I want to say how grateful I am that you care about your faith and your congregation. Whether you live near or far, are able to get to worship or not, have the faith of a spiritual giant or are just hanging on by a thread, I am grateful for our involvement with Faith.
So what has brought on these feelings of gratitude? Well, my husband just took our freshman sons to their first athletic meeting for students wanting to participate in high school sports. All I can say is: No wonder families are so busy. Even track, which is what our sons are interested in, is an all or nothing sport.
Ask any parent what one thing keeps them from worshiping regularly, and they’ll say, “We’re too busy.” I believe it! If one sport can threaten to take over your life, I can’t imagine what it is like for those whose kids do multiple extracurriculars. Yet, many families still worship regularly! Some even usher, join a choir, or read lessons. We have parents and students going on youth group outings or organizing Chili Suppers and Palm Sunday Brunches.
Sometimes being busy is a good thing. We need stimulating things to do, and it’s so fun watching our children participate in these activities. I remember sitting at a Little League game, bored as all get out, until my son caught a line drive. Suddenly, I wasn’t bored anymore! We do get a lot out of this, but there is a price to pay.
When do we find time for ourselves? What about our own emotional and physical health? What about our spiritual health? It is very difficult to spend time with God when we can’t find time for ourselves. We don’t have to sit still or be silent to spend time with God, but multitasking or running all over the place make it very hard to notice God in our midst.
Would you like to take one small step closer to yourself and to God? I promise I’m not trying to place another burden on your shoulders. Here, let me prove that. In the last year, I have taken on a new habit: one that has given me some much needed time for myself. Now don’t laugh; I watch an episode of Gilmore Girls on Netflix every day. I do not multitask during these 40 minutes; it is time for me.
Since I don’t normally watch any television or do much of anything without multitasking, this habit has brought me peace. I feel replenished after 40 minutes and am better able to see God in my life. If I was already watching tv regularly, this wouldn’t work, but in my case, it does. (Some would say that exercise or prayer might be a better habit to add to your life. I agree, but I already do those two things, though I am far from perfect at either.)
I believe that finding some time for yourself will lead you to notice God. Imagine sitting and looking out the window—perhaps with a cup of coffee or glass of water. Or taking a walk by yourself at home or at work? There is peace in those moments. I can imagine finding that peace while knitting or wood working as well.
This time for yourself doesn’t have to be about God. It doesn’t have to accomplish anything. It just means getting off the fast track for a little bit. Enjoy the calm. Notice things around you. Focus on the colors or sounds. Listen to your thoughts but don’t feed the worries. Then maybe you will notice that God is with you and always has been.