A Season to Rejoice
Deb Crowley of Urbandale, IA, USA
For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,
says the LORD, who has compassion on you. -Isaiah 54:10
Standing in a tree pose to strengthen balance is challenging. Wobbling on one leg, the instinct is to look down at your foot or arms in an effort to remain stable. Instead the teacher instructs us to look into the mirror at a distance to help steady the pose.
The room is lined with mirrors in front and in back of the class. Looking straight ahead does improve balance, but what strikes me most is the view in the mirror. With about 20 senior citizens in the class on any given day the mirror reflects hundreds of us!
It reminds me of the scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 161 which instructs us to “Lift up your eyes and fix them on the place beyond the horizon to which you are sent.” What a view when the focus travels beyond our own being, those surrounding us, or our own spheres where we spend our time and energy. As we look beyond the horizon, we discover a whole world of people just like us, loved by God individually and collectively. The focus beyond “me” is enlightening and energizing and brings life balance.
The scripture continues, “Claim your unique and sacred place within the circle of those who call upon the name of Jesus Christ. Be faithful to the spirit of the Restoration, mindful that it is a spirit of adventure, openness, and searching.”
Our congregation has intentionally begun reaching beyond our comfort zone, beyond the pews! As we engage in the lives of people receiving services and give time and effort to delivering food; preparing bags for delivery; filling first aid boxes; helping at the mobile food pantry; crocheting plastic bag mats; contributing food, toilet paper, and other needed items, it becomes more than giving away “stuff” or time. We are increasing interaction with neighbors around the church and on the food delivery routes for the homeless. For a moment in time souls God loves so deeply become more than faces in a mirror. George, Art, Gail, Mary, and others become real to us and bring blessing to our lives and community.
This is a reason to rejoice! God, let us continue to look beyond the horizon and “walk proudly and with a quickened step. Be a joyful people. Laugh and play and sing, embodying the hope and freedom of the gospel.”
“Trust what is being born” (Stephen M. Veazey, Words of Counsel, 2019).
Deepen your breathing as you enter a few moments of silent presence to God. Pay attention first to your own life as you gently ask and notice, “What is most alive in me right now? What is being born in me?” After a few moments of silent listening, ask these questions of your community, the church, and the world. Notice how the Spirit is revealing new life and possibility as you prayerfully ask these questions over time.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.