In my sermon last Sunday, I touched on my journey of Spiritual Formation and my need to learn how to practice some of the more contemplative Spiritual Disciplines. I’ve discovered over the years that it’s very hard for me to sit still for long! My need to move is often diametrically opposed to being still long enough to listen for the voice of God.
I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but in order to practice the discipline of Centering Prayer, or any contemplative Spiritual Discipline, I have had to find ways to move forward while remaining still. The need to feel forward momentum is connected somehow to my desire to grow closer to God. I shared with the congregation that I’m fairly certain that lake and river water flows through my veins! I’ve discovered that I can sit still in my Kayak and still glide across the water. I can stand still on my Paddleboard and move with the current or wind at my back. It is in those moments of stillness, that I can most powerfully connect with God and sense the freshness of his Spirit surrounding me.
Several years ago, I began writing as a Spiritual Discipline and hopefully will have enough stories and poems to publish a small collection in the coming year. One of my first poems came to me while sitting on the front porch at our cottage on Lake Talquin. I titled it:
The Other Side of the Lake…
On the Other Side of the Lake, there’s a place called the “Shallows” … where the Cypress Stumps breathe with grace, and wood stork and osprey nests seem close enough to touch.
On the Other Side of the Lake, Goat Island can be explored and picnicked upon. The Goats are long gone, but their winding pathways are exciting adventures with surprises around each bend.
On the Other Side of the Lake, countless lily-pad lined streams beckon you into overgrown canopies that create their own stillness and beauty; daily reminders of the wonder of God’s creation!
On the Other Side of the Lake, there are places where only deer and otter live in quiet and peaceful coexistence.
On the Other side of the Lake, there are places where the cicadas will sing you their symphony of tranquility.
On the Other Side of the Lake, the Whippoorwills call and the Mockingbirds mock!
On the Other Side of the Lake, Ingraham Marina is the mid-afternoon stop of the day for ice-cream sandwiches and orange sherbet popsicles.
On the Other Side of the Lake, “The Whip Waterfront Pub & Grub” hosts amazing friendships, family memories, Low Country Boils, and stories of the fish that got away!
Wayne Wiatt, 2010
I think I know why Jesus liked the Other Side of the Lake… He realized the need for an extended Sabbath, a break from the crowds, a time to be alone, and a time to share with those he called family and friends on the Other Side of the Lake!
Matthew 14:22 – “Right then, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead to the other side of the lake while he dismissed the crowds.”
I Love Being Your Pastor,