Dear Urban Abbey Members, a few days ago my mediation book, God Calling, had the following meditation.
"Taste and See"
"O taste and see that the Lord is good"
"He is good. Trust in Him. Know that all is well. Say 'God is good. God is good.' Just leave in His Hands the present and the future, knowing only that he is good. He can bring order out of chaos, good out of evil, peace out of turmoil. God is good.
I and My father are One. One in desire to do good. For God to do good to His children is for Him to share His goodness with them. God is good, anxious to share His goodness, and good things with you, and He will do this. Trust and be not afraid."
I love that song, and even more since we discerned that God calls us at St. George's to feed his people. But to be honest, I don't always feel God's goodness in the turmoil as I look around? I see friends on the pathway for a divorce. Other's fighting for their life against cancer. Others struggling financially. And that doesn't include all the global issues that upset me like corporate greed that is destroying our environment and our political values. The unjust wars, the devastation from manmade and natural disasters in countries with far fewer resources than our own. I do cry out in my soul, "where is the goodness that you promised? Where is the order in the chaos?" And you know, I don't get a flash of instant answer or I am not overwhelmed by peace.
This particular meditation has been on my mind for several days, and I knew I wanted to write about it because I love the image the song writer captured for us so beautifully, "taste and see God's goodness". But as I have been sitting with this piece, I realized I was missing a major point of this meditation. If it is my heart's deepest desire to experience the goodness, I have to trust. I have to leave all these worries and prayers in his hands. It is one thing to say that, another to do it. I mean really leave the present and the future in his hands, "knowing only that he is good". That means I have to leave my ego behind. I have to give up my false sense of control on my world. I have to step out without seeing and tasting and act as if goodness "is". I even have to give up the picture in my head of what I think goodness looks like. That is a practice I have not mastered yet. But if I can do that, truly trust and give up control, I start to "taste and see." Sometimes I taste and see in tiny ways like hearing my daughter read the book "The Runaway Tortilla" and appreciating the fact she can read and goes to a great school and has a phenomenal amount of resources to help her learn and grow. Like literally walking by my fruit bowl and initially smelling and then devouring wonderful candy sweet white peaches. Like being a part of the Urban Abbey where I know others love and care for me. Sometimes I see God's goodness in big things like one day several months ago when I didn't know how we were going to pay our next mortgage and in desperation I asked God "for a break". Two days later a package with an offer to refinance arrived on our doorstep from our mortgage company. God is good.
I can't make the bad go away for my friends and the world, but I can hold up and name God's goodness if I am open enough to taste and see it. Maybe that is a gift we can all do for each other. Where do you taste and see God's goodness? I would love to see a running blog of God goodness in the world. Take a moment and hit the reply button and write where you "taste and see" God's goodness. I think it will help all of us grow in trust.
P.S. By the way, the Leadership Council has been sharing with you things that have touched us in our own spiritual journeys, but our hope is everyone in the Abbey will feel free to offer stories and learnings from your journey. We can all grow from sharing. Feel free to post as you desire.
[posted by George for Angela]