Posts By : acmead

Occasional Focus on Basics is Helpful – By Rev. Alan Mead

Occasional Focus on Basics is Helpful
By Rev. Alan Mead

Walking and breathing seem so very natural. I seldom think about either. Yet when I am rowing, working at coordinating movement and breathing, I become aware of how my body is functioning. I strain to inhale more air as I slide back on the track, then to exhale completely as I slide forward and reach, readying for the catch. I become aware of my different muscles and how they work together. As I work on my coordination of motion and breathing, what seems at first to be complicated, becomes natural and rhythmic.

I was surprised when I began rowing how complicated it was to learn a technique where everything worked, where breathing and motion worked together.

As I persevered I began to notice that I no longer had to think about when I moved or breathed, it simply began to feel natural and rhythmic.

It is interesting, though, that when I push myself harder, trying to achieve some arbitrary goal that I have set myself, my rhythm and coordination deteriorate, and I find that slowing down and concentrating on technique again actually improve my time.

Whether it’s rowing or serving a congregation taking time occasionally to focus on the basics keeps us moving smoothly.

Thankful – By Rev. Alan Mead

Thankful

By Rev. Alan Mead

I haven’t ventured out for my daily beach walks as regularly during the winter, and when I have walked it has been at different times. Now that spring is approaching I notice that others are are also coming out to walk again.

Yesterday I saw a person with two dogs walking toward me, along the shoreline. I recognized the dogs before I could distinguish the person. As we drew near I greeted Jim, whom I hadn’t seen since early December. I asked if he was dog sitting Eddie, the poodle that belongs to another beach walker. He told me that Sherrie had left Eddie with him while she went on a two week trip to Israel to visit family and that was over a month ago.

As we continued talking, he telling me about others we see during warmer months, I reflected on the nature and variety of the different communities I am a part of. I realized that a small community, loosely connected simply because we walk the beach at the same time, had gradually formed. As is the way of community, we had formed bonds of caring and communication.

Of course this community is more fragile than many. We don’t know much about one another beyond first names. And yet we have come to appreciate brief times of meeting and conversation. Jim is caring for Eddie while Sherrie visits family in Israel. Fred, another beach walking regular, is looking and sounding healthier a year after his wife Carol died of cancer. Jim said he had talked with Fred earlier, just after sunrise.

Tell Fred I am walking more now and hope to see him soon, I say to Jim as we depart and continue walking our different directions along the bay shore. I look at the reflected afternoon sun in the gently rolling surf and listen to the calming sound of surf cascading inches from my feet. I feel gratitude for the moment. Thank you, I say into the breeze.

Day for Shared Prayer

This is a space for shared prayer, where people may post their own prayer requests to the community, in their own words. To post a prayer request simply click on the comment button below and post your prayer request as a comment. I will pray with you and I know that others in our community will also. Please note that the “like” button should only be clicked on to alert someone that a prayer has been posted.

Stop, Play, and Be – By Rev. Alan Mead

Stop, Play, and Be
By Rev. Alan Mead

Yesterday was warm and pleasant. It felt nice and hinted of spring. We walked down the path to the beach and sat in beach chairs while our grandson played in the sand with his toy shovels and grader trucks. I felt myself begin to unwind almost immediately as the calming, rolling sound of the surf lolled me almost into a sleepiness. It seemed as if, were I to close my eyes, I would drift off, maybe to sleep, although I hadn’t felt tired.

I watched our grandson play for awhile, and then joined him in the sand and we played together, building roads and towers. Soon, he found a hollow reed and said it was his fishing pole, so we played, with hollow reeds as fishing poles, casting imaginary lines out into the bay.

As we played I observed his enjoyment as he immersed in this time of imagination. I remembered a series of meditations I have been receiving daily from the Society of St. John the Evangelist, around a Lenten theme of stopping to pray, work, play and love. Yes, I thought, this is a moment of stopping.

How do we stop? In what ways do play and prayer interconnect? Are there boundaries of time and our busyness? Are there sacred places that help us to stop and simply be?

For me, as I played with our grandson, I was able for a few minutes to let go some pressing things I was working on. As I focused on him, enjoying the moment, I felt joy and peace. I felt connected with something that is fleeting and priceless. As we walked back up the path to home, he put his hand in mine, and I silently gave thanks for this moment.

A Place for Prayer

This is a space for shared prayer, where people may post their own prayer requests to the community, in their own words. To post a prayer request simply click on the comment button below and post your prayer request as a comment. I will pray with you and I know that others in our community will also. Please note that the “like” button should only be clicked on to alert someone that a prayer has been posted.

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