Errant Hay bales of Life

…slow down and keep your priorities in order. Don’t put off praising God because of the errant hay bales of life…

via On the Vine.

Monks, like those who farm or fish according to seasons and tides, are especially attuned to the language nature speaks, and they tend to have a healthy and realistic humility regarding their own control over the events of life.”
Kathleen Norris

I was walking down the 3/4 mile road from the retreatants’ house to the Abbey Chapel and there they were. Two hay bales on the road, with remnants of a third in the ditch. A closer inspection showed tractor marks in the gravel road, at angles that made it appear someone had tried turning around on the road.

The bales had not been there when we walked back from Sext (Midday Prayer). But they were there a few hours later, and there they stayed until at least mid-morning the next day.

When I first saw them, along with the road sign “SLOW DOWN,” I thought of a funny caption. “Yes, even nuns make mistakes.” But, at Vespers (Evening Prayer), I watched the sisters diligently chanting the Psalms, and thought of how at least one of the nuns in front of me knew about the hay in the road, and knew the bales needed to be moved. I scanned the nuns on each side of the chapel, each one looking as calm as the next. The sister who was responsible for moving the bales didn’t skip Vespers to work on the hay. She knew that it would get done in due time. Her job now was to worship God. She had a “healthy and realistic humility” regarding her control over the events in her life.

That’s one of the lessons I am always reminded of at the Abbey: slow down and keep your priorities in order. Don’t put off praising God because of the errant hay bales of life.