The busy busy busy summer has arrived! Two weeks ago I was on a mission trip in Wintersville Ohio (I'm going to do a whole post on this, but for the moment if you're in youth ministry and you're not using Group Mission Trips you're doing it wrong). This week I find myself limping my way to the finish line at Vacation Bible School, barely possessing the energy to brew another pot of coffee.
In the midst of it all, I had a bit of a spiritual break through. Only a tiny one, but a one all the same and one that seems to have stuck with me for the better part of a couple of weeks. I can't go into the gory details of how this came about (yet, all in good time). But the line that's stuck in my head the last few weeks has been "I want to dwell in the joy of God's love." And it has been magnificent.
God does in fact love us. Did you know? Like really though, deep in your bones, do you know this? If the answer is no, come and see me. We have some things to talk about. But if the answer is yes, as I would imagine it is for many of my readers, then how much time do you spend just dwelling in that love? How much time do you take up residence in the house that Jesus built for us, the place that he has gone to prepare for us? Have you stopped throughout your day to breathe, to reflect, to meditate on the goodness of Christ's love in your life? You totally, totally should.
What does this look like? For one thing, I've found the Divine Hours again (thanks to good friend Ed Cyzewski for this, more to come on the blog about him for sure). I've made some time in the middle of my day to sit in the sanctuary or the chapel at the church, and just listen for God. I try to ride my bike every single day, and use it as a bit of prayer time. But really, I don't do much of anything differently. I simply decide to live into what's happening already. God loves me. My choice in the matter is to sit with that more.
You would think this would all be painfully obvious to a pastor, but the truth is we are normal humans like everyone else. We can convince ourselves that our value is in our work. We can keep ourselves so busy with the ministry that we fail to see how Christ is ministering to us. We can preach awesome sermons and not pray once through their creation. It's very possible. I've seen it up close. Thank goodness in spite of my less than stellar track record, Jesus Christ still meets me. He still holds me. He still reaches me. He allows me to make my home in his love.
Usually for me these kinds of spiritual discipline rebirths are short lived. I get really excited about something for a little while, try it twice, and then quit. This feels different though. Instead of a shiny new toy to play with for a bit and then forget about, this concept of dwelling in the joy of God's love has been following me around everywhere I go. It's like a little stray puppy that just won't go home. It's waiting for me here at work, begging me to take a moment in the beautiful place I get to work in and reflect on the goodness of God. It's waiting for me at home, reminding me that my boys are not a chore to be watched, they are a family to be enjoyed, and God's love rings loudly through their joyful hearts. It's there in my commute. It's there in my diet. It's there in my life choices. It's everywhere I've been going, and it's got a hold on me. I don't mind that one bit.
How do you sit in God's love? Where do you most often see it?