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The journey theme has always held a special attraction for me. The first journey I can remember is my journey along the cow path on our farm inArkansas. One of my childhood chores was to bring home the cows. To do this I had to walk through the woods to the pasture. These were my first meditation walks. As I walked the cow path, I would watch for little animals on the way. I would feast on the sight of all the wild flowers. Under some of the trees I would find layers and layers of green moss, which I imagined to be an outside carpet for the elves.
Wonder filled my young heart as I journeyed along the old cow path. Questions were born and mysteries solved. Indeed it became a walk filled with mystery. There were burning bushes everywhere I looked. All unknown to me at that fragile age I carried within my heart the seed of three virtues that were to be of untold value to me in my later years. Their names? Hope! Love! Faith! Along with Wonder and Mystery these have been significant seasons on my spiritual journey.
My feet have always taken me to places where my heart has whispered we should go. My heart has been a wonderful teacher. It is also my favorite burning bush. God keeps calling to me from the midst of it, getting my attention and directing my feet toward new paths. Some of these new paths have prompted me to revise and expand Seasons of Your Heart. I've grown up a lot since meandering along the old cow paths. I've even done a little growing since the first edition of this book was published. A revised, expanded edition of a book gives the book a chance to grow up with itsauthor.
Some of my new journeys have acquainted me with prophets whose cries have changed my life. My heart has been newly awakened to many injustices throughout the world that we have lived with far too long.
My retreat ministry has led me to the holy ground of much brokenness and woundedness in people's lives. At the same time I have become truly aware of the tremendous potential for healing in the human spirit. The unfailing power of prayer and the connectedness of those who pray with and for one another have renewed my hope.
These reflections and prayers, then, have grown out of a daily listening to God in the changing seasons of my spiritual life. My seasons keep changing. My heart keeps burning. My feet keep moving.
The seasons of my heart change like the seasons of the fields. There are seasons of wonder and hope, seasons of suffering and love, seasons of healing. There are seasons of dying and rising, seasons of faith.
I am part of the earth that God wants to share with the world. I am God's story told in the changing colors of autumn, winter, spring, and summer. When I pray, my heart cries out the story of my life. These prayers have been born out of my seasonal struggle with God. I share with you the seasons of my heart. Perhaps, in some way, they are the seasons of your heart. This book is meant to be a companion, a kind of prayer book, to bless you as you walk with God through the seasons of your heart.
These reflections have grown out of my conviction that our God is not some Almighty Being beyond us, but a Mystery within. There is a part of us that cannot rest until it knows completion. We suspect, on days when our eyes are wide open, that most things in life are passing. We watch life come and go. Our hearts change with the seasons. But deep inside, where it's hard to reach, most of us believe there is something about us that will outlast those changing seasons something that will never die. We spend much of our lives trying to understand this Mystery within.
Perhaps you have also felt within you this stirring of the eternal. Praying with this book, then, will be a little like a journey into yourself, a walk through the seasons of your heart. It will, of course, be a journey unfinished, for our call into the depths of who we are is so vast that no one, can show us how to get there in a lifetime, and surely not in one small book.
The God we walk with has many faces. We call these faces shown to us, Revelation. We call the walk with God, Communion. You are invited to walk slowly. Watch for the change of seasons as you walk, and notice how bits of other seasons linger in every walk.
As you prayerfully walk through these pages there will be images along the way to help you with your journey. Each symbol suggests a mental posture for you to adopt. Each suggests a way of tapping the eternal within you.
"Taking Off Your Shoes" is a call to let go. It's a call to emptiness and poverty, to detachment and simplicity. It holds out to you the wonder that's possible when the clutter is gone. This is truly the season of wonder.
"Standing on Tiptoe" calls you to vision, expectation, and birth. It is the Epiphany season, inviting you to see what is difficult to see. It is the season of hope.
"Washing Feet" is a call to service, to conversion. It is the season of your birth as a disciple. It says, "No," to any form of apathy. It is the season of love.
"Racing to the Tomb" asks of you the willingness to die and rise. This season encourages you to risk walking through the known into the unknown. It calls you to journey through the Paschal Mystery. Indeed, it is the season of mystery.Seasons of Your Heart. Copyright © by Macrina Wiederkehr. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.