You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. —Jeremiah 29:13
Maybe it is NYC, or maybe it is the modern era, or maybe it is human nature, but I find that, more often than not, whenever my mind wanders it finds deep focus on what is coming up, on what do I do for the unknown future. I’ve tried to stop this, to improve on “staying in the moment” and deep breathing. But ultimately, it’s been my time at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church that has been the most help.
The first sermon I ever heard at this church was from Reverend Scott. It was called “Wash Your Hands Before You Touch the Baby.” It was Advent, and the sermon encouraged us to take moments to pause and think about the season in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday. As someone with a history of over-planning holiday events and missing moments in the process of worry, of fretting over croquembouche that failed before it ever was, rather than
enjoying time with loved ones, this message hit home.
It wasn’t that first Sunday but several Sundays later that I fully appreciated taking moments during times of fear or stress, and pausing to pray and survey. My time spent volunteering, visiting and participating in this wonderful community has not convinced me to stop thinking about the unknown future, but rather to stop worrying, to put my life into God’s hands and trust that while the future is still a mystery, acting in faith in the moment is the best I can do.
Gracious God, we thank you for this world and the love you have filled it with. Help us to seek you in moments of calm and moments of frenzy, and to work to bring your peace and love to the world around us. Amen.
Julia Ward is a Deacon at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.