Do you ever find yourself longing for a different way, a rhythm of peace and joy, one not pushing you at a pace that makes you weary before you begin? As I started my day today, my heart was racing and my mind was full. I had a long to-do list, and I knew the minutes counted. I wanted to work smarter not harder, to accomplish all I needed to do (and more!), and yet a voice deeper inside me reminded me that what I really wanted was stillness, quiet, and to know the presence of God with me.
I took a deep breath, stepped away from the computer, the emails, my day’s to-do list, and I sat for a few minutes with God, some beautiful music, and my journal. Asking God to still my heart and my mind, I suddenly felt a deep calm wash over me. I paused for a few minutes and just savored the peace that God was so good to give me, feeling so grateful this immediately answered prayer. It was as if God was saying to me, “my child, if you but ask me, I will give you rest and peace. Be still and know that I am God.”
Have you ever considered that when God created the world, God imbued it with rhythms and a sacred pulse? There is night and day, moon and sun, water and dry land. We were placed in the midst of this movement and rhythm to learn how to dance with God, with one another, and with creation. The dances of God are these: dances of justice, mercy, compassion, love, nourishment, and wholeness.
Of course, we know the story: humans choose, over and over, our own way, a way of self-interest above the interest of others, a way that brings sin, separation, and death. We were made for wholeness and vibrancy, but we choose a different way, moving out of step with the song God wants to sing with us. The good news is that each time we follow the promptings of God’s Spirit to listen again to God’s song, we find the rhythm of God’s beat, which was made for the flourishing of all.
I invite you to join me in finding pause in your life to hear God whispering to you that you are beloved. I invite you to join me in letting go of whatever feelings of shame and inadequacy you feel so that you can hear the song of God that not only brings healing but invites you to dance. God is ready and waiting for us to choose a new path: one that leads to connection, healing, and joy. When you find yourself longing for another way, God’s restoring shalom is reaching out to embrace you. That ache of you feel deep inside is the reminder that you are being invited to dance. So, just listen. The song is there, being sung over us. It is never too late to retrain our ears to hear it.
May you know peace,
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Rev. Dr. Shannon Smythe
United Presbyterian Church