Intentional

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There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.
~John Calvin

 

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It is too easy to become blinded to the glory surrounding us if we perceive it to be routine and commonplace.

I can’t remember the last time I celebrated a blade of grass,  given how focused I am mowing it into conformity.

Too often I’m not up early enough to witness the pink sunrise or I’m too busy to take time to watch the sun paint the sky red as it sets or to witness the ever-changing cloud formations above.

I didn’t notice how the light was illuminating our walnut tree until I saw the perfect reflection of it in our koi pond — I had marveled at a reflection instead of the real thing itself.

I miss opportunities to rejoice innumerable times a day.  It takes only a moment of recognition and appreciation to feel the joy, and in that moment time stands still.  Life stretches a little longer when I stop to acknowledge the intention of creation as an endless reservoir of rejoicing.   If a blade of grass, if a palette of color, if a chance reflection, if a movement of clouds — if all this is made for joy, then maybe so am I.

Even colorless, plain and commonplace me, created an image-bearer and intended reflector of light.

Maybe so am I.

 

 

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stormybaker

So Am I

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There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.
John Calvin

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alpenglowbaker

mowingfield

 

It is too easy to become blinded to the glory surrounding us if we allow it to be routine and commonplace.  I can’t remember the last time I celebrated a blade of grass,  given how focused we are in mowing it into conformity and submission.  Too often I’m not up early enough to witness the pink sunrise or I’m too busy to take time to watch the sun paint the sky red as it sets.

I miss opportunities to rejoice innumerable times a day.  It takes only a moment of recognition and appreciation to feel the joy, and for that moment time stands still.  Life stretches a little longer when I stop to acknowledge the intention of creation as an endless reservoir of rejoicing.   If a blade of grass, if a palette of color, if all this is made for joy, then so am I.

Even colorless commonplace me.

So am I.

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olhydrandra

Between Midnight and Dawn: A Fathomless Mystery

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Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.
 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
~John 1:16-17

Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:
He appeared in the flesh,

    was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
    was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
    was taken up in glory.
~1 Timothy 3:16

drizzlemoss

There is no event so commonplace
but that God is present within it,
always hiddenly,
always leaving you room to recognize Him
or not…

Listen to your life.

See it for the
fathomless mystery that it is.

In the boredom and pain of it no less
than in the excitement and gladness:
touch, taste, smell your way to the
holy and hidden art of it
because in the last analysis
all moments are key moments…..

and Life itself is Grace.
~Frederick Buechner from Now and Then- Listening to Your Life

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The locus of the human mystery is perception of this world.
From it proceeds every thought, every art.
I like Calvin’s metaphor—nature is a shining garment in which God is revealed and concealed.
~Marilynne Robinson from her “Reclaiming a Sense of the Sacred” essay

filbertbloom

Perhaps it is the mystery of this Life that brings us back,
again and again, to read His story, familiar as it is.
How can this mystery be?
God appearing on earth,
hidden in the commonplace,
rendering it sacred and holy.
How can He be?
Through the will of the Father
and the breath of the Spirit,
the Son was,
and is
and yet to be.

O greatest mystery beyond all understanding.

 

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During this Lenten season, I will be drawing inspiration from the new devotional collection edited by Sarah Arthur —Between Midnight and Dawn

Not One Blade of Grass

 

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There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.
~John Calvin

 

We are given the option to notice
or not
We are given reason to rejoice
or not
We are given a rain-bowed promise to witness
or not.
So why ever not?

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There is Really No Death

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There is not one blade of grass,
there is no color in this world
that is not intended to make us rejoice.

~John Calvin

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The moment one gives close attention to any thing,
even a blade of grass,
it becomes a mysterious,
awesome,
indescribably magnificent world in itself.

~Henry Miller

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Men do change,
and change comes like a little wind
that ruffles the curtains at dawn,
and it comes like the stealthy perfume
of wildflowers hidden in the grass.

~John Steinbeck

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abouttobloom

Rest is not idleness,
and to lie sometimes
on the grass under trees on a summer’s day,
listening to the murmur of the water,
or watching the clouds float across the sky,
is by no means a waste of time.
~John Lubbock

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grassmay19

The virtues of a superior man are like the wind;
the virtues of a common man are like the grass
– I the grass, when the wind passes over it, bends.

We should be blessed if we lived in the present always,
and took advantage of every accident that befell us,
like the grass which confesses the influence of the slightest dew that falls on it.
~Henry David Thoreau from Walden

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If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,
if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you,
if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand,
rejoice, for your soul is alive.
~Eleonora Duse

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When they would return to one another from their solitariness,
they returned gently as dew comes to the morning grass.

~David Paul Kirkpatrick

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All people are like grass,
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.
Isaiah 40:6-8

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A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more
than he.

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.

… I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we may see
and remark, and say Whose?

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
And what do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere,
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the
end to arrest it,
And ceas’d the moment life appear’d.

All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.
~Walt Whitman from “Song of Myself”

 

grassmay20

Even Me

photo by Josh Scholten

There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.
John Calvin

It is too easy to become blinded to the glory surrounding us if we allow it to be routine and commonplace.  I can’t remember the last time I celebrated a blade of grass,  given how focused I am mowing it into conformity.  Too often I’m not up early enough to witness the pink sunrise or I’m too busy to take time to watch the sun paint the sky red as it sets.

I miss opportunities to rejoice innumerable times a day.  It takes only a moment of recognition and appreciation to feel the joy, and for that moment time stands still.  Life stretches a little longer when I stop to acknowledge the intention of creation as an endless reservoir of rejoicing.   If a blade of grass, if a palette of color, if all this is made for joy, then so am I.

Even colorless commonplace me.

So am I.

photo by Josh Scholten

Called to Advent–rejoicing

photo by Josh Scholten

…and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
Luke 1:47

(As servants of God)..sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

2 Corinthians 6:10

There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.

John Calvin

Americans must be the most privileged people on earth yet we still grumble despite living in freedom in relative security. There is so little joy in our modern age of abundance. Is our cup half empty or half full? Why do we groan about what we lack and not stop to appreciate what all we have been given?

Rejoicing is expressing delight at what is, and having no regrets about what is not. There can be joy in times of sadness, we can be enriched by sharing what we have, and fulfilled without accumulating every material possession. As Augustine says: a happy life is rejoicing to God, of God and for God. He didn’t mention a larger house, faster car, exotic vacations, or the best plastic surgery.

So we read the words of profound joy expressed by Mary when her life is suddenly turned upside down and her body no longer in her control. She is happy and willing because she trusts the Lord despite all the unknowns. The shepherds, the lowest segment of society just above lepers, were first to be given a message of praise and glory from the heavens. Once their fear abated, they became so joyful and excited, they wanted to share all they had heard and seen with anyone who would listen.

It is our turn now. It is time to be gruntled, not disgruntled, happy to be alive instead of sorrowful, so we might rejoice mightily in the infinite gift we’ve been given.

This is it; there is no other.


And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee, for Thee; this it is, and there is no other.

Augustine

Adoration of the Shepherds by Correggio