I’ve been here long enough the repetitiveness of my speech is showing. Every once in a while, I’ll repeat a sermonic story. In private conversation, I’ll bore the listener with an anecdote to which their auditory nerves had already been subjected. It’s the natural hazard of words and time. I try my best to keep it to a minimum. Please accept my apologies for the inevitable failures. There are some phrases, however, that you will never cease to hear. They are mantras, of a sort, that guide my life’s center. I’ll not share them all today, but here are a few…and of course…you’ve probably already heard them.

There are no spiritual emergencies. I’ve learned to move a little slower in life. I respond to the frenetic anxiety of others with patient pauses. If I am not God, and if I truly believe in God, then I assume ‘God’s got this.’ I have no need to be God or get ahead of God in my life or yours. It’s a hard discipline, but allowing God to be God is at the heart of Sabbath, serenity and security.

We do not do God’s work; we create space for God to do God’s work. Again, there is personal relief in this clarification of our mission. I enjoy introducing people to God. I delight in creating events, services, programs and spaces for wanderers and wonderers to gather. But only God can accomplish in a person’s life what needs to be accomplished. We simply create a space for holiness to happen.

Your life is God’s gift to you. How you live your life is your gift to God. There are multiple well-meaning souls in this world that would love to steer and shape our lives. Typically, they are, intentionally or unintentionally, wanting our lives to be lived in such a way that ‘their’ lives are enriched. (Read that line again. Really. Maybe even read it two or three times.) We can completely lose a sense of who God wishes us to be and how God wishes us to live because we have succumbed to someone else’s idea of who and how we should be. Your life is the only one you have. Others have their own lives to live as they choose. Why should they get to dictate yours? Live your life as a gift to God, and others will naturally benefit – but they need not be in control.

That’s enough for today. I’d hate to repeat myself too much…

— Jim