I had the pleasure of spending three days and two nights at Old Oak Ranch in the hills above Sonora, CA, for a Foursquare District Pastors’ Conference. It was a refreshing time. It is amazing what a little change of scenery can do, not to mention spending time with friends you don’t get to see often.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains-
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
So often we think that just doing this or that will change our life. In the first lines in the psalm above it is as if the psalmist is looking longingly to the distance for deliverance and protection. But then he remembers, “No, my help comes from God.” The rest of the psalm conveys how close God is and how lovingly God cares for us.
For me, going to the mountains was only a vehicle to remind me of God’s closeness and continual love, both in the quiet and alone moments as well as in community with others. We can experience the same thing down here in the valley. The same is true with our spiritual disciplines: prayer, reading scripture, meditating, gathering, etc. In and of themselves they only make us more disciplined people. But, if we treat them as vehicles to experience God, we will not be disappointed.
I pray that we find the expressions and disciplines that will be a pathway to experiencing God both as a community and in our personal lives.
Grace and peace,