Pastor Sally’s Devotional 1/16

Dear friends,

 

I have a new tool!  I haven’t done a lot of sewing in recent years, and I have discovered there have been some changes in my body since the last time I took on a serious project like a baby quilt!  In particular, I can no longer see to thread the needle on my sewing machine.  I used to thread the needle for my mother with great pride as a teenager.  Now to my dismay, I am the one who can’t see that little hole.  That has been compounded by the need to see exactly where my needle is dropping on my quilt project.  There is some very exact work required in quilting.  So I ordered the tool pictured here.  It’s marvelous!  It has a very bright LED light and a large magnifying glass.  I can place it in front of the stitching foot and see exactly what’s happening.  And needle threading is a snap again!

 

The right tool in the right time and place is very helpful.  So let’s think about the tools of the faith.  For me, the right tool is a good Bible.  I like to read and ponder scripture.  I appreciate a good translation – for me that’s an NRSV, a TNIV or the Good News translation.  I like good study footnotes.  Bible reading is one of the ways I know God and come into God’s presence.  When I read scripture, I feel like I’m reading God’s letters, or God’s history, notes from God’s leaders or sometimes even God’s diary.  Scripture reading is my favorite tool.

 

My husband likes to pray.  It’s his tool.  He has a particular chair he inhabits in the early morning often with Theo curled up next to him in the adjacent chair.  He sits there often for 20 or 30 minutes.  It’s not that he has a long prayer list, although he does pray for lots of people and about lots of things that concern him.  Mostly he just gets very quiet and sits in the presence of God, listening for God’s word to him.  Prayer is his tool for drawing close to God.

 

I have known lots of people for whom “doing for others” has been their tool.  I had a woman in my last church who said to me, “If I am not out working with Habitat or serving food at the soup kitchen or taking clothes in to the Goodwill I feel like I’m loosing my connection to God.  Nothing makes my faith thrive like being on a week long mission trip where everything I am doing is to help someone else.”  I actually went on a mission trip with her in my last church.  I don’t know that I have ever seen her so happy.  Serving others is her “Coming close to God” tool.

 

Some find that worship is their God tool.  There is something about the combination of music, prayers and scripture exposition that leaves them refreshed for the coming week.  Some find that fellowship is their God tool.  These people need to be in the company of others to be renewed, to hear God speaking, to find new focus for living.  Still others take to the great outdoors.  The beauty of the natural world helps them connect with God and remember their small place in the creation while rejoicing in their beloved place in the great heart of God.

 

It’s helpful is you know what your most useful tool is or maybe which tools (plural) work for you.  We are all different people.  God made us that way.  Not every tool works for every person.  What is your “come close to God” tool?

 

Peace,

Pr. Sally


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