A Rule in the Rhythm of Life
Harriet White of Lamoni, IA, USA
Live the meaning of your baptism daily as you grow in the skills and qualities of discipleship… -Doctrine and Covenants 164:3b
She was sitting on a bench under a big leafy tree as I walked by. We greeted each other and in our greeting came an invitation for deep, rich conversation. I sat with her while she shared her story. Her husband was deceased; she had five children, two boys and three girls. One son died with liver complications; her second son died from Huntington’s disease, a genetic disease. One of her three daughters was experiencing the symptoms of Huntington’s and the reality was that soon this woman would lose a third child. Astounded by her story I asked, “How do you cope?” She simply and quietly said, “I take one day at a time. Life is a gift.”
She asked what brought me to the Restored Shaker Village in Kentucky from Utah. I explained to her that I came yearly at Easter. It was time of spiritual renewal for me. She shared that she, too, did a pilgrimage yearly but chose different places each year. She said, “These pilgrimages are necessary for me. My children, though, think I’m too old to be doing them any longer.” I was surprised, as she didn’t appear to be “that” old. I asked her how old “old” might be. She said, “I’m eighty.”
In our sharing I came to understand that her pilgrimages, her time of spiritual renewal set aside in the rhythms of her life, allowed her, in the midst of great loss and sorrow, to continue to live joyfully, affirming, “Life is a gift. I take one day at a time.”
This gentle woman of eighty years allowed her rhythms of life to become avenues for the rhythms of God’s grace. As I pondered our conversation later, I realized I had been granted a rare gift of being mentored by a very wise and wonderful woman.
“Your mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23, adapted).
Ordinary Time is a season for noticing the details of life that make up its substance. This month, we invite you to pay attention with each fresh morning to the gift of being alive. Before getting out of bed, take a few deep breaths and notice what it feels like to wake up in your own body. Engage the tasks of your unfolding day with reverence-brushing your teeth, making the bed, pouring the coffee, tending the kids, feeding the animals, making breakfast, etc. Notice the presence of the Holy in every ordinary thing. Embrace your daily routines with sacramental significance. Notice how long you can do this before your attention is taken away, and commit to returning to this simple awareness as gently and often as you can.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.