Saturday, May 17, 2014

Monk, Artist, Mystic

     I am going to start living like a monk   

     in the world daily by                              

     drinking from the well

     of God's word,

     basking in His unfailing love,

     praying intercessory prayers,

     working with my hands,

     taking time to be outdoors,

     slowing down to notice

     the beauty and the holy

     in the ordinary,

     hearing the birds sing, 

     listening to the whistling

     of the wind as it

     causes the trees to sway.



     I am going to start living like an artist

     in the world daily by

     holding things close

     in my thoughts until time 

     for recording observations

     using whatever means

     are available whether

     writing privately in my journal

     or publicly on my blog, 

     in prose or poetry,

     audio or video,

     drawing or painting,

     photographing or

     making collages,

     all with praise to God.



     I am going to start living like a mystic

     in the world daily by    

     affirming the    

     incarnation of Jesus,

     who left the glory of heaven

     on a mission to save mankind,

     becoming fully human, 

     yet also fully God;

     by seeing the hand of

     the Three-In-One

     in all my circumstances

     knowing that although

     I make many plans

     He is the one who

     guides my way.


This poem was inspired by an exercise in the book The Artist's Rule by Christine Valters Paintner of Abbey of the Arts

A monk is usually thought of as one who lives in a monastery along with others of the same mind who keep themselves in seclusion from the world at large, but Christine invites us all to be "monks in the world" by becoming more aware and fully present in our everyday tasks wherever we are and by taking time for more rest, contemplation, and hospitality, among other things.  To find out more about what she means you can check out this page of the Abbey of the Arts website.

According to http://www.rhymezone.com/ an artist is "a person whose creative work shows sensitivity and imagination."  I believe we are all artists of a sort.  Any work we do no matter how mundane can be done artistically with a little imagination.  As human beings made in the image of God we all have a capacity to create.

A mystic, according to Rhymezone, is simply "someone who believes in the existence of realities beyond human comprehension,"  and as an adjective can mean "having an import not apparent to the senses nor obvious to the intelligence, beyond ordinary understanding."  As a believer in God, I consider myself a mystic because He and his works are "beyond ordinary comprehension."

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