A Minister's Message – Navigating Our Anxious World

CONTACT: Rev. Mark Taylor mtaylor@fccedmond.org 405.341.3544

The way we experience the world can feel rather complicated. We are pulled in many directions, all at the same time, and at times, it can be overwhelming at best. These are the times we find ourselves standing at the intersection of competing, perhaps seemingly incompatible ideas, possibilities, and obligations. With our ever-connected world, these moments happen with a rapidly increasing frequency.

I recently stumbled across an article written by Fr. Stephen Freeman of the Orthodox Church. He describes this experience in the terms of many streams, which often appear to be at odds with one another all meeting together at a singular junction. That junction is where we find ourselves.

Fortunately, as people of faith, we don’t have to navigate these overwhelming moments on our own. One of the things helping us is an understanding that even when we struggle to see God in these moments because of the rush of colliding water, we can lean on our faith, as well as this faith community, to get us through those trying experiences. Even when we cannot see the God which we have faith in, we know that God is there.

In my sermon on September 1, I shared some suggestions to help us move from these white-water experiences toward calmer waters. I believe this can be a transformative experience for us as we navigate this anxious world, so I would like to share that list here as well.

1. Be patient. The world does not depend on you getting the right answers to life’s questions. Answers often come when we learn to wait for them.
2. Look for beauty. Beauty doesn’t make us think so much as it makes the heart a better listener.
3. Take some time off – from as much as you can.
4. Sing. The part of your brain that sings is much more closely wired to your heart than the part that thinks.
5. Go to church. This is the place you can experience calming waters of a faithful community.

The list of suggestions was also adapted from Fr. Freeman’s article. You can read his full article at https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2013/01/28/a-complicated-faith/