Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
There are days when it feels like the tasks for the day are overwhelming. There are days when I feel like I have accomplished absolutely nothing. There are days when I am inundated with requests and emails and meetings, when staying focused on the big picture is close to impossible. These words from 1 Thessalonians probably should be taped to the back of my hand to look at every few minutes. While you might be thinking “what a great tattoo,” I am way too afraid of needles to entertain that thought.
A huge part of this passage is practicing what Buddhists call “mindfulness”. If I am always rejoicing, if I’m praying without ceasing, and if I am always thankful as the passage urges, then I will see the world and the circumstances of life a whole lot differently. I clearly have not arrived at this state of mind, and I do more than my fair share of grumbling and complaining about a whole lot of things.
Today several things happened to remind me of this passage. Some of them were really amazing, unexpected graces and some of them were really challenging circumstances that will require ongoing attention. One of the weekly practices here among the CTUCC staff team is to pray for churches and leaders of the Conference. The email with the list of leaders and churches begins with this quote:
Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” ― Maya Angelou, Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer
As I pause today to offer these quick reflections, I pray that you will join me in rejoicing, in praying, and giving thanks. May you be blessed by God’s presence and abiding love for you this day.
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