The Pastor's Ponderings is a weekly note from one of the pastors that is sent to the congregation. If you would like to be included in the list of subscribers to the Ponderings, you can subscribe here. Current subscribers wishing to unsubscribe can do that here as well. The latest Pondering is below.

A Chance to See

Perhaps it is fitting that the last day of our January freeze is resulting in skate-worthy driveways and walks. As I look out at our yard, I see a couple of deer meandering through, looking for something to munch, squirrels chasing each other up the trees, and birds flittering in the sunlight.

This is winter and we would expect nothing less. Our California-based son, who came home for Christmas, lamented that he forgot how gray everything looks back here in the winter. He is now on a travel film shoot in Costa Rica, so his gray days are over for now.

For me, I see a lot in nature this time of year - it is just different. The sun's rays bring light and shadow into contrasts that we don't see the rest of the time. Edges of things become more pronounced. We get to see tree branches for what they are, and not only leaves. Birds are more visible in all their beauty. Seen any cardinals lately? And earth's quiet slows us down, even briefly, into a peacefulness that conserves energy and invites thoughtfulness.

I attended a day-long workshop last week entitled, "Finding and Connecting to Our Purpose". This gave me the chance to be inspired by ideas and insights from the presenter and others in the room. It was a frigid day, and as I looked out of the window, I saw dozens of birds that appeared to be dancing. Were they just trying to stay warm? At the break, I went over to see what was drawing them - it was a bird feeder. Actually, watching them was feeding me. The workshop provided me some time to look inward for a while and to ponder quotes like these:

"What does it mean to move from being the best in the world to being the best for the world?"

"What is for you won't go past you." (Scottish saying)

"Rather than seeing is believing - what we see we already believe - so the task is to see (and hear) with bigger eyes (and ears)."

Winter is a gift that invites us to see what we may not otherwise see, including what is going on inside us. I invite you into the graceful gift of winter.

In Christ's love,