Monday, 23 March 2015

Drinking from the Fountain

Last week saw the beginning of my long awaited sabbatical. Im in my ninth year of full-time paid ministry in the Methodist Church and as a gift the church grants us 3months paid leave for rest, reflection and recuperation. After a particularly intense 18months I have been counting down the days until this began, planning, dreaming and longing for a prolonged rest and space to draw breath and reflect on who I am and who God is calling me to be. 

Ive been asking God for a few weeks for 'word' for my sabbatical - an image, a phrase, a scripture verse that I can keep coming back to for renewed focus and purpose in a time where much of the normal structure and rhythm has gone. At our church prayer meeting a few weeks ago, I was humbled as the group of 30 or so faithful saints gathered around me and prayed for me and my family as I embarked on this sabbatical. Two things came to mind during this time - firstly someone shared a picture of a waterfall (I imagine it to be similar to the one pictured) and she prayed that the sabbatical would be a time of standing under the waterfall of God's refreshing and renewing love. Secondly, I was reminded (probably connected in my subconscious) of the verse from the Psalms

'For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.' (Ps 36:9).

 I think these two images are a reminder for me and others that the source of all things good, the source of joy, the source of hope, the source of peace, indeed the source of anything that gives life is God Himself. He is the One from whom life and goodness emanate. Ironically, this is something I so often forget as I plod the path of daily discipleship let alone seek to exercise ministry in His Name. It leads me to ponder what life and ministry might really look like if I was better at drawing deep from the one who is called the 'fountain of life' and allow His love and grace to flow through me rather than trying to do do do in my own strength.

So my hope and prayer for the next few months is that I will learn to draw close and to drink deep from the fountain of life. The One who is the source of anything and everything good so that my soul and indeed every part of my being, is refreshed and restored in the bounty of His love. 

For me, one place where I am able to sense God close, a thin place some may call it, is by the sea. Im so grateful to a generous church member who gifted me his beachside apartment for a week contemplating the view below. 

So I pray that whether you are experiencing a time of rest, or whether you are in the midst of an incredibly hectic season, you too will know the closeness of the One who is called the Fountain of Life - the One who is the source of refreshment and renewal, the One who gives life to all who thirst for it. 

1 comment:

Lorna said...

Blessings on your sabbatical

What a word!
What an image

Love it that you are by the sea to start your sabbatical!