September 10, 2018
Jesus, …. was guided in the wilderness by the Spirit, Being tempted for forty days by the Slanderer. And during those days he ate nothing, and when they had reached their end he was hungry. And the Slanderer said to him, “If you are God’s Son, command that this stone become a loaf of bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It has been written that ‘Man shall not live upon bread alone.’” (Luke 4:1-4 "The New Testament: A Translation" by David Bentley Hart)
Just beyond my casting range a loon burst through the surface of the lake, its mouth engorged with my breakfast fish. It was a beautiful early morning, sun on the dock, as I cast my lure fruitlessly but therapeutically. I was mildly affronted, thinking that the loon was perhaps throwing his catch in the face of my futility.
“Who is the real loon?” you may be asking yourself - it was just a loon having breakfast, not a personal affront. Alone with my thoughts can be a wonderful or dangerous place. How can one imagine that a fish in the mouth of a loon is an affront to my dignity?
Quiet and still times are enriched and protected when they are grounded in hearing a seeing the voice and hand of God in life. Laughter at my own foolishness led me to thank God for the beauty of the day and the richness of relationship I was enjoying with my friend at his cottage.
Just as Jesus in a time of extreme isolation managed to ground his responses to crazy thoughts in his relationship with the Father, we can find perspective instead of offense or fear in times of quiet reflection.
A Prayer for Today
O God, thank you for times of wonder and reflection in your creation. Let me see your creativity and love expressed even in a fish being devoured by a loon. Guard my heart and mind from imagined offense and perceived hurt. Guide me to love and guard me from self-interest as Jesus demonstrates over and over …. For Jesus’ sake