Where do You find Refuge, Peace, and Fellowship?
Recently on Ash Wednesday I attended a service at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. 1 I walked in the sanctuary, found an empty pew, knelt for a quick prayer, took my seat, leaned back, and inhaled deeply. When I exhaled it was like the weight of life literally left my body.
My mind was in that moment and nowhere else. That wasn’t always the case, though. The feeling of Peace, focus, and security I enjoy today when I walk into church, any church, is a new experience for me. New as in maybe a few years old. Prior to then?
Most days I drug into church everything in my life that worried, stressed or scared me, along with my never-ending “to do” list. Then I spent the entire service turning it all over in my mind. The enemy absolutely loved it. So what changed?
My approach, my mind, my mental state.
Over time I got mentally tough spiritually. I began to “arrive expectantly”, focus on the words in the hymns and prayers, anticipate the lessons in the sermon, and recognize the celebration of communion. I took in the full meaning of and fully participated in all aspects of the worship service. (Read that twice)
I trained my mind to be wholly in the building, in the moment, focused intensely, and only on the service. I didn’t let the enemy push me around…and church became a Refuge. Not overnight, but it did happen. Truth is, it took every Sunday for almost a year before I was able to listen to a full sermon without my mind wandering. But I did it once, then again, and it became a regular occurrence.
In time I found that church was more than a Refuge from the storms, worries and “to do’s” of life. As I learned how to leave those things at the door…Peace was the result, and not just any Peace, but an indescribable Peace. The kind only found in Fellowship with The Creator.
Fight for your Refuge, Peace, and Fellowship.
Fellowship is what happens when you take the things that come between you and God (the things of this world) out of the equation, out of the way…Fellowship between just you and Him. Refuge, Peace, and Fellowship. I mean who doesn’t want some of all that at the same time?!
So, back to the question. Where do you find Refuge, Peace and Fellowship? For me it was in church. But wherever you can find these beautiful and priceless gifts from God…visit that place often. Don’t let the enemy steal it from you. Fight back!
Get In The Boat. Do Your Part.
From Nose to Toes!
Shane Hale is a redeemed & re-purposed professional baseball player and former corporate sales executive. Shane, his wife Michelle, and their three sons live in Mobile, Alabama, USA, where he works as a Realtor. While seeking God’s plan for his life in the summer of 2014, God told Shane to start writing. Today he shares his faith to encourage and inspire others to seek His plan for their lives as well. Check out his blog at http://www.the1sixproject.com.
Footnotes: (1) Paul’s Episcopal Church is in my hometown of Mobile, Alabama.
Pictures: Banner: The Prayer Garden at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mobile Alabama. 1st: The Welcome sign of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. 2nd: Entrance to the sanctuary of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Flickr. 3rd: 1 John 1:3-4, TalkToTheWord.com.