Notice Where You Are
By Abigail Nowiski of Lansing, MI, USA
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. —Colossians 1:19–20 NRSV
It was probably a risk sending 15 not-quite and just-barely teenage youth through the labyrinth at the same time, but with a deep breath and a prayer, we did it anyway. One by one, with some distance between them, students in our junior high class at Sanford Family Camp entered the sacred space.
As is often the case when we learn to connect with God in a new way, it was awkward. But afterward, one young lady shared something that resonated loudly within me. She said, “When you are walking in the labyrinth, you can’t worry about where you are going or what is behind you; you just have to focus on where you are.”
What I had first seen as uncomfortable teens looking down at their feet, I now remember as a vision of youth engaging in the practice of noticing where they are.
I thought of the many individuals, congregations, and communities that could benefit from living that practice. What would happen if we stopped worrying about our past mistakes and stopped fretting about the details of the future? We might finally realize the great opportunities in front of us now. Would we stop our usual routine and fill a Sunday morning with the sounds of the gifted singers among us? Would we talk to the neighbors we’ve noticed but never met? Would we offer to journey with a young person wanting somebody to talk to as she explores her own talents? Would we use more words like thanks and appreciate and love?
Let us risk the discomfort of each awkward step toward the unknown future we dream of. Let us become more aware of the great beauty, the significant opportunity, the incredible giftedness, and the magnificent spirit that surrounds us right where we are.
May I see your light in all life.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Light of God
Close your eyes, and become centered with your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light, and it lives in you.