STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 05/30/2012

Time to Lay Those Burdens Down

by Julie (Zine) Coleman '79

One of the classes I was required to take in seminary was on the spiritual disciplines. I was skeptical: too much about feelings, not enough about exegesis. One morning we were told to go find a quiet place in nature and sit there for one hour, just listening to what God had to say to us. I reluctantly headed out to find a tree.

“OK, here I am,” I begrudgingly informed God. “Fire away.” My mind was full of papers I had to write, books I had to read, Greek I had to translate. But as the hour dragged on I began to perceive the Lord’s presence. My thoughts went to his greatness and power and faithfulness, his mercies that were new every morning.

Suddenly, my former agenda seemed very shallow. I prayed again, this time with an open heart and mind. “Lord, show me what you desire,” I pleaded. God began to invade my thoughts. He wanted my heart more than my efforts. I gave him my worries about finishing my studies successfully. I handed over concerns about my fledgling adult children awkwardly spreading their wings. My fears and anxieties fell off my shoulders as he impressed on me his power and ability to handle it all. And when the hour was up, I walked away feeling freer than I had been for a very long time.

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Julie Coleman