Receiving the Gift
By Stephanie Gretchen Burgevin. Stephanie is a writer and retreat leader. She is an associate faculty member of Shalem and a graduate of their Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program and leads spiritual and secular programs. Stephanie manages Shalem’s blog. You can see more of her writing at blessedjourneyblog.com.
In a meeting with my spiritual director the other day we were talking about how “muddled” life feels at present. I’m not clear on what’s next. Probably, most adults have experienced this fog, times when what to do is convoluted. But this was not the angry or panicked kind of muddle I’ve experienced in decades past. This is not a Dark Night. This time there is an undercurrent of trust here.
We talked about what my prayer is now amidst all this. After some silence we laughed, realizing that my prayer for quite a while has been for more time and space in my life, and now I have it. For so long I was rushing from one project and task to another, trying desperately to get everything done and longingly looking at the holy pockets of time in the candy store window.
Perhaps I’m not in a muddle at all. Perhaps it’s just that I’m not used to having time to just be present, to relish what I’m doing and to give it my all. Put down the need to write a presentation, cook dinner, be on a conference call, and thoughtfully answer questions my child has on current events all at the same time.
So now the trick for me is to relax into this space, to set aside any guilt I might feel over not rushing off to another project. Spirit has given me this time, so how about just receiving it?
At first I thought my prayer for now was, “Please help me to get clarity on my next step,” or “Please help me to understand,” but now I’m seeing it just needs to be, “Thank you.”