Across the Pastor’s Desk: Consider re-centering in God

Published 8:00 pm Friday, September 15, 2023

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Josh Enderson

September is always the month when everything reengages. After summer vacations and summer heat cause many things to take a break throughout July and August, September brings with it the return of activities. School and sports are in full swing. Activities in church and community that took a break for the summer are up and running once again.

Josh Enderson

But just as the summer months of rest encourage us to think about how we rest in God, the return to activities in September give us an opportunity to think about how we want to re-engage this fall.

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Do we want to jump back in again, crazy and busy as always? Do we want to feel stressed and uncentered? I know I can feel that way, especially when the calendar goes from quiet to crammed in a matter of weeks.

In our gospel readings in worship, we have been hearing Jesus’ story from Matthew’s gospel. Throughout the middle chapters of the book, I have noticed that Jesus is often trying to “withdraw to a deserted place by himself,” or going off by himself to pray.

This is the point in the story when John the Baptist has been killed and his ministry is taking off. It’s the point in the story when everything is getting very busy and very real. But Jesus recognizes that, amid all the work, he needs to stop and find his center. He needs to rest in prayer.

As we enter another time of re-engaging with fall and the activities that come with it, take some time to think about how you want to remain centered in God during this time. Is there a time that you can set aside for prayer and scripture? Do you like to quietly walk with God in nature in the evenings? Do you get centered by talking about your day with a loved one?

We all have a different way of staying centered, and we all need to take time to reflect on what that is. This goes for all of us, whether the fall brings you many activities, or your life is now quiet and fall remains much like any other season of the year. Life and the world are hectic for all of us, and we need to stay centered no matter where we find ourselves.

So as we enjoy these final days of summer, take a moment to find your center in God. What will hold you steady in the months ahead, knowing that, amid it all, God will always be there?

Josh Enderson is pastor at Hayward-Trondhjem Lutheran Churches, ELCA.