My pastor ended her sermon today with the words; "May you be present and not somewhere else. May you be found in Christ." I listened with intent to her words today for many reasons. She encouraged us to look for joy in what we have and to be thankful for this moment. I like to think that I do this well, but I often find myself living with the "what if" and "I should have" mentality. This has always been difficult for me and I suspect that I am not alone.
I am known to be a positive, upbeat woman who is rarely if ever down or depressed. Honestly, I do view life differently than some who have experienced similar struggles and have known less heartache. But I am also a woman who has real hurts, real disappointments and there are times when resilience seems less present. But why were the pastor's words so meaningful today? This past week our pastor said goodbye to her mom who had been fighting cancer for some time. As she approached the pulpit and shared briefly her gratitude to the congregation for allowing her the time to be with her family, she gave us much more. The tears came and her voice was shaken for a moment. She demonstrated what it means to be present and to be found in Christ. How could I not listen to her message after that? What does it mean to me today?
It means that when those moments of sadness come, and they will, that it is alright for me to stand still and listen. It is alright for me to grieve what needs to be grieved. It is necessary for me to stand in the presence of Christ, shaken and sad. It is also necessary for me to move past the sadness in time to "look for joy in what I have".
Most days I do this well, but some days even I need to make a concerted effort not to race ahead of the beauty that can be found in a moment of sadness or even joy. I want to be present long enough to hear God speak to me and through me. I want to be found in Christ.
Blessings to all who stop by to read,
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