The First Task

The first time that I met with a spiritual director, he gave me a simple practice to do every day.

Each morning, I was to go into the chapel for 15 minutes, be quiet, and experience how much I was loved by God.

(And the word might not have been experience… it might have been listen or contemplate or the like… but the point was to know that I am loved.)

Predictably, I immediately fell short on multiple levels.  I did not wake up early enough.  The chatter in my mind never quieted.  I exerted way too much effort.  I became attached to my evaluation of each session. 

Seventeen years later, I see this practice, to know that we are loved just as we are, is the practice of a lifetime.  This experience anchors us, roots us, and enables a bold life lived out of this love.

I still show up to the practice, however imperfectly, knowing that I do not control the experience.  The result is not up to me.  My job is show up consistently… to ready the sails for whenever the wind would blow.

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