Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)
I am one of the study leaders for the United Methodist Women’s Mission U this year. The class I am teaching is based on the book, Finding Peace in an Anxious World. As I have prepared and presented the sessions, I was struck by how uncomfortable I was with the use of my body during prayer time, especially on Zoom! And then, I came to an even more startling observation, I have set up a parameter of prayer that included my heart and my mind but not all of me. I had somehow included God in my everyday life but my worship and prayers were limited to my mind and my heart.
This revelation has propelled me into a different manner of thinking about how I relate to God. As I walk (which you all know I love to do), I have found that my steps are different. As I move, I think about how wonderful it is that I can walk and enjoy this time and space – I give thanks; as I look at the beauty that surrounds me – trees, flowers, rabbits and squirrels – I give thanks for all of creation; as I hear the birds chirping, dogs barking, voices of conversation – I give thanks for the beauty of sound; as I brush the mossy side of a rock and feel the gentle breeze upon my face – I give thanks and even when I swallow the occasional bug - I give thanks!
As I give thanks for what I see, hear, touch and taste – my whole being is praising God. May this day give each of you the blessing of connecting with God with all that you are. Amen.