Mark 4:26-34
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

To Flourish

To Flourish

We want to flourish,
but sometimes it takes more that just going to bed
and awakening surprised to discover
we didn’t have to do a thing,
our lives prospered,
and we have lives with no problems,
secure in our health
and strong
in heart and soul and body—
dream on…
It takes more
than a good night’s sleep
and the spin of the earth
for us to flourish in mind, soul, being.
We all desire physical, mental, spiritual health,
but what do we do to have
a life of well being,
thriving in perfect harmony from the cradle to the grave?
Do we take it all as it comes?
Are we spending our time
rejoicing when we have something to rejoice about,
taking pride in our physical abilities and strength,
feeling sorrow for those with mental disabilities,
praising God as our spirits soar to the heights?
Do we then turn around and whine and gripe,
at least inwardly,
when our physical abilities fade,
stagger in shock and disbelief
when overcome by our emotions,
question our faith and our God
when our spirits falter?
What do we do
to prepare ourselves
for the times when the going gets really tough?
We can walk, run, work
out to keep up our physical health.
We can choose our friends wisely and positively,
and go to counselors to keep our mental health strong.
But in the end,
after our health fails
and our minds become depressed,
what have we done
to keep our spirits strong for those tough times,
when there seems to be nothing at all left for us?
A baseball player who can field and catch
the most awkward balls
is referred to as someone with “soft hands”.
Meaning that his hands are not tense,
but pliable enough
to hold onto a badly spinning ball
on the worst hop possible.
It seems to me that for our souls to flourish
they need to be “soft” in much the same way
the baseball player’s hands need to be “soft”.
A soft, pliable soul is a strong soul
that has allowed God to work in it
and that soul is open to God’s healing
and strengthening, Spirit.
Praying with an openness for change—
in ourselves and others;
trust in God to be working in ourselves and others,
even when WE don’t see it;
faith that God is present in things
we not only don’t understand,
but also just do not like;
and believing that
the time has come for love
when the opposite seems true.
these are the spiritual practices
that help our spirits to flourish.


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