Holy God, who enlivens each new beginning,
Soak in the stillness of this summer morning. Listen and learn from the choir of crickets, or one gentle birdsong or the growing hum of vehicles. As your gaze swallows in the loveliness around you, remember that the unseen stars still exist. Simply wait for Oneness, then fully entrained with all that is, go out and saturate our world with your creative ways of peace. Amen.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone. Hebrews 12:14
Do you remember how you FELT the first time you encountered God? Take some time to revisit that experience. What is God revealing to you now?
Try this, sit back, close your eyes if you want, take a deep breath and let go. Take another breath and relax as you exhale. Now for just a few moments, visualize one of the beautiful Spring flowers you have seen through this last week, perhaps a blooming bush or tree caught your attention. Breath in its fresh scent. Notice the color and texture of the flower in your mind’s eye. Bring as many details as you can remember, the stamen and pistil, the petals and stem. Follow the flower down through the stem to its roots, where this last week’s rain saturated the ground offering this flower nutrients from the soil. Imagine that all this flower needs to create beauty is being provided by our Creator.
Now take a moment to consider your own life. Imagine God caring for your life in the same way the flower is cared for. Consider the things God is nurturing your life with at present. There is nothing you need to schedule or arrange, nowhere you need to go for the moment, just take some time in the assurance that God is already providing all that you need to bring meaning and purpose to your days. As the flower opens up to reveal the blessing it offers, imagine your life gently opening to reveal something God is using to bless others.
Now look around the garden of your life, at all the other blooms. What attracts or repels you? How is your life connected to the others? Walk right to the center of this garden to the Source of peace and contentment. Inhale that grace deeply. Take a moment to soak up the peace you feel.
When you are ready, you may return your attention to your surroundings and stretch.
God send messengers to inform people about the way God is about to act. “Do not fear” is the most commonly used preface to the word delivered by God’s messengers. It is human instinct to fear change, especially change that occurs without our own control. Fear might be the antithesis to faith. If the prophets and angels had said, “have faith, for God is about to do a new thing,” would that mean the same thing?
Change almost always asks us to let go of one thing and take on another. We change addresses. We change jobs. Most of the time, transitions are not about an equal exchange. I love the kind of change that incorporates who we are and where we have been into who we are becoming. One perfect way to consider this is when a new family member enters our circle through birth or marriage. Change widens our experience especially when we let go and learn how to embrace the new. Another not so easy way to embrace change is when a clinical diagnosis is made. Change during illness may not feel like a widening experience. It may mean accepting many new limitations. I had one friend enduring cancer who told me that even as she was letting go, her prayer life was expanding. She was entering into the expanse of God’s love. Her faith was widening. Why do we wait for a diagnosis to do such a thing?
Start today, limit your fear and love wide as you experience changes in your life, and become the new thing God is doing in our world. Join me in considering ways for the church of Jesus Christ to be transformed, that we might demonstrate limiting our fear and widening our love for the world.
I love to hike. There is something about entering a trail that draws you in to the quiet hush of nature. You find yourself surrounded you by leafy branches and whippoorwill. Your steps become intentional as you navigate around the occasional fallen tree. At the top of the mountain the hike gets steeper, just above tree line where the boulders and rock ledges provide tiny crevasses to get a foothold as you crawl up to the highest elevation. You haven’t seen the view from the top yet, but it is your single-hearted focus as your muscles burn and breathing quickens. This is my favorite part of the hike. Like the end of pregnancy, you love the baby inside of you and cannot wait to hold her, then realize you already are.
Think about that. What is the mountain you are climbing now? Which part of the path are you on? Are there others on the path ahead of you? What view of new life is emerging? Transformation is an ongoing process. Sometimes it seems like there is not too much going on. Perhaps things are happening at the cellular level, at the very least, oxygen is being exchanged, breath is moving, Spirit is alive.
In the already, wait wholeheartedly, for the not yet.
Post Script: My office renovation is waiting wholeheartedly for the recovery of our carpenter and friend who is receiving treatment for a medical issue.
New clarity, new viewpoints, new perspectives arise when hidden things are revealed. Have you ever uncovered something in your life that you had no idea was there until a wall came down and suddenly you could see things very differently? These two windows, hidden by a wall until just last week, provide tremendous light between the pastor’s office and the sanctuary. Suddenly, new clarity is given both the congregation and the pastor. Slowly, new light shines through at different angles than ever before. I can’t wait till the sun comes up!