Getting Out of the Way
I was surprised today.
Tuesdays are a day full of meetings for the members of the staff at Second Presbyterian Church. Most of these meetings are full of information sharing, brainstorming, and planning. It is a necessary part of being a member of a large complex staff structure. On those rare occasions when the entire staff is gathered together in one place, some specific goals must be met and chief among them is communication. Therefore, meetings can be long and full of words and paper.
Today was different.
The Season of Lent is designed to give us all the space to think about where the depth of our soul cries out to the depth of the Spirit of God. In the midst of our meeting today, the co-leaders invited those gathered to share moments where they have witnessed "deep calling to deep" as the author of Psalm 39 writes. Our lives were blessed this morning by stories of a high school young woman who was challenged to consider the presence of God in the midst of her deep grief as she walked a labyrinth; the manner in which the children of the church are experiencing the power of prayer together in new ways; the powerful witness of the choir as they have accompanied one another through loss and sadness; and the inexplicable presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit in moments of deep sorrow when tears are our only food.
It is so easy to get lost in our busy schedules and in our own efforts to accomplish and achieve. The frenetic pace in which we live seems to demand it of us.
Along the way we forget. We forget that we are also called to let go and get out of the way of that which God is doing. Our best laid plans and our hard work cannot accomplish the things that were shared in this meeting today. It is important that as we dream, plan, and enact we remember to listen and watch for the ways the Spirit is working in our midst: sometimes in spite of our best intentions. And let us give thanks.
During this Season of Lent, where have you experienced "deep calling to deep"?
Don't forget to get out of the way of where and how the Spirit of God might be moving in those wonderfully unexpected ways.
1 As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me continually, “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I went with the throng, and led them in procession to the house of God, with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help
6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep at the thunder of your cataracts; all your waves and your billows have gone over me.
8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God, my rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I walk about mournfully because the enemy oppresses me?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my body, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me continually, “Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.