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Be Filled Yourself Then Pour Out Your Fullness

In the morning, while it was still very dark, [Jesus] got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

When you are feeling overwhelmed or overworked, what do you do? Where do you go for relief?

I almost always head outside to walk. For as long as I can remember, when the stress of daily life gets to me, the best thing for me is a long walk. One of my favorite places to walk is Alapocas Run State Park, where, in a few minutes, I can be down along the banks of the Brandywine. About halfway down that trail, off the path, a few steps into the woods, there’s a rustic bench made from old logs. At certain times of year, you can just about see the river from there.  

I also like the labyrinth on the grounds of the Delaware Art Museum, behind the sculpture garden, built into an old reservoir whose tall stone walls provide a sense of refuge. Although I usually go by myself, I like walking, thinking, and praying in both places because I almost always come away with a sense that I am not alone—that God is with me, that there is more to the world than I can see. 

Whether you find respite in a long walk in the woods, in Sunday morning worship, in practicing a hobby completely different from your work-a-day tasks, we all need these kinds of experiences and places to go where we can be replenished and refilled. Even Jesus did this, from time to time, stepping away from the pressures and demands of daily life, long enough to re-center himself and re-connect with God.  

We are not meant to power ourselves, without help or rest, through the hard work of being human or the harder work of following Jesus and serving our neighbors. We all need places of respite and rejuvenation so that we can be who God made us to be, loving ourselves and our neighbors the way God intended.  

May our days be filled with opportunities to notice God’s presence and experiences that replenish us so that, with a light spirit, we can do the work entrusted to us:  to love, to invite, to serve.

Pastor Sue



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