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Reflection Day 2: Rev'd Stephanie Jenkins

Think about what keeps you from digging deeper in knowing God and God knowing you. Offer this in prayer to God for the day.

By Rev'd Stephanie Jenkins

Some of you might have experienced or observed this about me during the past sixteen months as your rector, at times it’s a challenge for me to slow down (I see you wardens, altar guild, and vestry members giving me a “knowing” look). Honestly, I think I’m hardwired this way - I had to actively resist family commentary here in case you were wondering All joking aside, this trait has certainly been a gift throughout my life!

It does however, have a flipside. The flipside being, that I find myself a little run ragged in a way that can take me by surprise and not able to fully appreciate God in my midst.

Recognizing this trait, about sixteen years ago, I incorporated the practice of slowing down as a key aspect of my Rule of Life. Through prayer, the image of a snail slowly sensing its way along a path leaving beyond a beautiful glittering trail came to me. I love the work of one of Richard’s painter friends, so I shared the image in my mind’s eye with her and commissioned her to bring it to life.

I knew slowing down would take a considerable amount of practice and time. There have been periods of time in which I find myself in a slower more intentional rhythm; it is in these periods I find I am able to sink in and recognize God more fully in my midst. With the comfort of feeling the Holy One surrounding me, I find I can more easily open up to the doubtful and troubled pieces I carry inside my heart and mind to learn, to grow, and to heal. I’ve learned though, if I stay at a constant state of doing, these pieces within me don’t emerge or emerge in a less than desirable manner.

I’ve found living into slowing down has an ebb and flow. Lately, I’ve noticed the pattern has more of a “flow” feeling to it – flowing, going and going. My prayer for Lent is to find a couple of new ways to slow down. Experience tells me, out of a slowing down my relationship with God deepens that allow me to seek and serve more fully. May it be so.

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