Today I took time for a morning retreat at the park. I've had considerable anxiety about being solo pastor at my new church. I knew I needed to spend some time with God before I get caught up in a million details (okay a thousand).
As I began to read and reflect, I made some discoveries.
The first was that although I've asked God to fill me (peace, Spirit, joy, hope, wisdom), to be with me, and even to guide me, I've never really asked God to lead me. In my holy imaging, I always imagine God's guidance as coming from within like an internal GPS. I'm always out front on the look out for what 's coming and deciding where to put the next step. My scripture reading today was a psalm that asked God to lead the psalmist. New image - God's in front - reaching down (we are climbing a hill of course) and offering me a hand up. This changes my view of just about everything.
Later as I progressed through the retreat format that seems to work for me, I came to the part about surrendering one's self. Hmmmmm. I often surrender my concerns or situations or people to God (usually with a rod and reel so I can reel them back in). I've preached about what we are called to lay on the altar of sacrifice (Abraham and Isaac). But honestly, I've never thought about climbing up there myself. The old hymn "I surrender all" kept running through my mind, but that still leaves room for detachment. What would happen if I sing, "I surrender me."
These are the thoughts and prayers I will take with me to my new church this afternoon. Prayers always appreciated.