Over the last month weekends we spent in celebration. I went to my brother and sister’s university graduation in Sault Ste. Marie, I attended a Bridal Shower, a Bachelorette Party and managed to squeeze in a birthday party for my husband. We’ve been busy. This weekend I’ve been able to relax a little. It’s been nice.
I’ve not been able to relax too much however as I do have to work tomorrow. That being said I’ve never been a person to allow a little work to ruin a beautiful afternoon. I took my laptop out on the patio and sat in my backyard oasis while I did some editing. It was heaven.
As I sat out on the back deck, enjoying the sunshine and sipping on some Iced Pomegranate Green Tea that my husband brought me I started thinking about how much work went into creating this lovely environment. Over the years we’ve added to the garden, installed a retractable awning, hung baskets and fought against a particularly stubborn colony of carpenter bees. We’ve cleaned and scrubbed and called for help when it was needed. A backyard garden is not something that can be ignored.
That’s the way of things, isn’t it? You cannot ignore something and expect it to remain perfect and functional. Our garden, like our home needs maintenance and care. We must tend to things in order to keep things working the way we would like.
As maintenance is required in homes and gardens, so it is required in faith. In order for us to function well we need to perform constant maintenance. We need to fill ourselves with God’s truth by reading, discussing and examining scriptures. We must pray and open ourselves to a relationship with God. It’s not easy, sometimes it’s work but it’s incredibly rewarding.
For the past 55 days I’ve been getting up around 6 to read the Bible and pray. Some mornings are more productive than others. Some days I read more than I pray and other days it’s the exact opposite. There is but one constant, God. There is one thing that matters, my relationship with God. This personal time, this private time with God was not something I had allowed for myself on a regular basis before. Often times my private reflection time was overwhelmed by Sunday preparation. I wasn’t a diligent as I should have been about personal reflection. I had forgotten to do regular maintenance and was in jeopardy of breaking down completely.
I have discovered much about myself these past 55 days. I love the quiet time in the morning and am grateful for a chance to give thanks and embrace the stillness before the day begins. In adding this activity to my already busy life I’ve actually found more time. I’ve discovered peace. I’ve shifted my priorities. I’ve embraced a life with fewer worries and have found that going with God is a heck of a lot easier than fighting him. It’s been wonderful, challenging and incredibly rewarding. Much like tending a garden I’ve watched my own faith grow and change.
Maintaining our faith requires work and this is something we in ministry often forget. We think we’re doing maintenance when really we’re helping others on their journey. In order for us to function well we need to set aside time for spiritual development and reflection. I think the same can be said for those sitting in the pews. It’s easy to attend church on Sunday and expect the minister to do the work for us. We want to come into a pretty garden, not do the work to help create it. Faith is work. Faith requires some effort.
This morning I ran across a passage that says it all:
“…In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
We need to make time in our busy lives for God. We must return to God’s presence frequently to find strength and peace. In that quiet time we will discover who we are. In that quiet time we will find God.
How will you find your quiet this week?
How will you meet God?