Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. -Deuteronomy 6: 4-9
This weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the training for the United Methodist Women’s Mission U study leaders. The topic that I will be teaching is, “Finding Peace in an Anxious World.” Talk about a timely topic!
We live on the edge of so much that is unknown and uncertain. The threat of violence lurks around the corner. We are trying to stay afloat in the waves of the pandemic, racial injustice, political unrest, and mass shootings. We are on high alert, waiting for the next wave to hit. We can only tread the water for so long.
How do we find peace amidst all this? Here is what I know and do:
- I read Scripture, recognizing that God will speak to me and provide a space of quietness
- I pray, sometimes I have words and sometimes I have tears, but I share this with God
- I take a walk/hike to get my mind to slow down and to give my body an avenue for movement
- I listen to music that reminds me of God’s love, grace, and peace
- I reflect, think, and pray about what I might do to use my anxiety as a platform for seeking change/justice
- I have an altar in my home – with an empty basket, so that I may either fill it up with all my cares and worries or that it may be filled by God’s stillness and peace
I hope and pray that in the coming days, weeks and months, that this short list will be a springboard for your creativity and self-care.
My prayer comes in the form of hymn #377, “It Is Well with My Soul.”
When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll, whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul.” It is well (it is well), with my soul (with my soul). It is well, it is well with my soul! Amen.