Reflecting on Perspective….

Today is the third day of a long, glorious weekend. We are experiencing the warm, crisp fall weather that draws folks out of the city and into the mountains. The leaves are just beginning to change, and we’re past the hot, humid days of summer. So I was drawn to this interesting photo of a spider, taken by my sister Lana. At first glance, you may be reminded of an old science fiction movie, where giant alien spiders are attacking the earth. Instead, the spider is crawling on the screen in her front window, overlooking her neighbor’s house across the street. What you see depends on your perspective. While some are thankful for this lovely weather, others are complaining that winter is almost here, or lamenting that summer is already over. The wonder of the present moment is drowned out by concerns about the future or regrets about the past. Something tiny can loom over you, casting a shadow over all your experiences. Yet tackling a problem head on is not always the best method. We may need to allow a situation to unfold, or create distance from the immediate concern. Yet that takes patience, discipline and time. While stories of incredible leaps of faith may raise our spirits, what we most often require is baby steps of faith, one day at a time. Take time today to create perspective on your current situation, and to enjoy the gift of the present moment. Let go of regrets about the past and concerns about the future. Trust that all shall be well in God’s time, not our time, one baby step at a time. Photo by Lana Sarchiapone

Reflecting on Discipline…..

It’s another grey day, and I am so tempted to stay in bed. Even our dog isn’t sure about getting up and going out. So I was drawn to this photo taken by my sister Lana of my niece Natalie playing water polo. She looks so strong, with her upper torso above the water, intently aiming the ball before releasing it. Her opponent is rushing toward her, to foil the play. I don’t know how good of a swimmer you are, or if you have ever tread water for an extended period of time. It’s harder than it looks, and these students are playing a game while managing to remain afloat. Yet they didn’t simply show up at the pool the day of the game. They practiced and built up skills over time, learning ways to conserve energy and maintain balance, working together toward a common goal. At the same time, they are learning the value of discipline, commitment, persistence. It seems to me that prayer is a lot like water polo. There is a strength and sense of balance that comes with daily practice. The commitment to prayer, day in, day out, prepares us to pray in times when life seems impossible. As we pray for others, we become part of a team, an impenetrable fortress filled with prayer warriors. We see how God answers the prayers of others, and our faith is renewed and strengthened by others that pray for us. When difficult times descend upon us, we not only remain afloat, we rise above temptation and persevere. Take time today to offer a simple prayer for those you know and love, and for those you encounter. Let go of your idea of what prayer should be, and allow your prayers to take their own form. Take on the discipline of prayer today, and every day, and you’ll be amazed at how it will strengthen your heart and soul. Photo by Lana Sarchiapone

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