I love the concepts of simplicity and purity. I just don’t do it. The closest I come in my multi-tasking life is staying in prayer wherever I may be. Prayer moves my attention away from what I am doing and focuses it on God and others. Prayer returns me to God.
“I am beginning to see now how radically the character of my spiritual journey will change when I no longer think of God as hiding out and making it as difficult as possible for me to find Him, but, instead, as the one who is looking for me while I am the one who is doing the hiding.” Henri Nouwen
And a photographer’s note: This picture of the monarch butterfly was taken at Michael and Sara’s in New Hampshire. The butterfly lifted off just as I was ready to click the shutter while it rested on the flower. I had focused the camera on the flower and it rose in the same plane, maintaining the sharpness.
I particularly enjoyed the reading from today’s (December 31) My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. This writing sets an excellent and wonderful tone for the new year.
“Our present enjoyment of God’s grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.
“God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience.
“As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.
“Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.”
I wish each of us such a future! Blessings, Eric
Outside of Otavolo lies a a small township, Carabuela. The roads are unpaved, dusty when dry, muddy when wet. Amidst the simple houses of mainly Quechua Indians is a small children’s center that Secondo, a Quechua native runs for children whose parents work long hours of the day. Meg and I were introduced to this center by Karen and Carlos, whose medical and mission skills serve many people and programs from Quito to the coast.
Secondo’s father and mother live in a one room house, smaller than the average American living room. There they cook over a wood fire, wash dishes by hand, sleep, and store their minimal possessions. Their real treasures of heart and love for each and their children are stored in Heaven.
Two years ago, the father also did all his weaving inside the house. Now, his work area has moved outside to a covered shed that is open in the front. He raises the sheep, shears them himself, cards the wool, spins it into yarn, dyes it and then weaves it into a variety of products. I bought an incredible heavy scarf from him. It reminds me of the contrast between his simplicity and my complications.
Day in, day out, he focuses on his wool. I have no idea how long he has been at this work. And, as you can also see,his wife is there with him, in the simple sweetness of companionship. I was truly privileged to be there.