Wake Up to the World around You
By Daniel Harmon of Claremont, CA, USA
For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. —Romans 14:17–19 NRSV
Recently I was facing an undesirable task: replacing the windshield in my car. After a week or two of procrastination, I scheduled an appointment and arranged to have the repair done. I drove from Claremont to Covina, backpack in tow, ready to sit at the repair place for a few hours reading seminary texts and writing a paper. I dropped off my car, found my seat in the waiting room, put on headphones, and pulled out my book, ready to dig into the history of Christianity.
In that moment, the Mission Prayer overwhelmed my thoughts. Though I tried to read, I could not focus, and the words persisted: God, where will your spirit lead today? Help me be fully awake and ready to respond. Grant me courage…
A woman sat a few seats away from me, the only other person in the waiting room. I decided to take a risk, taking action with the hope of becoming a blessing. I asked her, “So, do you have some crazy story about your cracked windshield, or was it a pretty standard rock bouncing in the road?” We began chatting, first about how somebody had hit her windshield and broken it, but then about how it happened at her grandson’s birthday party. Eventually we were talking about her family, her interests, her life, and her story.
In that moment God was inviting me, and her, to the blessing of encounter. In a place of stress and worry, a car window repair shop, we invited each other to share our stories. As others entered, they sensed the invitation we initiated. People began talking, laughing, and sharing experiences. Away from our usual daily rhythms, we formed community and shared in life together.
Mission encounters are shaped by the formation of brave, new relationships. How can we more deeply embrace this concept? How can we better discern divine calling in the midst of ordinary and sometimes undesired daily tasks? Are we willing to put down the book, take off the headphones, and wake up to the world around us? May we always be more present and alert to God’s promptings and call to mission in our daily lives. Amen.
God is with us.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Ordinary time is a season for awakening to God’s presence in all the details and circumstances of our everyday, ordinary lives. Wherever you are, pay attention to your surroundings. Allow yourself to be fully present for a time with whatever is before you. Where do you sense God with you right now exactly where you are?
How does today’s story invite you to discover God in the realities of your everyday life?
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.