Thursday, October 27, 2011

Morning and Evening Prayer

Many religious traditions have set times for prayer.  The discipline of bowing one’s heart to God at a set time is something I’ve tried to cultivate with limited success.  Following the ancient Christians in the Daily Office is a desire of mine.  Yet, it’s discipline does not come easy for me.

The entrance to our subdivision - picture taken from our driveway

Our dog is walked twice a day.  Today it is very fall like.  There has been rain and the sky is grey.  The brilliant colors on the trees are muting.  But the birds… oh the birds… sometimes the cacophony of their sound is near deafening.  We have a chorus of birds that sing in the morning and sing in the evening.  Having a Franciscan bent, I thought, yes, little bird, praise God!  It seems that nature responds to the call to worship at sunrise and dusk. 

Today as I walked our large yard I marveled at all I saw.  I can’t imagine those who walk but don’t see.  I remarked to someone yesterday about the beautiful little pines in the lot beside us and said perhaps we’ll take one of those for our Christmas tree.  I spoke of the bursting pinecones on another huge tree.  They walk that same area but never see.  I wondered how curiosity and vision become dimmed. I have the curiosity of a child.  I hope I never lose that…

This morning I saw cardinals and blue jays flying through the yards.  I heard the sound of all sorts of birds.  I heard a crow.  I wondered, where do the robins go in the fall?  Then I spotted one in a tree.  I often count four, five, or six eagles flying over our house.  I've seen an owl.  I hear him sometimes in the stillness of the night.  I heard the rustle in the woods – a squirrel, a rabbit, a turkey, or a deer – I’ve seen them all in our backyard.

Roses are still blooming in our yard.  They seem to push through with a tenacity that says, even though the season is past, I still have something to offer.  I looked at the bush and yet another bud is waiting to open.  I hope the yellow bud is also able to burst open.  I wondered, are they a sign to me?  My season may be past but what beauty or worth can still burst open?

It was a beautiful short walk in the glory of God’s creation.  With the birds, I joined in their morning song of praise.  In my heart I sang:

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

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