Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Bravest Thing, Running Through the Fields

The first thing I read this morning, as I lay in my bed, just waking up was this, shared by my friend Kathy on Facebook.

the bravest thing by the beautiful due

maybe the bravest thing
is opening your eyes in the
morning and placing your
two feet on the cold floor and
rising up against the gravity
of the night. maybe that’s the
brave thing from which all other
bravery flows, the brave to
seek ye first. maybe that’s the
single thing God requires of you,
the spiritual discipline that takes
all your will to muster. Swallow
down the fear, my child, and face
the dawning day for what the
surface of the world needs most
of all is bravery skipping and
you, yes you are the stone.


The words stayed with me as I showered. I'm a shower thinker. It's where things just fall in to place in my brain, where things make sense.

And I thought, yes, for right now, it's brave of me to get out of bed. To shower, to pick out mostly clean clothes (I totally wore the same jeans as yesterday) and go in to work. To push beyond a cold that I can't shake. There's a silent courage as I steer my car through traffic for up to two hours to get to my office. It is not my favorite job, but frankly, it pays a mortgage and feeds a family. And I'm not giving up.

The irony of my day job and my love of leading retreats was not missed this morning, either. I stand in front of groups and tell them to be brave of heart, that often times courage is just the act of showing up. That we must give ourselves credit for showing up.

And yet I'm so hard on myself; demanding more than I know may be reasonable. There is a list a mile long in my head and on Cozi just waiting for me. I'm not giving myself credit for the million things I do. I can only see what's undone, what I wish I could do, what I wish I had time for.

This morning, though, it sunk in that I'd done "the brave thing from which all other bravery flows," I've risen from bed, rising for the day, rising to meet challenges. I'm trying with all of my might to be "bravery skipping," running through the field, and all the while plotting and acting to make my dreams a reality.

2 comments:

margaret said...

Hi Paula! Glad to see you posting again! I wish I had a full-time retreat running gig to throw your way :) But it made me think--did you ever consider getting into religious programming on college campuses?It might have some similarities with retreat planning and/or open avenues for you? Here's a posting, just as an example, to get you thinking (maybe in the shower :) http://www.higheredjobs.com/search/details.cfm?JobCode=175796077&Title=Campus%20Minister%20-%20Protestant

bluecottonmemory said...

I'm a slow thinker too - but how beautiful your slow thinking is - and how you have changed how I thinking about getting out of bed - an act of bravery. I'm need to pull out more of my bravery. I've been retreating lately - thank you for your beautiful encouragement - I think you changed my mornings:)