I remember gatherings. The sound of worship rising from so many lips. The swell of the music urging us higher. We went willingly because we knew without a doubt that God really is an awesome God. The communion we shared I would never trade for all the jewels in the earth. Though some later said it was just all emotionalism, or that we were forced to worship, I know this is not true because I was there. Our Heavenly Father does not go where he is not wanted. He does not force himself on us. We invite him to come, and he is faithful to do so.
Did you know that our God is emotional? He is jealous, merciful, angry, patient, kind, loving, all those adjectives and more. We are emotional because He made us that way. He longs for us to commune with him, and oh, how we did! Oh, how I still long to, and do! A song can take me back there in an instant. Memories of standing next to friends, being so grateful for the presence of God in our midst. Come again, oh King! We bid you come.
Do you know what a whirling dervish is? A dervish is someone who is an adherent of the Sufi sect of Islam. Some of the members of Sufism use twirling in circles as a physical act of meditation. The thought is that as you listen to the music and abandon your inhibitions, concentrating on Allah, you will find perfection. (Of course, this is a very simple description.) Here is an example:
This month I most certainly resemble a whirling dervish, without the whole perfection thing. It is the month of tying up 2011 into a neat accounting package with a bow on top. Lots to do and lots of deadlines! Yuk!
However, Serenity, or perhaps Felicity, turned me on to Ann Voskamp’s blog. Ms. Voskamp has written a book, “1000 Gifts” which, as she describes it “… celebrates grace and recognizes the power of gratitude.” She challenges the reader to find 3 things every day to be thankful for. At the end of a year you will have the “1000 Gifts”.
It seems this is the perfect time for me to start practicing thanksgiving. I have been on a “mindfulness” kick for several months as my family & I countdown to our move back to California. I don’t want to take one moment of our dwindling days here for granted. Sometimes things to be thankful for overwhelm me to the point of tears. On other days I can’t seem to find anything, as my mind trips over itself with lists of things to be done and friends to visit “one last time”. A daily centering is what I need so I am looking forward to this process.
What new things are you considering? Do you avoid new year’s resolutions? Or do you jump in with verve?