Oh my, so much "good stuff" (again) from Sharon’s sermon. And again, we love the way she has mapped it out so clearly.
We’re on the ‘R’ in SHEPHERD, in the series on our church’s values. You know how when there are a lot of flashy lights around you, you cannot see the stars? That’s called Distraction, and the antidote to distraction is: Reflection.
Our pastor shared some statistics that show that, more than other seemingly "terrible" sins, busy-ness is a HUGE threat to our souls. We truly need to "ruthlessly eliminate hurry" from our lives. (Recall our comment the other day that if you don’t have time for sex with your spouse, your relationship is in trouble… don’t know why we just thought of that, but anyway! Oh and "if you’re too busy doing God’s will, then some of what you’re doing is not God’s will".)
Yes, God speaks in a still, small voice, and if we don’t be still, we will never hear it. When something Happens, maybe just a blip out of our usual routine, OR something like a fight or a blow-up, we often just keep on going. We miss the opportunity for a "Kairos Moment"–an enlightening, the chance to learn from it.
Sharon used the "Circle of Learning" to show how our Reflection should take shape when we have a Kairos Moment. One side is the "thinking" side, titled "Repent" (which connotes "thinking" in the Greek): 1) Observe–honestly look at the whole event; 2) Reflect, on your emotions or reactions–"why did I feel that way", etc.; 3) Discuss–in a small group, or with a prayer partner. The other side is titled "Believe", and involves putting what you’ve learned into action: 4) Plan; 5) Account–be accountable, since the Bible does say "confess your faults one to another, that you may be healed"; 6) Act (just do it!)
Never forget that "Reflection requires solitude and intentionality". It will NOT just happen, you have to make it happen. When you do, it "results in a clearer understanding of our identity and purpose… Knowing our identity and purpose helps us to stay focused on our strengths."
Sharon has a wonderful way of always ending off her sermons with a few practical suggestions for putting any lessons you might have learned into practise. But we thought of something that we’ve neglected lately: starting each day by listening to one worship song. Have you noticed how that sort of reflective worship is always the first thing to go, when people get busy? Then you only slowly get non-busy, and forget to go back to it. But the devil knows how effective your prayer can be when you start with worship, so that’s why it’s the first thing to go.