Lenten Devotional: Monday, Feb. 22

by Katie Calkin

Acts 17:28
In God we live, move and exist.

I have thought about this verse many times since last summer’s VBS – with “yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” from the song tacked on, of course.  It’s just a few simple words, but what a change in perspective they can create.  In one of Richard Rohr’s recent email meditations, he asked readers to consider the places where we constrict – where our thoughts or actions are rooted in scarcity, pettiness, fear, despair.  My mindfulness practice this Lent is to notice when I’m constricting (yikes, it’s often), and do something tangible to expand – to remember that in God I live, move and exist.  For example, when I was swimming yesterday my mind wanted to put a conversation in which I felt wronged on a replay loop.  The small self sure loves to fan the flames of righteous indignation.  Over and over I turned my attention away from that story and followed my long, steady exhales.  Eventually my thoughts began to wander in a more expansive way.  I remembered that person’s thoughtlessness no doubt came out of her own suffering, that I could choose to let go of my inflamed reaction, and that next time I saw her I could smile, soften my heart, and make space for God to live, move and exist between us.

Prayer: Loving God, Thank you for each breath that I take.  Help me to breathe and live expansively.  When the world says that I should worry, fear and despair, help me to live generously, move with kindness and exist in the flow of your endless love.