Our September worship gathering was cancelled due to a thunder storm.
Our theme would have been Gelassenheit - a German word used over the centuries by Christian mystics, Anabaptists, and now eco-theologians and environmental ethicists. It is often translated as yieldedness, though some other words might be composure, tranquility, serenity, unhurried, calm, easy-going, and laid-back. Gelassenheit is a form of releasing ourselves from our egos or from anthropocentrism, and opening to mystery and connection with the world around us, with the divine among us.
As I was thinking about the turning of the seasons, this idea of yielding came to mind. Summer yields to Autumn; the lighter half of the year yields to the darker half of the year; flowers yield to seeds, leaves yield to the earth, growth yields to dormancy. This kind of yielding is happening all around us.
“The idea of “waiting” in Gelassenheit is distinguishably different from our normal idea of waiting for something that is named, and is more about waiting upon, which has the feel of a gift being bestowed. … What Gelassenheit offers is the opportunity to look at another way of being… By letting that which is apart from us come to us on its own terms rather than on ours, we are in a listening mode whereby objectification ceases. An experience reaches us from beyond. … In silence and listening things come out to meet us.” (Sharon Harvey)
Set aside some time to go outside and open yourself to what is happening around you - wait upon creation, wait upon God's wisdom, and see what happens.
“Be still and know that I am God.” - Psalm 46:10
All around us, we see summer yielding to autumn. What lessons might we learn from adopting a similar posture?
A little prayer inspired by a daily chore and the mysteries that happen as my food and garden waste transforms into fertile soil.
Bless these scraps
these left behind treasures.
Bless this little pile of transformation
where death and life intermingle
and miracles happen.
- Wendy Janzen
Reflections, poetry, prayers, photos, and resources written by Wendy Janzen unless otherwise noted.