Three Peonies

One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have wholehearted enthusiasm. ~Hannah Senesh

When I believe in success, I’ll find it. There is magic in believing.

I shared with a friend recently that in retirement I’ve learned that we move from a “success model” of life where the main measurement is dollars and cents to the “significance model” where the measure is less tangible and has to do with our impact on others.

Fortunately, and I do count myself as being very fortunate, I’ve had some good mentors in my life. As the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. That has certainly been the case for me. Sometimes, the teacher was just the school of hard knocks. Other times it was the loving words of my spouse. Many times it was the counsel of a wise and trusted friend.

Today, I am enthused with new perspectives on life. Lately, I’ve been inspired by the Holy Spirit to get up early and spend the first hour or two of my day in spiritual devotions, seeking a closer walk with my Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Part of that seeking involves Centering prayer. I sit quietly for 20 minutes and do my best not to engage with my thoughts. Often I have to tell myself to “Be Still”. As the practice suggests, I do that very gently.

After all, God said in Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God”. I like what Father Richard Rohr said about that verse. It can be parsed as follows:

Be still…

Be still and know…

Be still and know that I am…

Be still and know that I am God.

So, first we have to be still.

Then we can know. And we need to remember that true knowledge/wisdom builds up. It doesn’t puff up.

Then we can know the great “I AM”, the name God told Moses was His name. We know that He exists.

Finally, we learn that in the stillness we get to know God, to have a relationship with Him. We sit as we would in the presence of the love of our life, content just to be with them, in their presence. We honor God with our silence. After all, silence is his primary language.

This journey excites me. Getting to know God better is not something I take lightly. Doing it the way He is leading me to do it at this stage of life feels right. It is not easy, but it gets me up early.

In the movie “The Shift” staring Wayne Dyer (who plays himself), there is a scene where he gets up at 3:15, says “Thank You” to the Universe and goes to his writing desk. That scene inspired me to start getting up early. This morning it was about 3:15. I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got up, got some juice, made a pot of coffee, came up to my office/den/prayer room and did my daily devotions, including my Centering prayer. I find this a great way to start my day. I’d prefer not to start it quite so early, but I went to bed at 9:00 last night, so I got 6 hours of sleep. Besides, I’ll be able to take a nap later if I need to. That is one of the benefits of retirement: flexible time.

The question that came up in my readings this morning is: How does one become spiritually mature? One way is to have a good mentor, someone who is more spiritually mature than you are, someone whom you admire and respect. Men need other men whom they can look up to in their lives. Women need other women. We may need more than one, but we need at least one. Someone who’s life provides a shining example that we want to imitate. They don’t have to be perfect, just better than us in some way that we deem important. For me, that person needs to be a God-fearing Christian, though I’ve had a good mentor who was not a Christian, but was very spiritual. If it is spiritual maturity that you are seeking, the person needs to be very spiritual and able to articulate his/her faith/beliefs. And, even more than being able to talk about their beliefs, they need to model those beliefs. Talk the talk and walk the walk, so to speak.

If you don’t have a mentor and feel the need for one, why not do as I’m doing and pray God will provide one, leading you to that person or that person to you. I also pray He will open my eyes to see that person when he arrives.

Then, too, maybe God is asking you to be a mentor for someone else. Why not be open to that possibility and pray about it? Remember, God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called. Know that whatever God calls you to do, He’ll provide the strength, wisdom and knowledge to do it. And, once He has begun a good work in you, He’ll carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6).

Have a blessed day.

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My Muse is in hiding, but we cross paths from time to time. I think I gave the old guy too much grief. Maybe he quit without notice.

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Bob Jasper

My Muse is in hiding, but we cross paths from time to time. I think I gave the old guy too much grief. Maybe he quit without notice.