Some people go to the garden, others to the kitchen, some to the beach and others to a favourite film or book they know every word and every scene to.
Where do you go when you need to calm yourself, get away from what is stressing you or making you anxious.
Where do you go when you need to reconnect with something bigger and something other than you?
Often a change of scene when you are in the moment can be a help. A moment away from the thing that is testing you can be enough to break the cycle of feeling overwhelmed by it or confronted by it. Whether it is a task or a person or situation. Come away and remind yourself that the world is a lot bigger and that God is still there.
Reconnecting with nature is a fantastic way of doing something amazing the your inner-workings of your head. Scientists haven’t put a name to it, but when we connect with nature: plants, flowers, sand, trees, dirt, leaves, stones, water; something amazing happens to our blood pressure, our brain chemicals and the spirit within us. And they haven’t worked out how and they haven’t fathomed why. I believe it is about connection and belonging. Deep connection and deep belonging and we are in danger of forgetting what it is and what it does – for adults, for young people and for children.
When something stressful or hurtful happens to us, it may feel like you have a large immovable stone set in your path an inch away from your nose and stretching up to the sky. It feels oppressive and takes up our whole focus. But when we reconnect with nature or find connection within ourselves we remind ourselves that the big slab in our path is only so wide and only so tall and that there are ways around it and that the stone is nothing compared to the big wide world that God has created and the Spirit that breathes within us that offers us hope.
When dreadful things occur and we feel like we are drowning in sadness or shame or worry or anxiety. Connecting with God and community members that have faith in us remind us that we are worthy of love and have every need to be needed and cared for. In connecting we find belonging.
David, when writing his psalms, found connection in nature that reminded him of God in everything.
In Prison, Paul found belonging in the words of love he shared with others, the faith he professed and the community in which he was part.
In our community at the moment, there is connection in clapping (that’s why it makes us cry or smile sometimes), there is belonging in being isolated (that’s why zoom and facetime have exploded in popularity), there is deep faith in the acts of random kindness that so many people are doing in so many ways.
But where do you go to for connection and belonging? Through the Bible or the garden or family?
How do you connect to feel closer to God and connected to His Spirit of hope? Through friends or fellowship or forest walk?
Do you need to feel the force of the connection and belonging that faith and community and peace brings? Through prayer or words or talking?
Yesterday a song was released to bless the nation. It is a song of blessing performed by many Christians around the country and representing so many of our faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. For me it helps me connect. It helps me to remember my belonging to God and to them and to you. It awakens God’s Spirit when I needed it to bring me hope.
Watch it, enjoy it, and feel the power of its blessing upon you today. Amen.
Oh and because we need to play everyday – May the Fourth Be With You!
(If you know you’ll know – and if you don’t just ask…) Have a good day.
Psalm 23 – The Divine Shepherd.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.