Gifts Not to Be Dismissed

Today, I am grateful for the changing of seasons. In Shauna Niequest’s Savor, she writes that we don’t experience faith in our mind and soul alone. Instead, we have been gifted with bodies and people in order to be able to experience God to the fullest.

savorThis morning I stepped out of my apartment ready to go, when I realized that it was a bit chilly. I ran back inside to grab a sweatshirt. The season change is finally here. Today is the last day of summer, and I was able to experience God’s goodness with my physical body. Not just in my mind, because my mind couldn’t feel the slight chill in the air.

It’s funny how God works when we most need in. He meets us in our most desperate, hopeless place. I’ve been struggling with the transition from my happy place in Winston-Salem this summer to my hard place, Boone. I’ve been waiting to feel God move within my heart and soul, not doing anything to help Him. I actually became indifferent to everything around me because I just knew that He could transform my mind.

However, I realize that for the past several weeks, I have been shutting myself down to any experience I encounter. It’s in the breaking of bread, the sharing of laughs, the breeze in my mountain town, and the hand holding during the sharing of a blessing in which God can work. While mental health and clarity is necessary in everyday function, sometimes my brain is the one that gets me in the most trouble.
When I’ve shut myself down from experiencing Christ in a physical form, I do a lot of damage to myself. I get so consumed in introspection that I’m not able to separate myself from my brain and really focus on the world around me. At this point in my faith, I know that if I look around, I can see God in everything. He created it all.

Bringing awareness to myself in my mind and physical body is a way of turning back on my vision for God. Coming back to the fact that worship happens in ways that include other people during conversation, praise, or weeping, still involves physical movement. There’s something about looking around and seeing His beauty. I see Him in the way a new friend hugs me right away. I see God when I call my mentor for our weekly check-in. I see God when I run back inside to get my sweatshirt on the last day of summer.

Experiencing God physically is an element of our faith that cannot be forgotten. There’s no way that God gave us these things just for the fun of it. Niequest writes, “God created this physical world, and he designed the ways we experience it with our bodies. These are gifts, not to be dismissed.” I don’t want to shut myself down from experiencing God’s presence in simple, physical ways.

xo, anna.jpg

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