Today I Didn’t Go To Church...
Today I chose stillness, rest, the quiet whisper of the the morning waves gently brushing the rocky shore below me. Today this became my church, my place of worship.
In the life of a Christian, faith can sometimes resemble another “to-do” list. Read a devotional, read the bible, go to church, sing, be thankful, pray for healing, pray for worries, care for others. These are all life giving, essential, beautiful acts, yet sometimes become boxes to check rather than the natural flow from a centered soul. It is then that we need a reset.
I often hear clients say I just can’t pray, I can’t hear God, I can’t feel God. Their hearts are heavy with anxiety and sadness, unable to feel or connect. I’ve known that place before- it is dark and thick. My response to them is always the same, “Then just sit with God. Just be near to Him, sit in the silence and breathe and rest. I promise He is there and He knows you are, too.”
So today I chose to just be with God, because in my heart I know this is the highest form of worship. To breathe in the beauty of creation, the salt and the sea, and be reminded that light does envelop darkness everyday.
Though I love a good sunset, wine flowing, romantically hued with the promise of evening magic, there is just something about a sunrise. With its quiet, calming mystery that draws you into sudden beauty, you can not help but be mesmerized. Even more captivating however, are the most important life lessons I’ve learned from sunrises.
If you are anything like sleep-loving, “just 5 more minutes ten times” me, you have to be absolutely intentional if you want to see a sunrise. You have to make the time and start to prioritize that moment at least 6 hours the night before. If you don’t you will miss it. Most of us miss it everyday. Yet if you have seen a sunrise like the one I saw this morning, the second it appears you know that every ounce of effort and every minute of sleep lost was worth it.
Probably the most amazing thing about them is that you can not help but be present in that moment.
I am learning that the most precious things are the most simple things. Often they are right in front of us and often we miss them daily. We have to be intentional to notice them and take them in because they are elusive, gone in a moment. Here at the beach they look like running into the ice cold Cape Cod bay with my son Samuel and running right out, watching Carolina cuddle up in a blanket and fall asleep on the couch, the sound of Sofia’s raspy laughter while she pushes up her brand new glasses that keep sliding down her nose, and the taste of Natalia’s s’mores that she really didn’t want to share but did anyway. It’s the light reflecting in my husband’s blue eyes when he walked in the door after being away from us for a week. I have become a consumer of these moments, breathing them in deeply, collecting them one by one and making space for them in my soul, hopefully for a lifetime.
As I sat there and worshiped with the rhythms of creation, I was filled with gratitude for this visual reminder that no matter what happens that day, I have a chance to start over every morning. I have a chance to do better and by do better I mean to love more, receive love wholeheartedly and to be more fully present in this life I’ve been given. Its a day by day journey that’s certainly not consistent, I’m working on that. But I’m believing that each new start still has great potential to reveal extraordinary beauty, moving us a little closer to the version of ourselves we want to be.
In this place, I found that natural flow again. It began with stillness and ended with overflowing gratitude and love for all and everything in my life, especially for the Creator of this mystical moment. And though I did not go to church today, I am pretty sure my Jesus was ok with it.