Be Still

Trunks swaying in the swift winds
no one remains stable whether
seated on the bench or stepping
carefully on the stone path of the labyrinth.

This faithful woman bows her
head, and as she trusts and prays
the stress of the past week loses
power and disappears in the gale force winds.

When at last her muscles relax,
she realizes that her feet
have not moved beneath her and are
firmly rooted as mature trees and shrubs.

Like the nearby maple
liberating colorful leaves
she is accomplishing the work
of autumn. Releasing, rooting, and breathing.

Have you been able to
carry out this seasonal work, too?
Trusting, praying, releasing.
Rest and “Be still and know that I am God.”

Psalm 46 excerpts (NLT)

God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
A river brings joy to the city of our God,
the sacred home of the Most High.
God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
From the very break of day, God will protect it.
“Be still, and know that I am God!”
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”

Autumn Stillness

The shades of autumn continue to delight! Each day the landscape changes. So many leaves are now on the ground, yet this morning I am enjoying the deep red of a neighbor’s burning bush, and the golden leaves of a maple in my front yard. The church courtyard is beautiful, too!
This week the annual Women’s Spiritual retreat was held. As in several years before, we returned to the Benedictine Retreat Center near Schuyler, NE. The women who attend have very busy lives while caring for family and home, volunteering at church and in the community, and working professionally. Even though this retreat is only 24 hours, we are changed in the stillness.

Each day, we all have the opportunity to leave the clamor of the world and rest in the quietness of our own hearts. When we bring our fears, anger, and confusion to God they will be transformed. Setting aside our doubts and inhaling the breath of Christ into the tenseness, we surrender each “leaf,” each burden. When released to the earth, the leaves become mulch and enrich our lives with understanding. The choice to surrender frees up space to filled with God’s love.

We pray for you, that your daily prayer practice will help you become more mindful of the present and honor God while enjoying life as it is today.

Dear child of God, we are grateful for you,

Rev. Marta Wheeler

To view or download a PDF version of this devotional, click here:  Devotional MW 2022-10-26