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Minister’s Message: Stop, pray and listen

Read some scripture, scream out your prayer to God, then wait and listen for the Spirit of God to answer

I am retiring in a couple of weeks. A total change of life.

People keep asking the same question, “What are you going to do next?”

We are such a get-up-and-go culture that the thought of someone stopping or slowing down, isn’t supported in society. It isn’t valued as in a healthier way though it is. That to me is where my faith comes in. My relationship with God means I need to regularly stop, pray and listen.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46) is an expression of my faith and thanks to God for this gift called life. But what that will be is yet to be revealed and I’m OK with that.

How about you? How is your life pace? What is the pace that your soul, God, is asking of you and what pace are you living? If it is different than what God (versus society) is asking, then reconsider how you are making priorities and living them out. Let your soul catch up with your body and allow yourself to be whole.

Another approach would be to answer the following question, “What feeds your soul?” Not your want, but with God’s Spirit for guidance, what excites you, nourishes you to the good of others?

I love to be creative. I learned how to work stained glass years ago but my life has been so busy I haven’t created anything in that medium for far too long. I will finally have the time to do that. Not at a manufacturing pace, but at one that lets my spirit be soothed, excited, calmed, inspired. That sounds like a good thing and something that could bring joy to someone else when they see it too.

Our lives are a gift. Sadly, too many of us have known deep and scarring pain that has dimmed that awareness and value.

Society has said “self-medicate, numb yourself, escape yourself from that pain” instead of facing the pain and working through it until healing comes. The process may have stops and starts but as one survivor to another I encourage you to be of good courage and face those demons.

Our faith and scripture say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13). Remember to lean into our God, drawing strength, courage and wisdom from the Divine One. We are not meant to do this thing called life alone. Not ever.

So allow yourself to stop, breathe, pause and notice a calm and stillness begin to fill you. Read some scripture, scream out your prayer to God, then wait and listen for the Spirit of God to answer. Open your eyes and heart for God comes to us in times and ways unexpected and amazingly awesome. Truly.

I pray your life’s journey may be gentled and you allow yourself to go at the pace God is calling you to that you may find wholeness nurturing you and the beloved community.

Rev. Karen Martin Tichenor is pastor of Soldotna United Methodist Church, 158 S. Binkley St., Soldotna, 907-262-4657. Sunday worship at 10 a.m., Soldotna Food Pantry, Wednesdays 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

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