By Kerry Richards of Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. -Luke 4:1-2NRSV
On that day, my life collided with the holy in a moment of disrupting, unconditional grace midst an idyllic lakeside setting of autumn beauty. I was not looking for change in my life. To some I was living the dream on our 40 acres of pristine independence. But as I sat there pondering the stillness of creation’s grandeur, I encountered the absence of meaning and purpose in my life. This was in contrast to the indwelling presence of the Spirit which years earlier had been a continuing and moving experience in my life. In the stark awareness of that moment, as the familiar Spirit flooded over me, I remembered times of past joy in ministry. I knew my life must change.
It is one thing to experience realization and another to actually alter your circumstances. The journey began with “yes,” and then puzzle pieces began fitting together. We moved. I found a new job. We began attending church. We invested ourselves in the life of the congregation. We practiced prayerfulness and discovered the blessings of sacred community.
Life has changed for us. The Mission Prayer continues to disrupt my life as I listen and perceive the leadings of the Spirit and empathically enter into the lives of others. Then in these mindful moments with people, I actually make new friendships, find new ways to share grace and generosity, and encounter new ways to experience mutual blessing.
Transformation starts with stillness, with letting go of self. Our Enduring Principles are pathways to encounter the Divine. I was connected to the Sacredness of Creation. You may be focused in stillness upon the Worth of All Persons, the Pursuit of Peace, or Unity in Diversity and discover the Holy entering your life in those moments. Once you experience unconditional grace, you will discover the Spirit calling you to re-evaluate your life, your priorities, and to live authentically.
Daily I strive to live into the person I am called to be. May you also “be still and know God.”
God, may my deep hope align with your deep vision. Release in me anything that keeps me from freely following your Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply as you enter a time of silence. Become gently attentive to what may be restricting you from faithfully responding to the divine invitation in your life. Are there priorities, attachments, tasks, or motivations competing for your response? What does freedom for God look or feel like in you this day?
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.