Four and a half years ago, right about this time of night I stood on the shore of Lake Norman near Charlotte and was deep in the midst of one of the most profoundly spiritual moments of my life. While I was at a clergy conference, I was out walking around the lake one November evening and saw a sunset that truly took me to a different place. During the time I was out there I felt like the only thing that I could possibly say or think was simply the word, “Glory.” It was an experience that changed my life and began me on a new path from where I was at that time in my life. Since that time, one of the things I haves sought to do is to find the beauty and wonder and majesty of God no matter where I was and no matter what was happening around me. Most of those places where I have found the divine are in everyday things like this picture – these are simply patterns of ice on our car windshield this morning as the sun was rising behind. Nothing complicated but simply beautiful and in the intricacies, I see the hand of the divine creator.
I write about all this because of my discipline for Lent this year. As I move into a transition time in my ministry, it could be very easy to lose sight of these learnings that God has given to me over the last several years. I am grateful for the recommendation that I saw on Rachel Held Evans’ twitter feed for the book Glory Happening by Kaitlin Curtice – a book to help keep a focus upon seeing the glory of God all around us. So this morning was simply the introduction to the book and then tomorrow moving into it day by day through Lent.
I love what she wrote as she closed the introduction…
The Kingdom…is the daily manifestation of shalom. The Kingdom is presence, a full alertness of living here and now. It is living within the reality of peace in every circumstance. And we move toward Kingdom as we live into glory, in all of its manifestations for us. Like a timeline, like seasons, we experience glory as a process…May we learn to see and know God in every manifestation, and may Mystery and the discovery of our own soul’s voice become our dearest friends in the search.