Hopefully this post finds all of you enjoying the newer format of The Vine, and specifically recognizing God in His creation through this last Vine emphasis. For me, this last emphasis on how we recognize God in Nature reminded me again of something that is very important in my life with God, something I had neglected. As we grow in our walk with God I think we are able to discover times and places that are especially life giving for us, places where we find communion with Him. For me, that has become extended time spent in a certain location at the beach. I can spend time in prayer in the morning at home, I can connect to God in prayer throughout my day in any random setting, but there is something unique for me about getting an extended period of time in God's creation, sitting at the beach, watching the consistent rhythm of the ocean come to the shore. In meeting recently with someone who regularly teaches and holds me accountable in my walk with God, this person reminded me that I value these extended times at this location. I value them because I can wade through all the junk that fills my head, and lay it before God. Then, because there is more time available and no distractions, with all the other stuff that regularly jumbles my thoughts now set aside, I am able to stop and rest with God, and sometimes, hear Him more clearly (through silence, His Word, viewing His creation, or whatever medium I happen to choose in that moment). My mentor reminded me that I had neglected this. So, with The Vine emphasis being what it was, I had the perfect opportunity. To be honest, it wasn't a life changing time, but it was what I needed, and it re-affirmed the value of making this particular spot a regular stop in my life with God (even saw a humpback whale off the shore; what a gift!).
Is there something like this for you? Remember, because our emphasis this year is noticing God everywhere, it doesn't have to be a location in nature or even a time spent alone with God. For you it might be an area of service to others, a community of people you meet with, a book/devotion you read. Is there a place where you most directly commune with God, a place you need to be, a place you need to be sure you don't neglect? If so, share that with us in this space! If you can't think of one, no problem. First of all, it's not a rule that you must have one, and second, maybe the exercises throughout this year will reveal something that makes God come alive to you in a new way, a time/place/habit that you will long to return to again and again.
Please respond and enjoy your time spent with God in "The Vine",