Pause

“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans...”

from "Life Together" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1939)

Today we pause to discern how God might be interrupting our lives to break us out of our comfort zone, inviting us into a deeper walk of faith.

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Listen

What is the source of conflict among you? What is the source of your disputes? Don’t they come from your cravings that are at war in your own lives? You long for something you don’t have, so you commit murder. You are jealous for something you can’t get, so you struggle and fight. You don’t have because you don’t ask. You ask and don’t have because you ask with evil intentions, to waste it on your own cravings.

Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you.

James 4:1-3, 7-8a

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Think

Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of life lived in community is when conflict arises. Inevitably some sort of conflict arises that threatens to undo the relationships that we have cultivated over time. Whether it is in our school communities or our church communities, or even amongst our friends and family, conflict arises. It is part of who we are, part of the human condition. And unaddressed conflict has a funny way of fueling the worst in us and leading us further away from God’s will for us.

For me, conflict starts from within and is then made manifest in my actions or words. Feelings of jealousy or inadequacy or envy have all fueled conflict with others. When I am in the midst of those feelings, I am reminded that God understands that we can feel that way, but that God wants another way of living for us. It’s a way in which our hearts and minds are submitted to God. Only then are free from ourselves and wholly God’s own.

Rob Schoeck

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Pray

God of forgiveness and mercy, interrupt the negative cycles and patterns of behavior in my life that cause conflict with others. Help me to see how my actions and words affect others, and help me to surrender my heart and my mind to you. For only in surrender can we find freedom and peace. Amen.

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Go

Be prepared. Whatever your plans are for today, or however you imagined your day going, be prepared.

God may be reaching out to you in the most surprising and unexpected way. God wants to be in relationship with you and is trying to break into your life. It is up to you to be open to that invitation, no matter what guise it might take.

Be prepared, because God loves you and will show you this through the people and the world around you.

Rob Schoeck

Rob Schoeck is an Episcopal priest and serves with his wife, Rev. Lauren, as the Co-Rectors of the Church of the Ascension in Twin Falls, Idaho. As newcomers to Idaho they have been exploring their new state with their son and bulldogs. One of Rob’s passions in ministry is pilgrimages and how people connect their faith with the landscapes and narratives from scripture and tradition.

Lullaby

Clay Mottley

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