Sunday, the Lord’s Day, is to be a day of rest and renewal. We all know that is easier said than done. This posting focuses on the renewal part more than the resting part given our hectic lifestyles. I directed a middle school camp for seventeen years. One of the basic elements of the camp was called “processing.” This was an effort to get the kids to “connect the dots” in their lives. Asking questions like, “How does climbing this wall remind you of difficulties in school, or your relationships, or your home life?” We tried to get them to learn life lessons through making connections. And we added the God-element as well. “How is your relationship with God like shooting a bow and arrow?” If they could find God in their camp experiences, they had a better chance of finding him in their lives back home. As adults, if we do not process our daily experiences, how will we ever hope to find the hand of a loving God directing a beautiful plan for our lives? We have to connect the dots. When we do this, we will find more peace of mind and therefore more rest and renewal. Why? Because there is a plan for our lives and it is unfolding. We can work with that plan or work against it. This posting will consist of provoking/processing questions. I pray it helps.
- In the second reading, Peter quotes the prophet Isaiah, “by His wounds, you are healed.” What does this mean to you? Does the suffering of Jesus help you in your struggles?
- We see in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles that repentance was preached from the outset after Pentecost. Has the stress of quarantine led you to bitterness or a change of heart?
- On this Good Shepherd Sunday, Jesus claims to be the gate for the sheep. How does a person enter through that gate that is the Lord? Might it have something to do with surrendering in a deeper way to the loving will of the Lord?
- Self-knowledge is very important in coming to know the Lord. Any insights from this week into what makes you tick?
- Did you have time for prayer this past week? Was it a good experience? How did it make you feel?
- You don’t have to answer these questions. They are simply meant to provoke reflection in hopes that connecting some of the dots will bring peace of mind.