The Pastor's Peace - May, 2016
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This past week I took a bit of vacation to catch up on things. I stayed home and did glamorous things like doing laundry and paying bills. The life of a jet setter indeed! I did, however, start to walk a bit more in preparation for my sabbatical hike. One day I went for a 7 mile hike, and discovered quite a bit in the process. Firstly, I discovered that I should hike a great deal more before this summer, but I also remembered how nice it is just to walk in nature and not have an agenda or set of tasks taking up my time and attention. At one point in the walk I paused on a bridge and looked down at the river to see a group of geese swimming about. There was within that group another group of baby geese swimming as hard as they could against the current, then falling over, playing a bit, and continuing it all over again. It was truly a beautiful and peaceful sight, provided by none other than God.

How often do I, and we, go about our lives so focused on what we have set as “our” agenda, so focused on what “we” think is important and critical? How many hours do I spend watching something silly on the TV or Internet that barely passes as entertainment? What do we miss when we are so focused on all of the business of our lives? How we spend our hours is how we spend our life. God often provides so much beauty around us through the world and the people in it, but do we even often notice it? I think a bit about the ministry of Jesus as I think about what I might or might not be missing. The disciples and others had very firm ideas about what Jesus should or should not be doing, whom Jesus should or should not be healing, and about what the Son of God should be all about. Jesus paid them no mind; after all he was God incarnate. Instead, he listened to the Father and took direction from God as to how he should live out his ministry. He played with children, healed people no one cared about, and stood up to an empire in a way no one thought possible. In the process Jesus made his followers abandon their pre-conceived notions and instead look to where God was leading them.

Jesus the Christ still does this today. The Holy Spirit is next to each of us, trying to lead us to peace and happiness, despite all the anxiety and issues both real and imagined that surround us.

This spring is a time for many things, but one thing I would recommend is that you take a walk in nature now and again. It doesn’t have to be a long one. If you can’t walk so well, take a drive to someplace in the woods, roll down the windows and just look. Take in the beauty of creation that God has put in place; see the beauty and know you are part of it. Take a deep breath, push whatever is troubling you out of your mind, and say a prayer to God for guidance: you might be surprised what you hear in return.
Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Bryan