Mission Devotional - October 4, 2017
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Opening Prayer: O God, full of compassion, I commit myself to you, in whom I am, and live and know. Be the goal of my pilgrimage and my rest by the way. Let my soul take refuge from the crowding turmoil of worldly thought beneath the shadow of your wings. Let my heart, this sea of restless waves, find peace in you, O God. Amen. - St. Augustine
Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30
Journal: What is the state of your life and soul these days? What words would you use to describe it? Are the words tired or busy two of them? Why are we so busy? What are we so resistant to the idea rest? Why does God desire soul rest for us? How will you take God up on his invitation to rest in him today?
When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,
The light in the mind becomes dim.
Things you could take in your stride before
Now become laborsome events of will.
Weariness invades your spirit.
Gravity begins falling inside you,
Dragging down every bone.
The tide you never valued has gone out.
And you are marooned on unsure ground.
Something within you has closed down;
And you cannot push yourself back to life.
You have been forced to enter empty time.
The desire that drove you has relinquished.
There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken for the race of days.
At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.
You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.
Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.
Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.
Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.
Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.
Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.
- John O'Donohue (Blessings)
Prayer for the church, for others, for myself
Sybil Baloyi lives in Mozambique and runs a preschool for orphaned and vulnerable children. Pray today for new neighborhood groups started by the youth after the August Word of Life Youth Camp that had an attendance of over 130 youth from Hlauleka and different places.
Navigators Collegiate ministry at UT Knoxville has this mission: "To advance the gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom into the nations through spiritual generations of laborers living and discipling among the lost." Pray today for the leaders of this ministry and the students as they connect with students during this semester.
Closing Prayer: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly. - Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)