Friday, April 8, 2005

It is one of those good advice "forwards" you typically find in your email account on a regular basis. You know the one; you're asked to forward it on to ten of your friends so that the chain is not broken and so that you will receive unlimited good luck.

For some strange reason, I chose not to delete one that was sitting quietly in my Inbox; I scanned down through the email's content to see what "good advice" might be shared. It was a listing of both straight-forward and humorous observations/advice on leading one's life. And halfway through the list of dos and don'ts, there it was: Spend some time alone.

A simple - and often, overlooked - bit of advice; and it is one that all the great leaders and teachers of this world have engaged in. From mountaintops to deserts to ocean-swept boats, they have sought out this momentary silence. A mere coincidence of the searching human nature? Not likely, my friend - otherwise many more of us would be at peace. It has been and remains an intentional act to connect with the espiritus, the breath of God within each of us.

And it is in that spirit, I offer today's Morning Walk as a quiet stroll along the silent shores of your own "aloneness"...

Spend some time alone.

Void of all social titles, expectations and obligations, simply find yourself. You are that child standing on the shoreline, skipping rocks across the water's surface, without a care in the world. You are that child sitting just inside inside yourself - waiting to be greeted, cheered, nourished and nurtured.

Make it your sole purpose to find that child; that child that was once full of dreams, of laughter, of hope. Search for that child that was entrusted to you from the beginning... and just play... dream... laugh... hope...

Spend some time alone.

Remind yourself again of how easy it once was to just enjoy the day and trust your cares and worries to your parent. And then remind yourself again of how easy it can be to enjoy the day ahead while trusting your cares and worries to your Parent.

Remind yourself again of how much fun it was to enjoy coloring books and crayons, sunsets and popsicles, bubble wrap and bubble gum. And then remind yourself again of how much fun it can still be through your own conscious choice to enjoy the simplicity of life...

Spend some time alone.

Take some quiet time for yourself and let the world go by at its blinding speed. Where were you off to in such a frantic pace, in the first place? And where were you hoping to end up? Not to worry, the pace will still be there when you return, in its carousel fashion.

Patience is a greatly underrated and highly ignored gift of Life. Give this gift to yourself. For it is with patience - with self and others - that love blossoms at an exponential rate. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself the time to slow down, step out of the maddening race and relax. It is a long race from here to your personal finish line, so be sure to gather rest for the journey ahead.

Spend some time alone.

Use the time wisely to recuperate from the periodic wounds that Life's journey hands you; rejuvenate not only the body, but mind and spirit as well. Listen to what you have not heard yourself say in quite some time: "I need to be forgiven... I need to forgive... I need help... I need guidance... I need patience... I need time..." Take the time to pray for these needs. Take time to reflect on these needs. Take time to allow Life to help these needs.

Reconcile with yourself and others. Life in this world is too short not to be forgiven and forgiven often. And Life in this world is much too short not to forgive and forgive often. Acknowledge all that is wrong with this Life, but be sure to also take account of all that is right with this Life. There is much more right with this Life and that deserves personal praise.

And in all your seriousness to reflect and reconcile, also remind yourself to laugh at yourself. You are the joyous creation of a Grand Creator! And that deserves the laughter of celebration and thanks. There remains nothing in this Life that is so serious that the Creator has not scoffed at and dismissed. Pray and ask for the guidance to see more clearly the Creator's design of this Life and laugh in praise and thanks!

Spend some time alone.

You owe to yourself and those around you to become reacquainted with yourself; that self that was planted deep within you by the Grand Designer. Allow that self to be watered with hope and compassion; and warmed it with friendship and peace. And then allow it to grow.

Allow this day to set and this evening to come, knowing that you tried your hardest to be the best you that you could possibly be today. And then lay your head on your pillow, reminding yourself that all is well because God is. Bless and sanctify this day with some time alone... and then reawaken to the glory of the adventure that awaits you tomorrow...


Sunset photography by Lee Hoedl

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