A Place to Detox

I read the words during my daily devotional time.  “Our communities should be places where people can detox, whether that be from alcohol, tobacco, gluttony, shopping, or gossip. We long for a place that tips us towards goodness …” (Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, & Enuma Okoro, Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, p. 286). That struck me like a bolt of lightning. It was not the “newness” of the words. I’ve heard them before; I’ve said them myself before! What struck me was my own longing for such a place. Even church can be too busy. We need less promulgation and more ministry; less injunction and more immersion; less stridency and more peace. Worship, at its best, is both an oasis and stopping area. It both refreshes and sends us back out.  The same can and should be said for our quiet devotional time. This longing washed over me at 37,000 feet while flying to Nashville for yet one more meeting. Last Saturday, I preached at the Conference UMW gathering at First UMC Brownwood on Phil. 4:4-7 on “The Peace That Passes All Understanding.”  I long for peace …. and engagement. How about you?