Occasionally, we will reprint prior devotions that now reflect on the coming lectionary texts. This is a reprint from a devotion originally published on September 3, 2013.
Prayer: Pray for a new experience in your life.
Reading: Isaiah 43: 16-21 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Other Questions to Ponder:
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. –Isaiah 43: 19
A room full of people. A Nerf baseball. A Nerf baseball bat. A couple of rubber bases. But it's raining outside! It's America's favorite pastime. But what do you do when it's dark and dreary and you want to play? Improvise. "Let's move all the furniture out on the porch," someone says. The room full of people mobilize themselves, turning a small room into a baseball diamond. For an hour or so, we played hardball. It's a most interesting game when played inside a small room. It's easy to get a home run (just hit the ball to the couch on the far wall). It's also pretty easy to get an out when all the players are within seven yards of you. We had a splendid time playing late that night. It was a new, unusual activity. And while none of us would be the next multi-million dollar star of a major league team, we enjoyed bonding and sharing a game of ball.
New experiences are good. Meeting new people is exciting. Sometimes we get into a rut and resist change. But change can be good. It can rejuvenate us, refresh us, revitalize us. It can turn something drab into something exciting. It can also open many new doors, ones we never knew existed. Those doors may just lead us to something that could influence our lives forever.
We opened the door one last time that night-- to replace the furniture and turn our baseball field back into a lounge. My team won, but it really didn't matter. We had experienced something new and had bonded in the process. We changed the typical American pastime into an unusual socialization experience that was not soon forgotten. Baseball seasons may end, but you can take me in to the ballgame anytime! --Chad Hershberger
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