Refreshed and renewed

Published 7:54 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2018

As we go through the hot summer season, the earth, animals and people often long to be refreshed. Periodic rainstorms can come and cool the temperatures, refill the waterways and provide a pause in the activities of a day.

For some, these moments come as an interruption or interference in their plans. For some, there is a chance to pause, be inspired by the cycles and power of creation and to observe in awe. Sometimes in such moments, we experience illumination (and more than from a bolt of lightning!)

Moments of awareness may touch us with the gentle subtlety of a single raindrop or with the hair-tingling clap of a close lighting strike. In terms of faith, we call moments in which we become aware an epiphany. For some, there is a singular moment that stands out in life, when awareness of God crystalized in a powerful way. For some, such a moment provides such startling clarity, as to fully and decisively re-wire their lives. In an instant they experience the fullness of who God is, and their lives are fully aligned with God, forever.

The orientation of their life, the grace by which they live, and their whole nature are totally transformed. For most of us, however, faith grows as an experience of God over the seasons of our lives. We may have singular moments that stand out, but our awareness of God unfolds in various events and encounters.

Numerous Christian writers have identified ways in which people have repeatedly been more aware of God. Christian habits, what some have called “means of grace,” have been like refreshing waters in the heat of the summer. To be refreshed and renewed, we read the Bible and journal on what we have read. In private prayer we seek wisdom and strength, or simply pause with God in wonder and gratitude.

We gather with other Christians to sing and praise. We explore the scriptures together. We share sacred moments of baptism and communion as signs of God’s promise to transform our lives. We offer ourselves and our resources for God to use us to help others. I encourage you to make some time today to encounter these.

In the busyness of life, I confess that setting time aside is not easy; it requires discipline. But like a well-watered garden, we will be amazed at what appears.

REV. MICHAEL P. KENDALL can be reached at mkendall@ farmvilleumc.org.