In all of my programing and all of my scheduling I have been struck by the fact there there is very little unstructured together time where we can come together and just be. I find that this is the case as a church, youth ministry, friend, family and even in our personal lives.
I recall in one of my Recreation classes in college (yes I was a rec minor) when we talked about the advent of playgrounds. And the way that they brought unstructured play to places after World War 2. The first playground was essentially a pile of dirt. Yet it gave kids an avenue for imagination, adventure and unstructured time together.
Being able to give time to unstructured fun is something that we all need. Finding a time when/where you can come and go as you please. Try to make time for this. It is something that you are going to have to schedule because there are a million and one reasons why you shouldn’t or why it could get pushed to the side.
Each week at youth group we try and give young people this kind of time and they can’t get enough of it. Yeah it is fun, but besides that it is time to be with one another that they very rarely get. Being together and sharing in life together and sharing our stories seems to be slipping away from us as a culture. But being in real fellowship with one another (and not being preoccupied with a task at hand) is a mark of a community of deep faith. We are able to better know one another and better know God through this kind of sharing.
As I sit as my desk I an taken by the music of the rain as it dances on the roof. I have gotten up about ten times today just to look out the front windows of the church, gone to my car to get something unnecessary. After a record breaking 34? days without measurable rain, we now have it in abundance. I found this wonderful prayer from the book of uncommon prayer that is perfect for today:
“THERE IS NO SOUND LIKE RAIN, GOD. Rain on a roof, rain on the ground, rain on the trees, it’s all good. There is a sense of newness in the water, God. There is a sense of second chances. You send the rain to care for the planet. It brings new life and new hope. The rain brings relief (especially to Middletown now). We need these things too, God. We need new life. We need new hope. God, we need relief! But there is a joy in the water. There is a joy in the drenching feeling of playing in the rain. There is a peace in the sound and smell of it. Wash away all that covers us, God. Our mistakes cling to us like dirt. Make us new, God. thank you for this rain. Thank you for second chances. Thank you for the newness of life around us. Thank you for the sound of the rain, God. Amen”
Refreshed, renewed, revived…Let us soak in all that is in store for us on this waterlogged Friday. 🙂
I purchased a book a couple of weeks ago titled Devotional Classics. This text is written by Richard Foster and James Bryan Smith. This book is one in a collection of books called Renovare resources. The intent behind developing these resources is that they will revive some of the great Christian thinkers and theologians that have written throughout the journey of the Christian faith.
There is much that can be learned through these writings that come from the early church through contemporary writers. I have used another of these texts before and found it to be very helpful. My hope is that I will use this text to journey through some devotional time and share my thoughts and reflections with you on these great minds in theology. I have no idea if it will be fruitful for you, but I feel like it will be beneficial for me to materialize my thoughts into some concrete form. I will visit this text on a weekly basis in order to give food for thought for the week and to hopefully develop a more regimented discipline of journaling.