Home > Uncategorized > Weekly Lifelines 6/14/20

Weekly Lifelines 6/14/20

The other day, for the first time in way too long, I walked St. Luke’s labyrinth. Until winter intervened last year, I’d been walking it three or four times a week. But when spring came, so did coivd, and with no labyrinth at home, I fell out of the practice. But as soon as I stepped back in, I noticed how good it felt to be back on the path. I’d missed spending time walking with God along that circuitous way.
Almost as soon as I re-discovered my joy, I was accosted by a swarm of tiny black bugs trying to make a meal out of me. It was incredibly frustrating. I’d breathe deeply only to be interrupted by ‘e e e e e e eeeeeeeEEEEEEEE’ and a stinging pain on my temple. And yet, annoying as that swarm was, I was grateful for the reality check.
Those little bugs reminded me that spiritual path isn’t always smooth or pleasant or even productive. Sometimes the warm sun and gentle breeze speak of God’s presence with us and offer new direction. And just as often a swarm of bugs puts a limit any awareness beyond their tiny bites. I wanted to shout, “Forget about God—this hurts!” But I kept walking. I kept walking because distraction isn’t the enemy of practice, it’s what refines practice. The annoyance forces me to find my center, to persevere, and to attend to what I came here for: Peace. Solace. Direction. God. The flies don’t destroy what I seek; they invite me to get better at finding it.
I’m holding that image in mind as I’m figuring out how we’ll regather for worship. My desire is to build the perfect service that connects us fully and deeply, despite masks, distancing, a ban on singing, and all the other deprivations of pandemic life. Yet even as I strive for perfection, I’m aware that whatever we do will be weird and clunky and challenging in places, just like worship always is. The value of our worship isn’t in achieving perfection, but in the regular practice of seeking God in all circumstances, familiar and unfamiliar, transcendent and otherwise.
Whenever we gather again, I’m pretty sure that first worship service will be strange. But I’m certain it will be good. It will, despite all the distractions and uncertainties, speak to us of God’s presence and movement in our midst. I’m looking forward to that day, distractions and all.
Blessings,

Justin

revjustinc@gmail.com

612-618-3826
Categories: Uncategorized
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