Yesterday was my fourth day. Today is my fourth day.
Tomorrow will be my fourth day, and every day after that as
well. So... fourth day of what? You may ask. Has she been
a closet alcoholic all this time and we didn't even know
about it? No, however, much like recovering alcoholics I
am taking these days one day at a time.
Let me back up with a little explanation. Some of you know
that back in October I went on an event called a "Walk to
Emmaus." A walk to Emmaus is three days of rather
intensive Christian study. A mixture of clergy and lay
people give "talks" about various aspects of being a
Christian, such as setting priorities (where is God in your
priorities?), prevenient grace, justifying grace,
sanctifying grace, growth through study, etc. At the risk
of sounding trite, I dubbed it "Christianity 101." Sound
boring? Believe me, it wasn't!
In between these talks you get together in groups to
discuss the message delivered, exchange ideas among
yourselves, and figure out how to share your ideas with the
rest of the group. Personal stories are exchanged as a
result of these discussions, and you get very close to the
people in your group.
There was nothing really new in any of the topics except
for new perspectives from the speakers. It was very basic
stuff. But sometimes I think that's what we have to do:
Get back to the basics. This trip back to basics was a
spiritually renewing event for me. And that is the purpose
of the Walk to Emmaus. It doesn't exist to get more people
to go on walks, not that that's frowned upon, nor does it
hope to create new pastors as a result, but I imagine there
might be a few who went that way. The walk exists to
provide spiritual renewal in its participants to help
people re-up their faith, to use a term Shirley coined two
weeks ago. The hope is that those people will go back to
their congregations and provide spiritual renewal in them
second-hand. To help others re-up their faith.
One of the overpowering things I came out of this walk with
was a renewed belief in God's love. I think I always knew
God loved me, but here (in my head). After this walk I
felt it, here in my heart. And I came home with an
overpowering need to share that feeling with you. That's
why I'm here today. I asked for it.
For several years now, I've been seeking something more,
without really knowing what it was. I've gone to church
retreats before and they've been good. But I still came
away with the same hunger. But, about two years ago I went
to a retreat called the "Spiritual Formation Retreat." It
was a good retreat, but what I really got out of it was
hearing about the Walk to Emmaus and about the Disciple
Bible Study, and I got interested in both of them. Several
people at this retreat had done one or both of these
things, and recommended them highly. Well, we never did
the Disciple Bible Study, but we did do the Companions in
Christ, which is very similar in that it continues over a
long period of time. I think that somehow I knew that that
and the Walk to Emmaus was more in the line of what I had
been looking for.
The problem is, you must be sponsored by someone who has
already done a walk, and women's walks are filled almost
immediately and don't happen all that often. It was only
when Shirley came that I found someone who had even heard
of the Walk to Emmaus, let alone have done one. Now,
sponsoring someone is not all as easy as it seems, because
the sponsor takes on a pretty serious commitment him or
herself. Had I known what kind of commitment that was, I
might not have asked, so maybe it's good that some things
are not revealed until the end of the walk.
I'm not hungry anymore. Not that I have all the answers.
I still have questions--lots of them. But for some time
now I've felt God knocking at my door, calling "Daislyn, I
want more from you." But I had no clue what God wanted. Do
I know now? Not necessarily. God hasn't spoken to me like
he did to Moses from the burning bush. But now I have some
ideas, such as the Vision literacy project I am trying to
inspire among you.
I've never really been much good at praying on a regular
basis. I wasn't so bad that I only prayed when I needed
something, but I didn't talk to God regularly nonetheless.
I recently got a book written by John Tesh, the Christian
singer, and in his book he thinks that people think praying
to God is hard. That you need to have a Bible right at
hand, and maybe a candle. But God just wants to hear from
you. We talked about that when we discussed the priority
talk. Now I talk to God every morning and ask Him to walk
with me during the day. At the end of the day before I go
to be, I think Him for being with me and for the events of
the day. Is this big stuff? No. But, I really believe if
you are in communication with God you will eventually
benefit from that.
Think about the Bible passage we read today. As they were
walking along the road the disciples were discussing Jesus'
preachings with the stranger who suddenly appeared among
them, not realizing that he was their Lord. What must that
have been like to them? Do you think they asked, What do
you think he meant in that parable or this parable? What
questions would you have asked? Try it. Talk to God and
ask about your questions. You may not get an answer right
away, and perhaps not the answer you were looking for, or
perhaps you won't understand the answer when it does come.
But I think God will answer you eventually in some way.
Now back to the disciples on their walk. How do you think
they felt when they knew that it had been Jesus who had
been walking with them all day. What wonder! What awe!
What an awesome God we have, and that's why I picked that
song for today.
Enough about me. You can have the same thing yourself.
Just ask God to walk with you everyday, and try to be aware
that God is with you from time to time during the day.
Thank God at day's end. You don't need to get into
everything. Just a thank you. John Tesh has what he calls
the world's most dangerous prayer on one of his CDs. It
goes, "God, do whatever it takes to bring me closer to Your
kingdom." If you don't know what else to ask for, just ask
this. If you don't like that word "Kingdom, just say
closer to you. You may be surprised by the results. You
know, it's Christmas time. We give gifts to our friends
and our loved ones. Let me ask you this, What gift did you
have for God this year? It's too late for Christmas, but
there is a new year ahead of you. Make a resolution to
give God a gift of your time, your energy, to help do his
work in the world. Give him a little of your time and I
think God will feel like it's about the greatest gift he
ever got. Talk to God on a regular basis, give your time
in God's work, such as teaching an adult to read, or
something else you feel is worthy.
Never feel unworthy. We are all worthy at some level or
other. We need do nothing to receive God's prevenient
grace--it just is.
In parting, remember that you don't need to go on a Walk to
Emmaus to do this. You can do this. Just go do it.
God, do whatever it takes to bring us closer into Your