Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I have a personal motto.  It is to remember to JUST BREATHE.  This process, under the direction of the autonomic nervous system, is usually taken for granted.  But I have learned the importance of allowing breath to enter into my body in order to air out my soul and to keep me connected to the present moment.  I did a lot of intentional breathing yesterday.

My furniture finally arrived from Houston. It took 7 days, but at least it’s all mine and it all seems to be in good shape.  Four hours at the storage unit with the delivery guys made me ask myself, “Now why exactly did you move across the country to serve Christ in this church? Like most people, I HATE moving! So, at one point when I felt myself getting really offended by the driver’s attitude, I had to remember to BREATHE and not begin a mental story about him OR his employer.    The result was peace.

No matter how exciting the prospects of my move, I have finally had to admit that I am not in Kansas anymore. I am having to acknowledge a tremendous amount of change in my environment which requires a mental orientation that I’d almost lost in my life in the South. That orientation is one of openness and receptivity to what is instead of what I might want or expect it to be.  Buddhist call it having a beginner’s mind; Eckhart Tolle calls it living in the NOW; I call it living in the present moment.  Ultimately, it is learning to live in the peace that passes all understanding or for those who follow Jesus as Lord, learning to live in Christ.

I am a student of many of the spiritual heavyweights like Brother Lawrence, John-Pierre de Caussade and Julian of Norwich, who always acknowledge and honor the presence of the Divine at all times and in all places. God is, indeed, in the present moment and God is NOW…in every breath I take and in every beat of my heart.  I don’t have to go anywhere to find God.  I am already participating in the Divine Life.  That’s why the gospel is good news, is it not?  Inevitably, we have to lose the “old mind” to realize just how good the news really is.

In the next week or two, I will have to engage another crew of movers when I find a more permanent residence.  I’ll be reminded of how challenging moves and transitions of any kind can be.  Most importantly, I’ll be reminded of how important it is to remember to just BREATHE.  Please pray for me!

Freda Marie