World Conference 2023


19 September 2023

By David Nii, Council of Twelve Apostles

Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Romans 14:19

As I live deeper into the second half of my life, I try hard to avoid busyness as a priority. It’s an illusion. Poets, artists, and sages urge me to be fully present to see, hear, feel, and experience the joy of each moment. But this perspective on life is more easily stated than lived. In our age of ultra-fast communications and infinite, optional activities, being energetically active, on the move, and running to our next vital appointment in an over-committed calendar seem to be the measure of a full and valuable life. I am not surprised. For many people a contemplative connection with God is either unimportant, embraced only temporarily when personally useful, or relegated to a habitual hour or so once a week.

My granddaughter is a wonderful motivator for experiencing an alternative to the autopilot life of busyness. I dare not take our relationship for granted because it is a dynamic connection that develops only through regular times of being together. Time together has a fascinating meaning with grandchildren. Each encounter is a new unfolding experience without need for judgment or predefined expectation. Each moment is best understood as a spontaneous response to what is needed and most important at the time. Although it is impossible to predict how our relationship will evolve, I celebrate in joy as my granddaughter and I become inescapably bound to each other.

How amazing life becomes when I am willing and able to connect with others as I do with my granddaughter. I believe that experience is the very nature of God. All life is connected through God’s ongoing companionship. In our best moments of awareness, the reality of never-ending relationship is like the joy-filled love between grandparent and grandchild. It fills us with peace and hope.

Prayer Phrase

“He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Spiritual Practice

All That Lives

Take a walk and find a tree where you can sit (or imagine walking and sitting beneath a tree). Lean against the tree and feel the texture of the bark. Listen to the wind move through the leaves. Sit quietly and sense God’s presence flowing through the trees and all creation. Offer a prayer of gratitude for your connection to all that lives. Ask for grace to discern and carry out one small act of justice or healing that creates greater wholeness for the plants, animals, trees, waters, air, and land that are part of the community of creation.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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