Notice Where You Are
Abigail Nowiski of Lansing, MI, USA
Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called-that you might inherit a blessing. For “Those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. -1 Peter 3:8-11
It was probably a risk sending fifteen 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.
“Light dawns on a weary world.” CCS 240
The Light of God
Epiphany invites us to focus on the light of God. Close your eyes and draw your attention to 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.
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.