Friday Five: Vital Connection
For this week’s Friday Five on the RevGalBlogPal website, Sally writes:
OK I’ll admit it, right now I am exhausted, there is so much going on and so much to do that I fell like I am running around in small circles, add to that the fact that there is so much that I’d like to do ….
What I need to do is give myself permission (make myself) to stop and to refocus, to breath the air and smell the roses to get perspective and to rest in God’s presence, and sometimes that can be hard to achieve but I know that the harder it gets, the more essential it becomes. Somewhere deep inside I hear the Spirit whispering to my soul:
Live in me, make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself, but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined to me… (John 15: 4)
So I want to ask you
1. How do you intentionally make a vital daily connection with God? What roots you and gives you life?
I am a nature kind of girl. The cool dark air when I step out on the back porch first thing in the morning to let the dog out, or the sunrise I get to watch each morning after I drop the kids off at school, or the azalea blooms all around the church decorating my walking breaks with Rookie – these are the kinds of things most likely to make me most aware of my connection with the holy.
2. Do you have a favourite space/ place that you go to?
In light of my first answer, it probably is no surprise that I like to head outdoors. The beach is my all-time favorite place. Nothing tops the sights, sounds, and smells along the coast. The beach is my peaceful listening place. I also like to slip away to the gardens at Mepkin Abbey. A walk in one of the parks along the rivers here, especially Riverfront or Waterfront, or a walk along the Battery works well, too.
3. Is there a particular passage, phrase or prayer that brings you immediately into God’s presence?
Two scripture passages come to mind immediately.
First is the passage in I Kings 19:11-12 where Elijah goes out on the mountain for the presence of God to pass by. First came the wind, then the earthquake, then the fire. But the voice of the Lord was in none of these. Then came the silence, out of which God spoke in a whisper.
Since it is so easy for me to get lost in the flow of the day (and the flow of media), or in whatever the latest crisis might be, or in the most pressing “emergency,” I need to be reminded to be quiet and to be still every now and then.
That leads to the second – my call to quiet – from Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.”
4. Music- essential ingredient or distraction- discuss
If I am outdoors, then music is a distraction for me. When I am on the beach, soaking in the sounds of the waves, the seagulls, the wind, the squeals of delight from children and the contented talk of adults, I am mortified to see someone blocking all of that out with earphones. That’s like going to an art museum with a blindfold on! Normally I find it excruciating to try to run without music, but if I am running on the beach, I don’t want or need it.
Inside, however, when I am studying, reading, writing, or thinking, music (especially instrumental music) can be helpful – although I probably wouldn’t rank it as essential most of the time.
5. Silence and solitude or engagement with like minded others?
I am an introvert through and through. While I love worshiping with others, even large numbers of others (think Anderson Auditorium at Montreat), for me to find those moments of connection that sustain me, I need time alone as well. Like everything else in life, I need a balance.