Fred and I spent four days on the Oregon coast last week. It rained on and off during the long drive down. When we checked into our motel, the host at the front desk asked if we were ready for liquid sunshine.
But it didn’t rain. Not a drop. Though it was January, the weather was so sunny and warm while we were there, I needed only a light jacket or none at all.
I walked on the beach and thought about how lucky we were. More than once we planned a trip like this in winter but had to cancel because the roads were too hazardous to drive. In September, we hoped to camp on Vancouver Island for a week, but it started raining heavily and didn’t stop. We never did get there.
I felt blessed to receive these four days of walking on the beach and listening to the surf, yet–
Yet I wish I could decide. I wish I could plan trips like this and be sure we’d have good weather.
An aggressive wave threatened to get me wet if I didn’t pay attention. I looked out on the ocean and counted seven waves breaking. I listened to their roar. The currents and tides flow silently until the land rises up beneath, and then they crash against what doesn’t flow with them. Their energy expelled, the waves quietly recede.
Sometimes what I want and what I need are perfectly aligned and life flows gloriously. Other times I crash into life as it is, and it takes a while to receive “what is” as a gift.
Be gentle with yourself, the waves seem to say. When you crash into the shore, it takes a while for the disappointment to recede, to let go of what you wanted, and to open to what God is doing in what is. It takes wisdom to know when to let go and when to push through.
Let the waves come, crash and recede, Love said. Notice what glistens and what’s been washed away. The path will appear.
All I need to do is receive and trust, and let go of control.
The morning we left, Fred and I both wished we could’ve stayed longer, wished we’d booked two more days to enjoy the warm sunshine. That was before we stepped outside and shivered. Though the sky was clear, the temperature had dropped below freezing. It was so cold we had to scrape frost off the windshield.
It was time to go.
I stand before what is with an open heart.
–Macrina Wiederkehr, Velma Frye,
“What Is” from Seven Sacred Pauses
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Here is one of the videos on prayer by Rod Janz that I mentioned last week. Rod was in the same cohort with me when we took Art of Spiritual Direction over ten years ago. If you like it, you might want to attend the silent retreat Rod is co-facilitating with Marcia Fretheim in Deroche, BC on March 8-10. Check it out here.
Credits and References:
Photos of Tillamook Head and Gearhart, Oregon by Fred Hizsa, 2019. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2019.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2019. http://www.estherhizsa.com