GPS: God Positioning System

Wednesday, October 22

10-22By Joann Condit of Phoenix Arizona, USA

Therefore my people shall know my name; therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here am I. …Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion.

—Isaiah 52:6, 8 NRSV

It was a matted and scruffy-looking toy fox, the beloved and constant companion of our 5-year-old grandson. The fox went with Tyler; his brother, Stephen; his parents; and Pa; and me to California to visit relatives. The house was full of family, and all the beds spoken for. Our grandsons slept in our sleeping bags.

Tyler and 8-year-old Stephen played hard all that day. By bedtime Tyler was tired and cranky. He needed to cuddle his fox and go to sleep. Alas, the fox was nowhere to be found, and Tyler was inconsolable. First Pa and I looked, then brother, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins joined the foxhunt. We thoroughly searched the house and the big backyard—even the tree house.

Outside lights shone brightly, and flashlights probed the corners. No fox. Tyler cried himself to sleep. His beloved fox had vanished from sight but not from his heart. He mourned.

Some 10 months later, I went to a women’s retreat and unrolled my sleeping bag onto a top bunk. When I climbed up, I found a large lump in the bottom of the bag. I hoped no one had put some unlovely object in there! Cautiously, I unzipped and folded back the bag to reveal…yes, the fox! The lost was found and gratefully and lovingly received home by Tyler.

We humans don’t resemble lost toys, but we do lose sight of God and become inconsolable. We are assured that God continues to love us, to search for us when we are lost, to make the divine voice known to us. Listen, for it is God who speaks. We reunite in love.

Prayer for Peace We are listening, God. Speak so we may find our way back to you.

Spiritual Practice: Voices of God What is the voice of God saying to us? Do we hear the whispers of God’s longing for shalom, God’s dream of beauty and wholeness for all creation? Do we hear the voice of God calling to us in faces and eyes, in the sounds of suffering and joy, in scripture and sacred word, in tears and laughter, in silence and noise?

Spend a few moments reflecting on when and how God’s voice speaks to you. When did you first feel called to join God in the pursuit of peace and justice? How does that call to shalom continue to come to you through the many “voices” of God?

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will be guided by your voice and consoled by your Spirit.

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The Present Moment

Thursday, September 19

9-19By Darrell Belrose of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

—Matthew 5:9

I arrived two hours early for Coley’s celebration of life. I stationed myself in the lobby of a downtown hotel to get out of the cold. To fill time, I read from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment. Noises and commotion barraged me from the lobby. I felt frustrated and annoyed by the many voices.

I realized that in a few short moments hundreds of people would be gathering for the duality of emotions—grief and joy. We would be celebrating the gracious and brave life of a 17-year-old. Coley lost her fight with cancer but gained the true meaning of life, living it to its fullest!

I began to reflect on what I was reading, “don’t be judgmental of my surroundings” but lovingly “embrace what is.” Accepting this sense of awareness, my inward turmoil quieted, and I prepared myself to celebrate Coley’s short, but full life.

This celebration was an experience of great joy, laughter, admiration, and uninhibited tears. Most of all we expressed our appreciation to God. I had the privilege of experiencing those times when I basked in the presence of earthly angels in the form of Coley!

I want to take time always to appreciate and celebrate my connection with all of God’s creation. I praise God for this awareness of living in the moment and for the beauty of all the Coleys of this world!

Prayer for Peace
Creator God, for lives lived to the fullest we praise you. For our awareness of the present moment, we thank you. From the lives of children who teach us so much, may we learn to share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring the Worth of All Persons
Read Psalm 139:13–18. After each reading sit quietly and let the words sink deeply into your mind, heart, and body. Imagine God watching you grow in your mother’s womb. What thoughts and feelings do you have about being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)?

Sense the intimate knowledge God has of you and every child. Be aware of the sacred worth of each person. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How are you invited to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all God’s beloved people today? Pray for God’s compassion.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will not be frustrated by the noise of the crowd, for I know in its voice is your voice.