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By KEITH ANDERSON
After such a warm and beautiful summer, fall has arrived. Friday saw the last large ship in town until next spring. Schools are back in session, and those who live in Ketchikan year round have already begun to settle into mostly familiar routines and rhythms of life. Did you know that such patterns of life are an integral part of creation, set in place from the beginning of time?
We read in the first book of the bible, Genesis (“the Beginnings” in Hebrew), of two stories of creation. The first chapter relates God’s work of creating the world and everything in it spread over six days, the seventh being set aside as a day of rest — the Sabboth. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation (Gen 2:3). For this reason, since the beginning of time, people have followed a basic pattern of working five or six days a week and ‘resting’ on the seventh. (In Israel, the normal work week is six days. We in the west are blessed with a two-day weekend.) Then, reading further into chapter three, we read of Adam and Eve walking with God “in the garden at the time of the evening breeze,” as though this were a regular activity and part of their day — touching base with God.
What I want to lift up in this article is the importance of spending time with God — regular, intentional, significant time with God. Most people might refer to this as a ‘daily quiet time,’ or devotions of sort. What I’ve come to learn is that spending time alone with God can take many forms, and that more important to the activity is the act of just doing it. In truth, I sense that I am a different person for the better when I make time alone with God.
So let me lift up a few examples of ways I’ve found helpful to connect with God at different times of my life:
• Going for walks w/God — around town or out in the woods.
• Spending daily time with God in prayer/meditation, or reading/studying God’s word.
• Spending time with God in weekly worship.
• Serving God by serving others — Salvation Army lunches, the Lord’s Table, Day Shelter.
• Mentoring others — Big Brothers/Sister, teaching Sunday School.
Again, there’s not so much a right way as opposed to just doing it — being intentional to connect with God in a way that works for you in this juncture of life. In the end, may you come to celebrate a love for God, for others and for all of creation, as the psalmist writes: “The Lord exists forever; your word is firmly fixed in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.”
The Rev. Keith Anderson is pastor of First Lutheran Church.
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.