Reflect on Your Life
Narragansett, Rhode Island, is a lovely place to spend a week’s vacation. The beaches are beautiful:
soft sand, clean, bracing ocean water and balmy sea breezes. There are attractions galore, from the siren call of Newport to the abundance of local fresh seafood available straight from the fishing boats in Galilee. My family and I spent last week in this beach-lover’s paradise – a delightful way to gently pass summer days.
Returning home, I reflected on our days away and realized that not only was I refreshed in mind and body, but that a peacefulness had settled over me…the week had provided me with so many opportunities to participate in my growing, lively family – jumping waves with the grandchildren, playing bananagrams with the adults, having long conversations with my adult children, as well as spending some quiet time reading or daydreaming. It began to dawn on me that new understandings of family, leisure time and life itself were unfolding as I mentally unpacked the week. Above all, I experienced a renewed sense of gratitude to God for the gracious gifts in my life.
Advancing in the way of understanding is the theme of the Proverbs reading this Sunday, coupling nicely with Paul’s admonition to be wise, making the most of opportunities and giving thanks always. John’s gospel provides a meditation on the bread of life, the nourishment that sustains us for the journey. The key to the gospel is the understanding that is required to make sense out of this food, this body and blood that are offered to us for our sustenance and salvation. The question is, how do we develop this understanding?
Perhaps a place to start is by taking the time to pay attention to the many ways in which God invites us to share in the blessings of creation that surround us…to appreciate and enjoy our family, our friends, the earth, our work and our play, all gifts from our ever-gracious God, who speaks to us through them all. Summer is an especially good time to do this, to enjoy and then to reflect and ponder what God is telling us or where God is leading us. Who knows? Perhaps new understandings will emerge and lead us to the peace that comes from sensing God’s presence in our lives. So, wherever you find yourself this summer – beach or mountain or backyard – drink it in, enjoy your life and reflect on your gifts. Understanding and the peace it brings can’t be far behind…