Have you tried our Lectio Divina gathering yet? For those unfamiliar with the term “Lectio Divina,” it means “divine reading.” It is an ancient practice of praying the scriptures, though the technique can be used with any text. There are many ways to practice Lectio Divina, but during this gathering, we usually read a passage several times with long pauses for silent prayer and meditation between each reading. As we pray, we pay attention to the words or phrases that stand out for us from the text. After the final reading, we consider what the invitation might be on our lives. If this sounds like something that would be meaningful for you, you are welcome to join us in the library at 6:10pm every third Tuesday of the month.
At our gathering in May, we read a passage from Proverbs. After listening to the passage times, with space for silent prayer and reflection after each reading, we shared briefly with each other about what had resonated with us. Several people commented that one specific line had stood out for them – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.” (Proverbs 3:5)
As I listened to the various comments about this particular line of scripture, I was reminded of how many of you in the Westminster congregation are facing transitions in your lives. College graduates wondering what your next step will. Recent empty nesters and recent retirees figuring out how to fill your extra time. Those of you feeling that one career might be coming to an end and looking for what career might follow. Some have a big project about to finish or just beginning. The list goes on. So many transitions! I guess the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, was right when he said, "change is the only constant in life."
As difficult as life transitions can be, I always find them easier when I remember the line from Proverbs - “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.” I shared with the Lectio group that this is easy for me to remember intellectually, but so much harder to put into practice. I like to be in control and I love to rely on my own insight. Don’t we always think we know what it best? But I find that things are so much better in my life when I put my trust in God. When I listen to God’s call for my life, rather than always thinking that only I know best.
This is not to say that I abdicate responsibility for my life. In the end, I am still the one making the decisions. However, the decisions I make after spending time in prayer, listening for God’s call, and trusting in God with all my heart are always much better than those decisions that rely only on my own insight. I pray that those of you currently experiencing transition, or those who will one day soon (yes, all of us!), might find yourselves trusting in God with all your heart. You might be surprised where the Spirit leads!