Rending My Heart…

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I recently had the opportunity to spend a few days in the mountains, and although I love the ocean, the sound of waves, the scenery and all that comes with being seaside, I always find the mountains so incredibly awe-inspiring. As I take in the beauty of creation, I find myself at peace, breathing easy and feeling such a sense of gratitude. Cares and concerns gradually melt away, as I journey to the top of the mountain. It is as if my heart is preparing to open wide, wider than seems possible, to receive the magnificence of God.

“Rend not your garments, rend your hearts.
Turn back your lives to me.” – Joel 2:13

While it is good for me to retreat to the mountains, the ocean, or other such places for the peace, healing and strengthening that only God can bring, I know that eventually, I must return. Sometimes I find it hard to come back down that mountain. It is so much easier, peaceful and distraction-free, to be in the world, when you are standing on what seems like the top of the world. Still though, I must go back. My work is elsewhere.

At a lower altitude, and reflecting on the peace and joy of being mountainside, I find myself feeling grateful first, and then sad at not being able to stay; then, led by the Spirit and through the grace of God, my attention shifts. I am not alone. I start to think of the people, places and things through which I experience the mountaintop within the busyness of everyday life. They are gifts from God. They are food for the journey, providing support and encouragement, and challenging me to remain hopeful, faithful, and fruitful. Praise God!

Led by the Spirit – by Bob Hurd

Led by the Spirit of our God,
we go to fast and pray
With Christ into the wilderness;
we join His paschal way.
“Rend not your garments, rend your hearts.
Turn back your lives to me.”
Thus says our kind and gracious God,
whose reign is liberty.

Led by the Spirit,
we confront temptation face to face,
And know full well we must
rely on God’s redeeming grace.
On bread alone we cannot live,
but nourished by the Word.
We seek the will of God to do:
this is our drink and food.

Led by the Spirit,
now draw near the waters of rebirth
With hearts that long to worship God
in spirit and in truth.
“Whoever drinks the drink
I give shall never thirst again.”
Thus says the Lord who died for us,
our Savior, kin and friend.

Led by the Spirit,
now sing praise to God the Trinity:
The Source of Life,
the living Word made flesh to set us free,
The Spirit blowing where it will
to make us friends of God:
This mystery far beyond our reach,
yet near in healing love.

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