Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
“I spent the summer traveling, I got half-way across my backyard.” – Louis Agassiz, scientist.
I have a little box on my desk where I keep scraps of paper with quotes, prayers, poems, and doodles. Every once in a while I open that box and see what speaks to me. I wrote the quote down from scientist Louis Agassiz about 14 years ago because it captured my summer that year perfectly. 14 years ago my daughter was 3. We would take multiple little walks around the neighborhood everyday. For several days in a row we didn’t make it more than two doors down from our house because a giant ant colony had taken up residence on the sidewalk and that completely captured my daughter’s attention. The first day it was kind of fun to stand and watch the ants for a while. The second day that she planted herself on the sidewalk to watch the ants I tried to move us along after a few minutes (it didn’t work). The third day I tried to distract her by pointing up at the birds (it didn’t work). The fourth day I tried to go the opposite way (it didn’t work). The fifth day I suggested a car ride but… you can guess how that worked. I thought we were going to spend our entire summer watching ants on the sidewalk. But you know what? When I let go of my need to be going somewhere and I joined in her curiosity about the whole universe taking place on our sidewalk, our time on the sidewalk became almost meditative.
This year has felt a lot like that summer, like my patience is being tested and my only entertainment is watching the ants on the sidewalk. How about you? But that summer years ago taught me that sometimes just staying put, watching, and reflecting, is exactly where we are supposed to be.
Our scripture passage from Philippians gives us adjectives of the kingdom of God and so I invite you to pick one of them to focus your attention on today. What is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise in your world? Stay put with that word for a while, explore its universe a little bit, let it dwell in your heart, be patient with it. May your time just watching and reflecting nourish you for this day.
In Peace and Hope, Pastor Ruth