I have been a member for 21 years at Hope Presbyterian Church in Richfield, Minnesota. October is National Clergy Appreciation Month and marks 10 years that Pastor David Lenz has pastored our church. I can’t think of a better way to say thanks to him than to share his words with you about a recent trip he took to Lake Superior. May you be blessed by his words, as I have for the past decade. Thanks, Pastor, for always giving us God’s best. For those of you who would like some great suggestions of ways to thank your pastor, click a free downloadable guide from Care for your Pastor.
Rested in the thought of rocks and trees
by David Paul Lenz
For many years I have traveled to Minnesota’s North Shore to find rest and spiritual renewal. It is there, especially amid the forests of pine and aspen and the grandeur of Lake Superior, that my gratitude to God, who made such beauty, wells up to overflowing. As the old hymn says,
“This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees,
of skies and seas – his hand the wonders wrought.”
On a recent trip I kayaked on Caribou Lake, an inland North Shore lake of surpassing loveliness. This cold October day required the wearing of a wet suit, just a small inconvenience for the joy of being on the water. A fairly short paddle from the access point brought me to the north side of the lake, where the Superior National Forest meets the gently lapping waters. I set down my paddle and closed my eyes, to better focus on the calming sounds of wind and waves adorning the silence.
And I worshiped God.
We all need quiet places to renew our relationship with God. Jesus did. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35). A personal relationship with God means that we must invest ourselves in it as we would any other relationship.
That means time, effort, consistency.
As in all things, Jesus leads the way. He teaches us how to pray. He shows us how to pray.
As individuals, it is important for us to come before God in prayer with time, effort, and consistency. We know this – but how often we need to be reminded!
Are you regularly meeting God in “a solitary place?”
God has comfort to give and strength to impart. We just need to go to that solitary space, where God will fill us, encourage us, heal us.
For me, finding my way means finding that solitary place where God will fill me, encourage me, heal me. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
David Paul Lenz
About Julie Saffrin
Julie Saffrin is the author of numerous published articles and essays. Her latest book, BlessBack: Thank Those Who Shaped Your Life, explores the power of gratitude and offers 120 creative ways to journey toward positive, lasting change.