pray love party

The movie ‘Eat  Pray  Love’  is showing in our town theater.  I read the book a couple of years ago and the main thing I got out of it was the incredulous fact that someone could actually be paid to travel for a year and then write a book about it.  How do I get one of those jobs??

This past summer I’ve been reading and slowly working through a book  in the scriptures – the first letter written by Peter who was one of Jesus’ disciples.  Just before I headed out on a road trip, a friend gave me a tape series on this book.  I listened to a verse by verse teaching of 1 Peter while I meandered through the winding mountains passes and as I sped along the straight ribbon of highways slicing through miles of vast grain fields.

Did you read that last sentence? Now.  Where can I get that job that pays me to travel and write?

Back to 1 Peter.  In the fourth chapter Peter gives us his own version to the secret to living life.  Pray, Love, Party.

Pray – keep clear minded so that you can pray.  The original text literally tells us to be sober-minded.  That is the opposite of being drunk. The state of drunkenness is a place of being disconnected from reality, being anaesthetized so that the pain of life can’t be felt. Peter admonished us to live in reality; to be completely present so we can pray.  By praying we allow God to be part of the hurts in our lives and we look to him for complete sustenance in each day.

Love – love each other deeply.  This is the “agape” type of love.  The deepest type of love that is used to describe how God loves.  It encompasses a moral and social sense of love.  The only way that we can love others like this is to be filled up with God’s love first; we must be connected to the source of love.  This type of love allows us to offer forgiveness and overlook other peoples’ faults.

Party – have people over.  The original word for ‘hospitality’ is founded in the Greek word “philos” which is the word for friendship.  We were never meant to walk through the journey of life alone.

After these three commands, Peter acknowledges that we all live life differently because we are individuals that are created uniquely.  Where we spend our focus and time will be different simply because of the way we were created and what God has enabled us to do. But we all need to pray, love and party.

The main difference between Elizabeth Gilbert’s book and the letter written by Peter is the focus of life.  The impetus for Elizabeth’s eating, praying and loving was to answer the question; “am I happy? how can I be happier?”  Peter’s admonition to pray, love, party is for a completely different focus; to connect us to God and experience him in each part of our lives.  He wraps it up by saying: “so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11)

I probably won’t ever get a book contract to travel and write but I am delighted that you have chosen to read my blog.  I hope that as you start organizing your fall schedule you’ll put on the top of your priority list to pray, love and party. Even more importantly – I hope that you will connect with the God who hears our prays, enables us to love and provides us with friendships along the way.

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trail maintenance

The sky was the bluest of blues and the dazzling white mountaintop glacier spilled into a lake of turquoise glass.  The scenery was breath taking and I’m sure I would have been enraptured by the beauty around me… if I could have seen it!

Instead, my hubby and I spent the entire three hour hike looking at our feet as we picked our way along the badly maintained trail.  What should have been a glorious hike turned into an endurance trek as we literally had to watch each step we took.

The trail had eroded into a web of roots that were just waiting to catch our boots and send us sprawling.  If we weren’t tripping over massive entwining root systems then we were jumping from rock to rock.  We literally couldn’t take a step without careful care.  It was exhausting.

“Just a little bit of trail maintenance would be nice…” my husband muttered behind me in his signature understating humour.  A little?  Are you kidding me?  It needed tonnes of trail maintenance!

Two weeks earlier I had been hiking in the Revelstoke Mountains with a friend and we came across a crew with picks and shovels.  They were maintaining the trail.  It was hard work and I saw the sweat dripping down their faces and saturating their t-shirts. That trail was absolutely beautiful and we thoroughly enjoyed the surrounding view.

As my husband and I tripped along the eroded trail I couldn’t help but compare the two trails. Maintenance is important!

Same with life.

We only have a couple more weeks before summer is over and the new fall schedule starts.  Do you need time for maintenance? Some self care? A few more days of vacation? |Perhaps you need to plan some intentional respite time before the fall schedule starts up again.

Or perhaps, you need the maintenance of the other variety.  The hard work and sweat inducing type.  .

I know that my path in life can often looks like the eroded trail. Sometimes I’m not willing to do the ‘hard’ work to make sure that I’m maintaining my life.  It’s easier to switch off life’s pressures by turning on the tv rather than doing what I know needs to be done.

As I stumbled over the roots and rocks along this crazy hiking trail, I knew that my heavenly Father was talking to me.  I love my bible and I enjoy time with God in mediation and prayer.  But then other times taking time to read my bible or spend time with my God is more like discipline.  I know that it needs to be done but it can seem like hard work.  Especially when I know that there are some things that God is pushing me towards: forgiving someone who has hurt me, or asking for forgiveness when I’ve blown it.  Taking criticism, being gracious to someone when I’d rather punch them in the nose.  Is it just me, or do you also battle selfishness?

This is the trail maintenance that I thought of as we plodded through the eroded trail.  If I don’t take time to deal with some of the issues in my life, I’ll miss the beauty and adventure that is all around me.  I’ll be so busy wadding through mistakes I’ve made and hurts that I’m carrying that I’ll never be able to  look around and enjoy the view… an abundant life.

Trail maintenance is taking time to connect with God.  Letting him fill me with his divine love and then following his lead in some ‘hard’ work. Allowing him to maintain the trail for me.

How you connect with God will be your (and His) preference.  But can I suggest that you don’t delay? We’ve only a couple more weeks before the fall schedule starts again.  It‘s time to do some trail maintenance.

If you walk a maintained trail, you won’t be trippin’ nearly so much.  And you’ll also enjoy the view.