Bishop Karen Oliveto's Weekly Message (7/15/23)

July 17, 2023
I am praying for the laity and clergy of the Mountain Sky Conference as we prepare to come together for Sunday worship.

Before I left for renewal leave, Rev. Ann Lantz of Estes Park UMC (CO) gave me a book she and the congregation were reading, “Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools” by Tyler Staton. There was a section that I have been mulling over: the author told about the time Dallas Willard was asked, “What do I need to do to be spiritually healthy?” Without missing a beat he replied, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

That hit me like a ton of bricks.

Most of us live our lives tightly packed, hurrying from one thing to another with scarcely time to breathe. Stop and smell the flowers? Let me see if I can fit it in, maybe sometime next week? Of course, by then the flowers have lost their sweetness and are slowly dropping their petals.

Each morning, I am spending more time than usual in prayer. I am following the advice of the Psalmist, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46: 10). As I engage in this practice, I am discovering that stillness is not the same thing as silence. I am hearing things I was too busy to hear before. In the stillness, with no words to distract me (including my own), my heart beats to a new rhythm as I sit in the presence of God.

How can you ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life? What might your life feel like if you refused to submit to hurriedness? How might it bring you closer to God?

May you take time in these long days of summer to “Be still, and know that I am God.”

With love,
Bishop Karen