Today’s worship will not be at Old Stone Well Farm in Vermont. Why? Because I have finally done it. I have forced myself to step back and take a real break that involves (after this morning’s note to you) a time to turn off social media and toss the to-do list.
I will be trading the crisp New England mornings running on the trail behind my 18th century home for North Carolina’s soft white beaches and humid mornings. I will finally be making a dent in my tower of books, vowing to finish at least four by the time my break is over. And I will be taking prayer walks — many. I will be allowing my heart to listen to the pounding of the waves and ponder God’s power and majesty. I will observe the gracefulness of the seagulls as they swoop in for their breakfast of fish. I will once again allow my breath to be taking away by the Creator’s artistry as God paints for me sunrises and sunsets.
And so I invite you to join me where ever you are. Join me in reconnecting with God and practicing this day a spiritual discipline — those ancient and holy rituals that our desert mother and fathers, the great mystics and countless ordinary folks like me and you to slow our racing minds, ease our frantic steps, sooth our worried hearts, and reconnect with the One who matters most in our lives — God.
I invite you to go on a prayer walk. Pick a piece of scripture or even a word, and as you walk, pray on it. I invite you to practice the discipline of lectio divina (divine reading). Choose a Scripture read it through first. Then read it again more slowly. Then read it, taking note of what words or sentences draw you in. Then reflect on them. Pray on them. If you are visual, then I invite you to practice praying with art. Find a picture or a landscape that mesmerizes you and gaze with eyes seeking the holy. What do you see? Or join me on the beach. Yes, join me.
Here is a picture just steps from my hotel room. Imagine your feet in the sand with me. Imagine hearing the waves. Imaging standing with me in prayer. Imagine lifting our voices as we sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy” … Lord God, almighty; early in the morning, our song shall rise to thee…
As I worship today, please know I will hold you each in my prayers, praising God for this community He has brought together. Until next Sunday. Blessings and peace to you!
Pastor Donna, the Accidental Country Pastor