This is the last day of the first week of Advent and I feel a long way from God. It has been a very busy week with preparation for an MSA Board meeting this morning, a leadership conference in Portland during the week and much to do to get ready for our trip to Australia December 13th.
It is hard to draw close and spend time with God when the pressures of life pull us in so many other directions but it is possible. But in order to draw close we need to make it a priority in our lives and that means learning to say no to other demanding and sometimes urgent commitments. Drawing closer to God usually means taking time to withdraw into a quiet place.
One of the speakers at the leadership meeting we attended this last week was songwriter Charlie Peacock. He stated: The greatest object of living is to form within us all that love values. This statement profoundly impacted me and has been a great focus for my reflections in the last 24 hours. What does love look like to me and how does that shape the way that I live my life? Charlie went on to say “We become what we love” and “Love cannot be on the move if we are afraid” I would add love cannot be on the move if we are too busy or filled with anxiety either. His thoughts are reflected in this song he wrote:
To me drawing close to God and living into the love of God are synonymous. We cannot be close to God as long as we live primarily in a world whose values are the very antithesis of God’s values – fear instead of love, acquisitiveness and greed instead of generosity, violence & oppression instead of peace. We all need to take time and make space to draw aside from that world and move more deeply into the presence of God. Thinking about this a couple of days ago I wrote the following prayer
Light of the world draw near
Shine on us with your guiding presence
Shine in us with your truth and forgiveness
Shine through us with mercy and love
Light of the world draw near fill us with your peace