This past weekend on our church labor day retreat I had the great (and a bit stressful) privilege of leading an experiential time of reflecting upon God's beauty. The time was shorter than I had anticipated but what I had been praying while I prepared and planned this activity hopefully still transpired. There is no real way one person can create an experience that really gives God the honor that He is so greatly do. But I prayed that God would meet His people during that time. It was a powerful time for me of surrendering all my efforts and letting God just work. I gave everyone this handout before they started and I wanted to share it because it is so much on my heart. I know it won't have the same effect because there are no stations to go to via internet but I hope it still stirs something. (Thank you so much Michelle and Amy for listening to me process and wrestle through this time. Thank you Sam for the beautiful images...people really responded to them! And thank you Allison for praying with me when I was at my wit's end. Love you ladies!!!!)
The Beauty of God
This time is designed to give you tools to remember, experience and discover the Beauty of our Dear and Glorious Heavenly Father. Just as an architect, artist, chef or craftsperson’s work reflects their heart and often times their very essence so does God’s creation reflect His character. This experience is pushing you towards the littler things to help you see the big picture. It takes a lifetime to discover and digest the wonderment and dynamic beauty of the Creator of the universe. Below is a brief description of each station:
- Christ’s Forgiveness: This station is to remind us of the great and precious sacrifice of the SON of God. As a parent or child think of the price of this gift. Read over Isaiah 53:5 and remember. The love that was poured out for us is too immense to measure and its power is still active today. We have a God who empathizes with every heartache and pain that this life lays upon us. He knows what it is to be human. He knows how it feels to be rejected, he knows the pain of losing loved ones by the awful sting of death, he knows…he knows. What great beauty and love do you find in this fact? Pray and ask God to reveal the deep beauty of his Son and our High Priest, Jesus!
- The Sense Station: We all take in the world through our senses. It’s how we gather information; how we process the world. We did not have to be created with tongues that can taste so many things or with noses that can smell a million aromas. Tastes and smells are often times associated with memories. Taste and Smell and remember. God obviously wants us to enjoy life otherwise why would we have taste buds? Taste and see that the LORD IS GOOD!
- The Names of our Lord: This section is self-guided but it’s power and significance is staggering. He is so beautiful one Name cannot contain His awesomeness.
- The Prayer Labyrinth: This section is also self-guided but as you walk, read, and contemplate, remember to take time to notice the little things. Pick up a leaf and examine its veiny surface. Breath deeply, look closely and reflect upon the Creator.
- Music: Music is very powerful. All people groups value the role music plays in their culture. Take an ipod/mp3 player and listen to a song or two (or spend the whole time listening) the words are printed off to help you focus in on the meaning behind each song. As you listen to the words that are written to and about the Lord also think how it is by His inspiration that we have instruments and tools to create such songs.
- DVD: This is a compilation of images to bring the little things and the big things to the forefront. The music is called “Hope” which is fitting because it is what we all cling on to. Things are not always the easiest here on planet earth but our real home is in Heaven. Things will be fully restored there and there will be no more goodbyes. Our hope is in the Lord.