Friday, March 23, 2007
Friday Five: Rivers in the Desert
Friday Five by Songbird from revgalblogpals: Rivers in the Desert
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19, NRSV
As we near the end of the long journey toward Easter, a busy time for pastors and layfolk alike, I ponder the words of Isaiah and the relief and refreshment of a river in the desert.
For this Friday Five, name five practices, activities, people or _____ (feel free to fill in something I may be forgetting) that for you are rivers in the desert.
I don't live in a desert area. But I have taken vacations to Arizona, (I know, I know, that sound's crazy.) The river that my hometown is named after, Crystal River, was full of Springs. But you are asking a different question, aren't you or are you? Because you see both those places offered so much that filled my soul. (The picture is from Manatee Tours and Dives)
I loved being on the river, swimming in the river, boating on the river, spending time with friends on or around the river, snorkling with the manatees, going down into the springs, just standing looking at the river or the springs. And the river leads to the ocean, the Gulf of Mexico. The desert or Red Rock Country, is just a different terrain than the green flatlands I have always known. I loved spending time with my husband, my mom, and meeting people I don't know. I enjoyed the hiking, seeing the little flowers that spring up; and going to the places of the Southern Sinagua people, the Anasazies (the first people), the Hopis, those who found a way to make it their home. I liked finding the little areas of water you could find, the formations, the chapel there, and just looking at the beauty of the area.
I have also been through spiritual deserts. And being sure I get some of the above helps, whether it is actually going to those places or doing some of those activities. It is also important that I spend time with family and friends. It also valuable that I spend time being still and in meditation. (picture from great Sedona Hikes)
Bonus: Lessons learned
There are lessons from both places too. Always swim, boat, scuba dive, snorkle with at least one another person. Make sure you know how to operate a boat, that the engine is in good working order, and have the necessary equipment on board. Make sure you are trained in scuba diving, that your equipment is in good working condition before you dive. Don't overdo it. Don't trash the water. Safety, training, good working equipment, doing these things with partners makes for a good time, and being able to come back again.
In the desert; go with a partner, take plenty of water, good hiking boots and clothes. Stay on the trail. Leave the plants, animals, and cultural sites alone. Rest and takes breaks as necessary. Don't throw your trash down, save it to throw it away when you get back out and find a dumpster. All of the above makes it where you can come back again and for others to enjoy too.
When in a spiritual desert make sure you have a partner or spiritual guide to walk with you. Make sure you too are in working order, get a medical and mental health checkup. Use your past training of reading the scripture, meditating, praying, breathing, and spiritual practices. Remember to stop rest, drink plenty of water, and eat healthy. Don't trash your desert, but instead just take in what it looks like, feels like, what it can teach you, where the beauty is, and where God is.