May 11, 2020

by Yvonne Chrimes

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience , kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23
Our Focus on Patience

As we enter the two-month mark of social distancing measures, our patience may be faltering: certainly being stretched. Our usual routines have been uprooted. We are looking for creative ways to find our inner peace. For me, I’m enjoying the outdoors. Sitting on my patio watching the finches and cardinals grace my bird feeders helps me realize that God is in control. When I’m under great stress, immersing myself in nature releases my discomfort into the green of God’s creation. In return, I receive a sense of hope and patience to face “the unknowing.” I’ve even been known to sit on the rock in the middle of APC’s Labyrinth. I imagine the Spirit is the wind flowing around me. I am grounded again.

Centering Prayer group is following the book, "The Cloud of Unknowing.” Isn’t that where we all find ourselves, in a cloud of unknowing?  With our small group, we spend twenty minutes together in quiet meditation. We silence our minds, or try to, with the purpose of calming our spirits. As I breathe in, I think of breathing in the Holy Spirit, and I breathe out (patience or healing). I remember Pentecost when the Lord sent the Holy Spirit to guide them. We are not alone. God with us.

I am one who finds it very difficult to just sit and stay home. So, my pandemic vacation is teaching me many lessons on patience including putting aside my “to do” lists, focusing on family, helping others, and listening to what the silence wants to teach me. What blessings have you found?
Isaiah 43:1-3 (NRSV)

But now, thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name. you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009