Monday, April 26, 2010

Wee Beady Eyes...

I'm probably as surprised as anybody...

I've never been into snakes, but April has become 'snake month' for me and it's been something weirdly fascinating to find these guys all over the place.

There were five or more coiled up together. I tried to pick one up (with a 'grabber' we use for picking up trash from our mowers) and, surprisingly, he/she didn't like it. Live and learn, I guess. :)

Plainbelly Water Snake, I think.

The sky was also brilliantly blue today, with fluffy white, cotton candy clouds... beautiful. It almost looks like a screen-saver.

Which reminds me... we discussed a book in South Africa a couple years ago called What's Your God Language? by Myra Perrine. (It's a continuation and elaboration of a book from the mid-70's about spiritual temperaments). We were talking about why some people seem to struggle doing their quiet times, while others can sit and pray and meditate for hours; why people can worship the same God, but struggle to understand or connect with each other; why some people can devour books in one sitting, while others avoid them like the plague; why some people, like Mother Theresa, can be energized by serving the poorest of the poor while others are devastated and overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible need.

Without going to the book for a definition, my personal description of a spiritual temperament is the place or environment in your life where you best connect with God. It's different than a spiritual gift. It's not necessarily for the benefit of anyone but us. It's the personal and most natural conduit that God has wired us with to relate to Him at the core of our being. Mrs. Perrine identifies nine temperaments. (I've seen others identify as few as four or as many as twelve).

Some people connect best with God by wading through deep theological books and age-old arguments. (maybe, by using the term 'wading,' you can guess that this is not one of my primary places of connection with God... I could also use the words- plodding, trudging, suffocating). Some people feel closest to God when they are fighting for a cause, or for the welfare of a person or group of people. These people thrive in places and discussions of social justice. Some people feel closest or most in tune with God through the smell of incense and the sound of voices reverberating off domed cathedrals.

I am what the book would describe as a 'naturalist.' I connect best with Jesus when I'm exposed to the natural, created world.

So... if you wonder why I take pictures of snakes or deer, clouds or blue skies, daffodils and tulips- it's because those things renew my perspective on who God is, and who I am in relation to Him. It's why I think fishing on a cool spring evening is one of the most relaxing and calming things for my spirit. It's why my heart catches or jumps a bit when I see a shooting star. It's why spring has given me a jolt this year. 

I encourage you to read the book. To whet your appetite, here's a list of the nine temperaments:
The Activist
The Ascetic
The Caregiver
The Contemplative
The Enthusiast
The Intellectual
The Naturalist
The Sensate
The Traditionalist

Which one are you? Or... what combination of those temperaments make you come alive to the wonder and presence of God in your life and world?


Marc, Sarah, and Luke April 26, 2010 at 10:03 PM  

Thanks for book idea, Jim...I might have to pick this one up.

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