I can’t believe that it’s already February. Even though it feels like the year is racing along, I was reminded in my reading this week that not every moment needs to feel that way.
In the morning, long before sunrise, Jesus went to a place where he could be alone to pray.
Mark 1:35 (GW)
This passage takes place not too long after the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. His popularity was surging and pressure began to increase for him to heal and deliver those who were brought before him. He knew that the only time he could spend refreshing his spirit was early in the morning. He chose to pause the rush of the day, even before it began, and enjoy spending time in God’s presence.
Not many of us experience the pressures that Jesus did, but being human we do go through stressful times just like he did. We can take a page out of Jesus’ playbook and find time to spend with the Lord. I’m not here to make prescriptions, but if we understand the “why,” the “how” will become apparent. I was encouraged by Leonard’s story during our Sacred Reading this last Sunday about how he was feeling disconnected from the Lord and so he decided to take a prayer walk. Since he made time to present himself before God, he was later able to hear a message of love and grace from the Lord to him.
We all need regular encounters with the Lord. I pray that as we open our hearts to experience God’s presence, the Holy Spirit will show us what it is we need to do to connect with the Lord in a way that speaks love, imparts grace, and strengthens us to continue in our walk of faith with Jesus.
If you set spiritual New Year’s resolutions this year, I hope you’ve been able to keep them up. If not, or if you would like to infuse your spiritual life with a challenge, Lent begins on February 17. Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter and is typically a season of prayer, fasting, and devotion in preparation for the celebration of God resurrecting Jesus from the dead. It might even be a season of discipline by which new spiritual practices can become a regular expression of faith.
Let’s put a pause on the rush of the day and take time to enjoy God’s presence.
Grace and peace,