Pause

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

John Muir in Our National Parks (1901)

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Listen

Just then Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.”

Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.”

Matthew 14:27-28

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Think

I hiked to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite for the first time when I was thirteen years old. The hike has become a rite of passage in my family. I stared at the final ascent for at least 30 minutes with my dad and older sister, trying to psych myself out. I don’t remember exactly what prompted me to start climbing, but I’m sure the conversation went something like this:

Dad: All right, it’s time to go.

Heidi: I can’t just stay here while you go to the top?

Dad: No, you’ve come all this way.

Heidi: I think I’d prefer to stay here.

Dad: Heidi, we have to go.

Heidi: Could you dare me…?

Sister: I dare you!!!

Heidi: Okay...

Peter and I have a lot in common, at least as far as today’s reading is concerned. We know what we want to do, what we need to do, but we are afraid to do it unless someone else tells us, too. Thankfully, neither of us is on the journey alone.

Heidi Thorsen Oxford

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Pray

Loving God, help me to hear your calling in the voice of those around me. Thank you for my family, my friends, and even the strangers on the street whose witness has something to tell me about your will for my life. Amen.

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Go

I have decided to follow Jesus,
I have decided to follow Jesus,
I have decided to follow Jesus,
No turning back, no turning back

The world behind me, the cross before me,
The world behind me, the cross before me,
The world behind me, the cross before me,
No turning back, no turning back

from “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus,” author unknown

Heidi Thorsen Oxford

Heidi Thorsen Oxford is a recent graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City (MDiv, ’17) and an alumna of the Episcopal Service Corps, St. Hilda’s House. She is currently on the east coast pursuing work as a hospital chaplain, but home in her heart will always be California — especially Yosemite National Park. She lives with her husband, Will Oxford, and their two beautiful cats.

Walking Towards Morning: Here I Am to Worship

Ken Medema

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