A Breath of Wonder: another way to pray

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It is a picture perfect fall day here in the shadow of the Colorado foothills. The sky is crystal clear, a shade of azure blue made possible by our high, dry climate. The mountain tops contrast sharply against the brilliant sky in the distance. They tower far above the altitude where trees can grow. Today they wear a new white winter coat of snow. Farther down, the foothills are dressed in piney forest green. A few gold patches still dot the mountainsides. My home lies on the plains at the foot of these majesties. I am lured outside by restlessness, the weather, and my husband who is home from work today. He is a fast runner and leaves me far behind. He will circle back to me. So I walk through an open field. Golden grass stretches up past my shoulders. It dances in waves as the lightest breeze caresses it. Down the hill, trees wearing their brightest colors, deep reds, golds, and fiery oranges stand side by side. They stand tall as if awaiting an invitation onto the dance floor. The air itself joins the celebration crisp and clean and, wearing the fragrance fallen leaves.

Walk and wonder

As I walk along I shuffle and crunch through leaves, kicking them up as I go. I don’t care that my body looks much too old for such juvenile entertainment. Inside this woman’s body I am eight years old, capable of losing myself in delight and wonder. A tiny drop of sunshine flits into my peripheral vision. It is the brightest yellow butterfly. Years ago I decided to see God’s fingerprint on the beauty of every butterfly, to let butterflies lead me back into the presence of God. This one, miraculously still alive in October is an extra gift today.

Sometimes I let a day slip by without noticing.

Waste time on Wonder

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I am too busy, too dutiful and responsible to waste time on wonder. I keep my nose to the grindstone and miss the joy of it. I forget to delight. How does that happen? I take time to ask God the question and try to be still and listen long enough hear the answer.

Here is what I hear:

“Go through your day with. With me. With me all day.

I am here. Come out and straighten your shoulders. Draw a breath of air all the way to the bottom of your lungs. It is worship. It is prayer if you do it with me. Take a walk. Open your eyes. Enjoy the way I am painting this day. Don’t forget, even with all the evil, war and disease, I have overcome the world. Don’t quit watching. I am still here.”

 

And so, without words. The breath of wind reminds me of the breath of God, the wind of the Spirit, that I can rest in wonder and join the dance of worship too.

I need the gift of wonder most on difficult days.

God takes my breath away.

I resolved long ago to play a game with God every day, but often I get too busy and forget to play. He scatters his touch on my days, leaves his fingerprints for me to see. I promised to go through life with my eyes open, searching for God’s fingerprints. I glimpse God moving on earth like wind, when I see golden sunlight filtered through clouds, smell the fresh scent of rain, see a butterfly, hear the wind blow, or feel the pleasure of crunching through fall leaves. I try to pause in childlike wonder long enough to breathe in and breath out. It is worship. It is prayer.

Read related posts here and here.

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  1. Breath prayer: 1 way to pray instead of worry | Beth Ratzlaff - October 24, 2014

    […] For the past couple of weeks I have shared thoughts about breathing and prayer. Read those posts here and here. […]

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