April 2023

Where Are You?

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But The Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9)

I used to go to a shopping center on my day off when I lived in Chicago. Even though I had nothing to buy, I loved seeing people and looking around the center. However, I often needed help finding my way while I enjoyed looking around. If I got lost I would go to the map sign in the center of the mall. The map sign showed me where I was, marking a “star” and saying YOU ARE HERE. After checking where I was on the map, I tried to figure our which way where I should go. The experience taught me that we should fit where we are first, before moving forward.
We are now more than halfway through Lent and it’s almost Easter. With Ash service, we began some spiritual practices, such as the Lenten Bible study and Craft Group gatherings on a communal level, reading scripture, morning and evening prayer, meditating, involving volunteers, helping neighbors, and reducing sweets on a personal level. It is time to check where we are in our spiritual journeys. Where are you in your spiritual journey?

A few weeks ago, we had time to create our spiritual timeline in Lenten Bible study. And then, we checked where we were on a spiritual level. I hope that you have a moment to review your spiritual timeline or map to see where you are. It is essential to know where you are going or where you should go.

I have a lot busier time this Lent than the last two years. I have too many things to do, and then I paused to check what I am doing and why I feel I am busier than I was the last two years. I didn’t plan to do more this Lent. I planned to have Lenten Bible study and the Lenten Craft group gatherings as I did the last two years. It is enough having these two things to practice our spiritual life during Lent. I then noticed why I felt so heavy. I have more things to be involved in outside of the parish, such as district and conference events. The pandemic created the necessity for these things. Because of the pandemic, we could only commit to the district or conference programs online. We became used to the online system. However, we can’t keep sitting in front of our computers any longer. We have to move forward. The online system gives us a convenient way, as well as a lazy way, to meet. We should not get used to being lazy, but in a timely manner we should move forward.

Take a moment to pause to see where you are spiritually, like when we get lost and check where we are on a map. We know about Adam and Eve, the first man and woman God created in the image of God. They used to walk with God always in the Garden of Eden. God also enjoyed seeing them and walking with them. However, after having the fruit of the tree of life, which God prohibited, they hid from God. The God, who enjoyed seeing and walking with them, looked for them and said, “Where are you?”