During Pastor Russ’ renewal sabbatical, we are being encouraged to ReConnect with God. On page 9 (click here for the online instructions) of our ReConnect Resource Guide, we are given some steps for taking a meditation walk.
This week, I decided to embark on a meditation walk. Rather than choosing a park that would “offer some quiet from city life”, I took my meditation walk at Praise Park. Throughout the walk, I could see the Jackson R. Lehman Family YMCA. I could hear the noise of the traffic along St. Joe Center Road. And, I could smell whatever was cooking at the neighbor’s house!
To begin the walk, it was difficult to remove myself from those distractions. To be honest, I spent a decent amount of time praying for the Aspire ministry at the YMCA. I found myself offering words of Matthew 9:37, asking that “the God of the harvest will send out workers for his harvest.” Not to miss an opportunity, if God is stirring you to be one of the workers for his harvest at Aspire, contact me!
So, I was distracted by the surrounding environment. Only adding to the distraction was the fact that it smelled like the neighbor was cooking bacon. Therefore, this struggling, reluctant vegan was daydreaming about all the foods he no longer consumes!
I decided to stop and sit by one of the ponds. While there, I read the following verse: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it” (Exodus 20:11).
This verse reminded me of the importance of rest and renewal. You see, in the busyness of preparing for the launch of Aspire, I find myself feeling guilty for taking time for rest. But God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, understood and demonstrated for us the importance of rest and renewal. In order to do the work God is calling us to do, we need to work hard and rest well. That verse reminded me not to feel guilty about doing what God has called us to do…rest!
Following this brief reflection, I worked through the 12 scriptures and readings listed in our ReConnect resource guide. These readings helped me slow down and take in the beauty surrounding me that day at Praise Park. The readings reminded me of seeing the beauty of God in all things. The readings reminded me of the importance of rest and renewal.
This week, I’d like to encourage all of us to slow down and take intentional steps to ReConnect with God. Take time to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation by going on a meditation walk. And, may we never feel guilty for taking time for rest and renewal!
A Letter From Pastor Jason
Pastor of New Faith Communities