Happy One Year Anniversary! It has been one year since we started this blog with the post "Let's Explore Together." I want to thank everyone who has visited our site and followed us throughout the journey no matter when you started. I also want to give a big thanks to Jim Fairchild who manages our website and all of our social media posts. A lot of our success is on his constant dedication of caring about others through social media. Thanks Jim!
When I was younger I went on a backpack trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. On the trek, we planned to cover 85 miles in ten days. The first two were with a guide before we were cut loose on our own.
After leaving base camp we hiked a short two miles in before stopping at our first campsite. We scheduled to take it easy the first day before getting into more difficult hiking. It was beautiful outside, perfect weather for hiking. Tents were pitched, gear was laid out, and most of us laid down to take an afternoon nap.
A few hours later I woke up to a loud pounding on my tent. I opened my eyes and noticed my breath rising. As I followed my breath, the tent ceiling came into sight where I saw indention's being made from something hard hitting it. My body shivered from the cold air. I rolled over to look out the window. And to my amazement the ground was covered in white. It was hailing quarter to golf ball size hail everywhere.
The storm persisted for a few more hours requiring us to cook dinner under a tarp. I remember laying in my bed that night thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?" The significant change in weather was unexpected and caught me off guard. However I also thought how the covered white ground was also beautiful in its own way. Luckily the rest of our journey had fairly good weather; sun with bouts of rain. We were able to skirt away from any bear encounters and hike up the ranges highest mountain, Mt. Baldy.
The trip was an awesome example of persistence and the welcoming power of nature. Even in the midst of terrible weather God meets us there. Everywhere we look throughout nature God is present asking us to welcome the beauty around us. Our spiritual journey's will be filled with obstacles and tough questions that may make us fall. When we begin to welcome all that life brings we will truly understand the love present in our God.
How do we welcome the unpleasant happenstances in our lives? How do we let go of our own desires and bask in God's presence? Let's explore together to find answers about welcoming all moments.
Welcoming Unpleasant Situations
No one wants to experience the difficult situations and circumstances life brings. From a red light making us late for work to a loved one dying we all encounter them. Our response is typically to become upset, sad or frustrated in the moment thinking only of the negative. What we don't realize is these unpleasant situations also shape who we are. Our response is critically important for who we are to become. And many times accepting them is a process.
So how do we live a life in which we welcome what life brings? You are probably thinking, Craig you are crazy, why would I ever welcome the bad things life gives. Well when we focus on welcoming all the aspects and dimensions of life we come to accept the emotions, thoughts, and situations we have as opportunities to experience and learn. I too many times get angered, say a few choice words, and become upset over situations and events missing the opportunity to see the beauty present. Welcoming what comes simmers our emotions, removes our expectations, and makes us see the situation for what it is.
As I said this is extremely difficult because our emotions are strong and hold us captive in those moments. I also know there are situations in life that are extremely awful and should not happen in a just world. For these situations using the term "welcoming" is difficult and almost not suitable. Accepting or moving forward from them is a long, tumultuous process. Can we ever use the term welcome with those experiences? Is there something from them we can learn and use? Where is God in the midst of these?
"The Welcoming Prayer" created by Father Thomas Keating is a powerful prayer about are attitude toward what life brings. This youtube video by PeaceLutheranC shows great imagery while going through the prayer. Enjoy!
Adversity Brings Reevaluation
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting. They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation. They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response. They support sacramental ministries by preparing people for baptism and/or confirmation, presiding at sacramental services, and performing most sacraments. They promote community by inviting individuals, households, and families to respond to Christ’s call to discipleship. They promote justice and peacemaking by inviting people to experience all aspects of Christ’s peace through active discipleship. They create ministry partnerships with mission center officers, apostles, elders, and evangelists.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.