As I get older, I have started to relish life’s quiet moments–those moments when I can take a step back from the everyday chaos of life and just “be.” Last weekend was one of those times for me. I was lucky enough to be at Camp Allen for a retreat, and I was able to spend uninterrupted minutes sitting on a porch, looking at the stars. It is nice to sit back and see the tril…lions of stars above me. There is something about looking up at the night sky that makes me feel so small, almost insignificant. It is as if the stars are telling me, “The world is so much bigger than you. There is no possible way that you can conquer it, so just sit back, relax, take a load off—enjoy God’s creation.” Sometimes it just makes more sense to surrender and let the world in its largeness envelope me—to stand still and let the world spin madly on.
I have been reflecting about Jesus lately and about how he was always completely present to those he was with. Now, I know there were no smartphones, no soccer practice and ballet rehearsal, no crazy family calendars pulling Jesus in different directions, but Jesus was constantly present with his community. During the first weekend of January each of us has the opportunity to set aside the rush of daily life and be present to grow in relationship and community with one another at St. Mark’s annual Parish Retreat at Camp Allen. Our Retreat comes at the perfect time—after the rush of the holidays and at the beginning of the new year. It is a time to begin fresh, to enjoy one another in one of those “thin spaces” where heaven seems much closer than normal, and to build lasting relationships that we get to bring home with us.
Thank goodness we have things to remind us that life is happening here and now, right in front of us. I invite you to take the much-needed moments to stand still in awe of God’s creation and then come home and get to work in the world around you. Come back to the work that keeps our focus on bringing the Kingdom of Heaven to earth and not necessarily the people of earth up to the stars; to the heavens; to the Kingdom.
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Kim Thompson, Director of Children’s and Youth Formation