(this was shared with the Trinity UMC congregation in the most recent edition of our newsletter - I tend to think it speaks to each of us as we grow in faith...Happy New Year!)
Last New Year’s Eve I, like so many others, made a resolution to lose weight. I did not have a particular goal in mind; I just knew I needed to lose weight. Actually, I wanted to lose weight. And that is what made all the difference.
By making a few subtle adjustments to my diet and increased exercise, walking more and tai chi a few times a week, I have lost 28 pounds. It’s not an earth shattering amount, but it has made a huge difference in how I feel. Because I have integrated these healthier practices into my daily life I anticipate losing more weight in the next year as well.
We all know that to have a deeper relationship with God we need to do certain things; participate in worship, read scripture, pray, Bible study, service to others, etc. But, like most things, until we want to engage in a new way of being, or until we see the benefits of investing our time and energy in doing so, it’s hard and often lonely work and quite frankly, it’s easy to just give up.
Our faith journey is not supposed to be done in secret or alone. That’s the beauty of being part of a faith community and it’s the genius of the Wesleyan/United Methodist tradition. I fear this is something we tend over look and in the end why so many of us start with good intentions, but give up after a few days or weeks.
As we head into a new year I would like to invite those who are ready to integrate new spiritual practices in their day to day living to know that you are not alone. One of the best parts of my vocation is walking alongside people, providing encouragement and resources for one’s faith journey. Please contact me by phone or email so that we may set up a time to talk and pray together about how God is inviting you to take the next step in your faith life.
Walking together in our spiritual lives makes for a much richer experience; as one of my favorite scripture passages says;
“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14. NIV)
Each of us has something that is holding our hearts and minds captive or apart from a deeper relationship with God. But God’s love and grace knocks down those barriers, and this is Good News for us all as we begin a new year!
It is my prayer that we each grow closer to our amazing, loving Triune God in 2011. As we journey together I also pray that we will in turn share the hope, joy and peace that comes along with being a follower of Jesus Christ with everyone we interact with in our day to day lives. This will look different for each of us because we are each beloved and unique children of God. (I love how creative God is by the way!)
May you and yours have a very blessed Christmas and a New Year that overflows with the Abundance of God’s Love and Grace!
In Christ, together,