My seven-week stay in Langley has almost come to a close! This Sunday I will going back home to Alberta. It has overall been a restful and low-key experience, which was a welcome change from school life and homework, but I will be glad to be home, see my family, and start doing a few more things.
My last post, Uprooted, explained how I was dealing with the transition from Quest to “normal” life. I did not expect the responses I got from that post and I felt very encouraged by the feedback and support I received from friends, which would not have surfaced had I not written that post. Something in particular that really stood out to me was a verse from Isaiah 43:19.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
I am not merely uprooted, but transplanted, and transplanted to prosper nonetheless! Endings are difficult, but I now have more hope and assurance that I am where I need to be, and confidence that God is still leading me and working in and through me in new ways.
I have gotten up to a few different things as well over the last few weeks. A couple weeks ago we had a mini Quest reunion with a few of us who live in the area, or decided to drive out. It was surreal to see everyone again, and yet it felt like no time had passed at all.
After that, I headed to TREK-U, the training weekend for the TREK Camp staff. It was a beautiful weekend; we spent some time preparing ourselves (spiritually and mentally) for camp starting soon in July, as well as getting re-acquainted with old friends and building relationships with new staff. TREK always has and always will hold a special place in my heart. It is such a unique camp, and everyone there is so devoted to serving God and being a light to the campers, it is a such a beautiful environment to be in. Plus, I get to live out a theme for the week (Fur Traders this year!), go on scary night watches, and eat delicious food (like roll kuchen!). How does that not sound appealing?
Besides these few events, during the seven weeks since school ended I have had a lot of time to reflect on what I have been learning, both over the school year, as well as the new things that God has been teaching me. Something that I have been learning about and studying lately is the concept of His Peace. Recently, I was really struck by the words from Psalm 46: “Be still and know that I am God.” It was not actually those precise words that struck me, but an interpretation of them by the author Henri Nouwen. In his book “Spiritual Direction” (which we read for school and I highly recommend), there is one chapter titled “Who Is God for Me?” and at the end of this chapter, there is a guided meditation of Psalm 46:10. Part of the meditation reads “Be still and know that I love you…” These were the words that came to my mind. Be still and know that God loves me. This Psalm invites us to just be and recognize God’s character… He is love, and He loves us. It is so easy to just do things. Maybe not always physically, but also mentally. Our minds can get so caught up in general worries of life that they just keep going and do not slow down to just be. There seems to always be things that need do be done or worried about, and it is hard to just be still and rest in God. But that is what God calls us to! Be still and simply know. Stop over-thinking. Stop worrying. Stop trying to figure it all out, because there will always be something else vying for your attention and gnawing on your mind, convincing you that it needs to be solved right now, and only you can do it. Instead, take a moment, or two, or however many you need, to just be, and know how much God loves you and is competing for you. Fill your mind with only Him and His Love.
This is what I have been experimenting with in how to experience God’s Peace. I realized how many verses there are on peace in the Bible, and a large number of them refer to God’s Peace, or the God of Peace. His Peace is readily available at all times and places, but when our minds are distracted and pulled apart by an endless number of things, we forget how available it is. It is precisely in those moments that we need to still our minds and bodies and be reminded of who God is, and who we are to Him.
Chapter six in Nouwen’s book ends with this prayer, which I did not remember was there until just looking through it now, but it is very fitting:
“O Lord, I know now that it is in silence, in a quiet moment, in a forgotten corner of my heart that you will meet me, call me by name, and speak a word of peace. Let me be still and know you by name.”
How do you experience God’s Peace? Does it come naturally to you, or is it something you need to remind yourself of? I’d love to hear your thoughts!