Today's Lectionary Text
Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
A daily walk in the woods is my favorite method of physical, mental and spiritual self-care. I began walking almost daily during my high school years. I walked to school unless the weather was inclement, when my father would delay his drive to work long enough to deliver me to school. The distance was two miles one way (uphill both ways, of course!) to me, was a time of silence, contemplation, prayer and dreaming. I learned early on this would be an important part of my life.
Several years ago, I was walking as usual on one of my favorite trails. It was lined on both sides with trees, bushes, wildflowers, and a wide array of birds. When I walk, my mind does not focus on my immediate environment. It tends to wander wherever it delights. On this particular day, walking briskly, thinking about nothing in particular, I distinctly heard the word “Mary” in what I would call a stage whisper. It was so real that I immediately stopped, turned and answered “what!” I soon realized no one else was near. The trail was empty as usual.
It was a time of discernment for me. I asked myself “where does God want me to go from here?” Was this event the voice of God, reminding me that He is near? That He is with me, beside me, within me, and works through me. I often think of this experience, a moment in my life that has stayed with me, reminding me who is really in charge but yet I do have choices. Choices to praise or not, to hear the mighty thunder or not, and to listen to the whisper or not. Yes, the Voice of the Lord is powerful, majestic, and strikes like lightening. Yet it can come in a whisper. A whisper that can be more effective than loud clanging of bells. “The Lord blesses his people with peace.”
Lincoln New Visions UMC
Prayer for Reflection
Lord, I praise and honor your Holy Name and recognize my need for you in my life. Help me to listen and hear you in the loud clanging or in the soft whisper. Give me the passion and strength to follow your guidance and devote my life to you. I pray in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
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