Monday, October 20th
for Sunday, October 26th, 20th Sunday after Pentecost
READ: Psalm 90.1-6, 13-17 “dwelling place”
REFLECT: When I first began to read and pray through this passage, “dwelling place” caught my attention. At first I thought of a dwelling as a home. But as I sat with it, I began to think of “dwell” as meditating or thinking on something. I was surprised when an image of a dog chasing its tail came to mind. So I asked God, “what is it that I am dwelling on or obsessing over, that I will never see the end of, that I will never solve? From what endless cycle am I longing to break free?”
As I continued to read and pray, the word “morning” also rose to my attention, appearing several times. As a morning person myself, I identified with the blade of grass in verses 5 and 6 — I am renewed in the morning and wither in the evening. When I was younger, this cycle worried me. I would start to feel anxious and depressed at night, which only kept me awake longer. Now when I begin to feel this way, I simply know that I need to go to sleep and that I will feel better in the morning.
Staying with that image of the blade of grass, I thought of the way in which dew settling on grass during the night will bead up and glide down the blade, down to its very roots, so that it can “flourish” and be “renewed.”
And that was both the question and the answer: how can I flourish when I feel like I am withering? How can I be renewed in this world that is always consuming, always demanding, always ringing and dinging and filled with the blue light of technology that we don’t know how we ever lived without?
What do I find myself dwelling on? Honestly — it’s the idea of a vacation. But of course, I always come back to my life and my self, just as I left them. For me, the challenge is to funnel those beads of dew, to cultivate those moments of refreshment every day. Only then can I escape the whirlwind and have the life that I want, and not just temporarily while on vacation.
RESPOND: God, sometimes I feel like I just want to escape, to run away and leave all of the stress and frustration of my daily life behind me. When I’m feeling this way, obsessing over the idea of escape, help me to remember that blade of grass. Help me to pay attention to those beads of dew that you have already sprinkled throughout my day, to notice them and collect them so that I can draw on their sustaining power when I am withering.
What do you find yourself thinking about constantly? On what are you dwelling? Ask God to show you the deeper need behind the obsession, and how to truly satisfy it rather than endlessly chasing your own tail.
LECTIONARY TEXTS FOR THE UPCOMING SUNDAY (and for you to try on your own):
Leviticus 19.1-2, 15-18
1 Thessalonians 2.1-8
Lectio Divina Paci is a weekly devotional guide by Audrey Hindes for peacemakers in the lectio divina form. Lectio Divina (Latin for divine reading) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scripture reading, prayer, meditation, and reflection that treats scripture as the Living Word. Lectio Divina Paci is an opportunity for peacemakers to become more in tune with the voice of the Prince of Peace.