From the Pastor- June/July 2023

Intentional Summer    

“Be still, and know that I am God!   I am exalted among the nations;
    I am exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Have you ever paid attention to how much noise surrounds you? From a young age I was programed to have the TV on “just for company.” Silence was a rarity especially in our home where my mother ran a daycare for nearly 12 hours of the day. Our house is not the only one to keep noise going all the time.  I will often make visits with folks, and they won’t even notice that they have kept the news station on the whole time I was with them. It’s quite something to share the peace of Christ in communion while reporters are reporting in front of live ammunition.       

All of this noise is causing more stress, according to University of Pennsylvania’s professor Mathias Basner. He notes that “the body will excrete stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that lead to changes in the composition of our blood—and our blood vessels, which actually have been shown to be stiffer after a single night of noise exposure.” All this additional noise can increase your risk of hearing loss, depression, stroke, and even cardiovascular disease. Whoa.

So lets take some time this summer and be intentional about cultivating some silence. “Be still and know that I am God!” Use this as a time of intentional prayer that is not filled with internal chatter. Us this time to listen.  Listen for God and also listen to the rhythms of your own body, and to the natural world around us. Don’t be fooled by the mindless chatter that crops up in your own head. Just be aware of it. You may find an internal dialogue going on in your head that is always just below the surface. Don’t get caught up in it.  Just notice it.

Start with 10 minutes a day. You can do this seated with your eyes closed or while doing your daily chores. Increase to 2 sessions of 10 minutes over the next week or two.  Each week add more time to your silence so that you end up with an hour by the end of the summer. God created our bodies in such a way that this gift of silence can heal neural pathways and lower stress hormones which in turn improve our overall health.  And you might just find that God is trying to get your attention in ways that you never expected. Give yourself the gift of silent prayer and see how your life changes over the course of the summer. I promise you that it will change and change for the better.