This past weekend Jason and I headed back to one of our favorite places in Louisville. I needed to be someplace with less clutter and noise and fewer demands and more peace and quiet and beauty. I was longing to be someplace where I could think and just be for a while. I needed to be someplace where I could process so much of what has been going on in our lives. And for me the best thinking places are nature spaces.
(Where do you go when you need to think? Where do you go when you need to be reminded of God’s presence in your world and in your life?)
We knew that this week was going to be a busy week for us. The McFarland sons are starting summer break. Our family will be adjusting to new routines just as we plan to head back to in-person worship at Saint Stephen. (I can still remember the beginning of summer break and how awesome it felt to have the whole summer stretching out in front of you with so much promise!)
I had done lots of prep work to get ready to return to in-person worship on Sunday, June 7th at Saint Stephen. I have moved about 3 million chairs and kneelers and hymnals! We have a lot of chairs at our church. I have moved so many chairs! So many chairs . . . I am very glad for all of those trips to the gym with the McFarland men.
But no matter how much I plan and work ahead there always seem to be about a million and one last minute tasks that pop up. (And really – I am not complaining. I am soooooo very – very excited about getting back to something that even feels a bit more normal. And for me Sunday morning worship is something that makes life feel normal.)
So we went to Broad Run Park for a few hours on Saturday morning. We walked the trails for about 7 1/2 miles and just took in the beauty of God’s glorious creation.
And honestly – I think that God was showing off just a bit on Saturday. It was really and truly gloriously beautiful out there.
Everywhere I turned I saw something that reminded me of God’s presence in the world.
Of God’s activity. Of God’s promises to be with us always. Of our Lord’s constant presence with us in our world. And in our lives. Of God’s ongoing love for us. That we are not in this life alone. I left with almost 20,000 steps on my pedometer and a full heart.
We do have work to do in this world. We have a lot of work to do. But we do not venture forth alone. Our God is with us. Our God has promised that we are never alone.
You are all in your pastor’s heart, thoughts, and prayers.
In Christ and with Love –
1 O LORD, you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
O LORD, you know it completely.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.