Be Ready

Sunday, November 9

WaveBy Peggy Young of Independence, Missouri, USA

But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” …Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

—Matthew 25:6, 13 NRSV

My idea of a great day at the beach is when the waves are five to six feet high. No, I don’t surf. I just love to ride the waves. I learned from my father on the trips my family took to the eastern shore when we lived in Maryland as I was growing up.

He taught me how to get beyond the breakers by working my way out through the smaller waves. But most importantly, he taught me that if a big wave was about to break on top of me, the thing to do was be ready and dive straight into it. Above all, never take your eyes off the ocean.

A friend from Russia accompanied us on our last trip to Hawaii. We wanted her to experience as much of the ocean as possible. We had many beach days but only two great ones, and my friend wanted to ride the waves with me. She ventured through the smaller waves, hanging a little behind. But every time I started toward the large breakers, she refused to continue.

I said to her, “Come on. You just have to be ready for the wave and dive into it. Stay with me and trust me—you’ll be OK.” But she would not come with me to the big waves. I had an exhilarating time riding up to the crest of one wave after another while Elena went back to sit on the beach.

I thought later of how following God is a lot like anticipating and getting ready for the waves. God calls us into the deep water to ride the big waves. When we trust in that divine presence and stay close, it is an exhilarating ride.

Sometimes we take our attention off God. We try to go our own way instead of where the Holy Spirit is leading us. Sometimes a wave breaks right on top of us, dashing us under and rolling us against the sand. That is not the time for us to give up and go sit on the beach. That’s just a reminder to catch our breath, keep our eyes on God, and be ready to plunge in again.

Pay attention when God says, “Here is the Christ. Come out to meet him!” When we let God help us get beyond the breakers and accept the challenge of the big waves, life becomes a journey of purpose and fulfillment.

Prayer for Peace Holy Spirit, open our hearts to be ready for your call. Open our minds to be ready for Christ’s mission. Prepare us to respond with love and peace.

Spiritual Practice: Breathing with the Ocean Sit or lie in a relaxed posture. Pay attention to your breathing. Let the rhythm become calm and even. Imagine sitting or lying on a warm, sandy beach with ocean waves rolling in and out near your feet. Listen to the waves as they “exhale” and “inhale.” Begin to breathe in time with the waves.

Become aware of the ocean as the presence of God washing onto the shore to touch your body and spirit. With each breath, receive what the ocean of God brings you. Let go of what is carried into the sea of God’s presence. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving. Ask how you can share God’s healing and peace today.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will be ready to dive into Christ’s mission.

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