Be Like the Tree
We’ve been blown around these last 2+ years. Our times have called for flexibility on top of flexibility. In our lives and at our church, we have learned the word “pivot.” But we’re reminded in Scripture that God offers us a peace that passes understanding, that the steadfast love of the Lord endures forever and that God never grows tired or weary. In Psalm One, we’re offered an invitation to root and ground ourselves by God’s living water.
So, how do we stay rooted and grounded when the winds of change blow all around us? One way is to engage in spiritual practices. Spiritual practices don’t have to be complicated. In fact, they are usually very small, simple things we can do. When I think of spiritual practices, the Scripture that comes to mind is Psalm One. This psalm contrasts the image of a tree planted by streams of water with the image of chaff blowing in the wind. The one who spends time in God’s word is the tree; others find themselves blown away by every wind.
Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
A simple, spiritual practice that can help ground us in the word of God is called Lectio Divina (which means “holy reading”). Lectio Divina can be practiced in a group or individually. If you’d like to practice in a group, we have a WMPC group that meets every Wednesday on Zoom at 11am. Here’s the link the sign up.
If you’d like to practice individually, it only takes a few minutes, and here are some instructions:
- Slowly read a brief passage (10 verses or less) of Scripture silently or aloud two times. Listen for any word or phrase that draws you or sparkles for you. Repeat that word or phrase to yourself or write it down.
- Read the passage again slowly. Let the word or phrase call up a feeling, thought, image or memory.
- Read the passage again slowly. Notice if there is an invitation for you. Do you feel a nudge from the Spirit? Is God calling you to be or do something in the days ahead?
- Rest peacefully in God’s presence.
When we engage in God’s word, we are more rooted and grounded, and we also bear fruit in when at the right season. As so much is ramping up all around us this season, let us remember to take time to be like the trees.
Grace and Peace,
Cate Church Norman
Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care