Chelsea’s Contemplations

One of the questions that I have been asked frequently in the past few months is: “how is the transition to Asbury going?” I am deeply appreciative of the thoughtfulness, care, and love that inspires such a question! The love in this community has made this transition beautiful and delightful. As you may know, I came to Asbury directly from Duke Divinity School. And I went to Duke Divinity School directly from Tulane University, went to Tulane directly from high school and so on. This is the first time in 25 years that I have not been in school.

The rhythm of school is different than the rhythm of working full-time. The rhythm of school moved semester to semester. In that rhythm I would sprint through work without taking much break. I would immerse myself in my work, knowing that in just a few months’ time the semester would be over and I could come up for air, spend a month filling my lungs and my soul so that I had the breath to dive deep into work again the next semester. One of the biggest transitions into full-time ministry at Asbury for me has been learning that this rhythm does not translate. There is no longer a set time to come up for air and find rest, and so I have learned how important it is for me to find time every day to stop and to breath. These moments feed my soul and rejuvenate me, there are moments where I experience the Divine and feast upon God’s grace. For me this often means finding time to read for pleasure each day. It means sitting down and having a meaningful and distraction-free conversation with a loved one. It means listening to music and being drawn by the words into meditation of God. I admit, these intentional spaces of rejuvenation in my day are often simply moments. I may only have 10 or 15 minutes to devote to them. Yet even when they are short, they are times when I feel God’s breath of life being breathed into me and my soul being refreshed. Life is not a sprint, but a long journey. If we don’t take the time to care for ourselves and rejuvenate along the journey we become exhausted, weary, and unhealthy.

As the holidays approach it is easy to get caught up in the busyness and the bustle. It is easy for this time of joy and celebration to turn into a time of stress and exhaustion. I encourage us all to find time every day, be it an hour or 10 minutes, to do something that feeds and renews the soul. Find a time to meet God wherever it is that you experience the Divine, in a book, on a hike, in a warm cup of tea, listening to music. Let your soul be renewed by the grace you find there, let your lungs be filled by the Divine breath of life you find there.

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