What Will Come Next?
By Kelsey Shantz of Washington, DC, USA
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. -Matthew 4:1-2 NRSV
My trip to the International Youth Forum (IYF) in Kenya in 2005 required three flights: Kansas City to Chicago, Chicago to London, and London to Nairobi. With each flight the reality of the situation became much clearer, and my apprehension grew more and more. Before boarding my final flight from London to Nairobi, I wondered, “What will come next? Will I be safe? I’m not sure what I will face or if I am prepared for it.”
As the zones were called for boarding the flight to Nairobi, I diligently gathered my belongings. I took a deep breath as I handed over my boarding pass and took my first step. As I moved down the jet way to the cabin of the plane, I faced my fear with an intentionality and assuredness that can only come from the Holy Spirit. I did not know what would come next, but I did know my steps were being guided, and I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I took a leap of faith that day, and my life has been forever changed because of it.
Sometimes it’s just a first step that leads us to something we could never imagine. Sometimes, in order to fulfill Christ’s mission, we must listen to that still, small voice beckoning and granting us courage to move forward into the unknown.
Our anxieties come from many different sources, but by facing them with a brave and open heart, we open ourselves to a spiritual awakening with our God. In this space of unfamiliarity and discomfort, there is room to be moved and changed. In courageous decisions there is a profound opportunity for spiritual practice.
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.