September 2014





I was going to write about the busyness of this season—the upcoming programs and events and everything. Then I was going to write about what happened over the summer—camp and mission trip and hospital visits and continuing education. Then I was going to write about the struggles, joys, and trials we as a church face here and throughout the country. Then I thought about our role as the church in current events.

Then I took a deep breath and looked over at the bookshelf.

My eyes didn’t go to the rows of theological books, the binders of curriculum and brainstorming ideas, or even the stack of papers I need to sort through. My eyes instantly fixed on the right shelf, second from the bottom, where there is neon duct tape, bubble wands, and finger paint.

Can you tell I used to be a camp counselor?

I had been reading and revising and rewriting fourth and fifth drafts of three mailings until I sat down to write this piece. Six different topics were going through my head as my fingers hovered over my computer keys.

On a whim, I got up from my desk and retrieved some paper and chalk crayons in the art supplies, found the meditative song I always listen to, and sat down on the other side of my desk. For twelve minutes, I simply let the chalk wander over the page, and I prayed. Not intentionally or purposefully, but quietly, with no agenda—nothing to create or say or do. I was just sitting with God for a while.

Pushing through our various tasks often seems like the best and quickest way to get done with our work. Sometimes it is, but it’s also easy to wear ourselves out that way. We can allow life or work to become so demanding that we forget the central purpose—to live. We can get caught up in what we need to do until everything—even praying—becomes just one more task on a checklist.

Finding that moment of peace became essential for me that day. I returned to the other side of the desk focused and refreshed.

This fall season is busy. Students go back to school, and sports, and band, and choir, and everything else. Church begins the “Hope…Faith…Future” program, and Sunday School, and Confirmation, and Youth Group, and Lives as Lutherans, and Adventures in Reading the Bible. Society struggles to maintain a sense of order in the midst of all that is happening in the world, and the church struggles with how to respond faithfully and effectively.

Your own life probably contains levels of busyness I don’t even know about. Stress and demands and tasks to handle. I pray you find your moment of peace. Please, seek it out, whatever it looks