles, and sit in silence looking at our lovely cross, or I can kneel or I can walk around and pray. The presence of God is often sweet there. Right now the cross' dark purple drape and the faux "crown of thorns" are back lit and stark. I don't have a camera right now, but I'll post a picture next week.

5. Music

Another thing that has been relaxing since childhood...when things get to be too much for me, music helps. Depending on my mood it can be contemporary praise choruses, hymns, African harmonies, classical, a harp, the blues, folk, old rock, etc. I have a pretty eclectic music collection. The Our Daily Bread selection of c.d.s is so nice to listen to if I'm anxious or edgy. And they are often one of the lower-priced items at the Christian book store near me. They are "easy listening" but I mean that in a good way. They are beautifully done.


Sally said...

wonderful play- wonderful pictures, prayer in the sanctuary sounds amazing- thank you for this post.

Unknown said...

Re-enacting sounds like fun! Is it LARPing or American History re-enacting?

Deb said...

Wow oh Wow.
Loved the first "river" picture and then everything in between.

THanks for those images of beauty... and reminders of places to rest.


Jules said...

Ah...Door County. I haven't been there in years. Lovely.

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

SB, American History. Fur trade era, to be more precise. It is fun. :-)

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the photos...and can especially relate to the reading. There never seems to be enough time.

Terri said...

I love the photos and your thoughts that accompany them. Thanks for sharing and playing today!!

Dr Laura Marie Grimes said...

Oh, thank you for the image of night prayer in your sanctuary. I'm envious, but can also feel it--which is inspiring me to pray the office before bedtime tonight. So I'd better get to it. Sweet dreams!

Unknown said...

I love your pictures. I love how you drink from the living waters God has for you. A lot of what you d, I like to do too. I love it. Thanks singing owl.

Anonymous said...

This is much2ponder, forgot my password, lol.

Five things that are rivers in the desert for me are
1. Time spend outside, doing just about anything; as long as I'm outside.
2. Time in the Sanctuary. I love being in the sanctuary with the candles lit, be it by myself or with a much loved friend, It seems the Lord shows up every time.
3. Sitting by a body of water like a lake or stream and waiting on the Lord. Again with a much loved friend or alone; either one refreshes me greatly.
4. Being with people I love especially if I know they love me.
5. Writing refreshes me alone with reading. I love to ponder my own thoughts about things and then write them out to share should anyone be interested. Sometimes I write just to help me think things through and prayer writing is a wonderful way to refresh the Spirit within.

Anonymous said...

If you're re-eanacting, why do you have a wristwatch and a ballpoint pen?


Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Observant fellow! Because we were just setting up. :-)