You can listen to this week’s Devotional here
Author: Deborah Voss
“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and the pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness . . . because in the last analysis all moments are key moments and life itself is grace.” Frederick Buechner
Two words caught my attention in the quote above. Listen and See. Two verbs that we do without much thought at all every day. Like breathing, listening, and seeing are automatic. When we pick up something, we spend a modicum of time determining how we are going to pick it up, what hand we’ll use, how we’ll carry it. But listening, seeing – that simply happens without thought. Until we stop and actually think critically about how we listen, how we see.
I took a walk this afternoon in the residential neighborhood around the church. At first, I was on autopilot, walking and ruminating and concentrating on the sidewalk so that I wouldn’t trip on the uneven slabs. And then something caught my eye, a cat lounging in the sun among the flowers.
I stopped to admire the cat, and as my vision took in more and more — as I saw the profusion of flowers and even the smell of the blooming lilacs – I was blissfully overcome with the beauty of it all! I really looked at the flowers and montage of the basking cat among them and wished quite suddenly that I was a painter and could capture this perfect moment. But then, of course, the cat noticed me and after a huge stretch darted away.
When I read Buechner’s quote I realized that listening to my life is far too much like reciting my to-do list and wondering how I’m going to get it done than anything profound. I share this because perhaps, like me, some of you might want a nudge toward reflecting on it. I do believe that “all moments are key moments and life itself is grace.” And I feel grateful for the abundance of grace in my life. But I seldom take the time to find the true beauty of life — I am afraid I simply have faith that it is there!
And so, I will meditate on Buechner’s quote and try at various times during the day to stop the busyness and take a walk, and appreciate the beauty. I will try to take listening and seeing off autopilot and be intentional about taking in my life in a new way and acknowledging the grace that flows through it.
Creator and Sustainer, help me to see you, hear you, know you in all the moments of my life. Be with me in all things and guide me to see deeper into this mystery of life you have gifted me. Amen