I was studying Welsh history and looking at the ruins of the ancient Tintern Abbey that stands in the Wye valley in Wales. Even in ruins, this majestic place of worship causes one to stop and reflect on one’s mortality, God’s grandeur and our place in this world. The ancient structure dates to 1161, and it was destroyed in the 1500’s as Henry VIII went on a tour of destruction to try to force the allegiance of the people of Wales. Today it is visited by thousands of tourists per day who still encounter the presence of God and peace that He brings in that quiet place. Though the building is just a shell of what it once was – the peace of God can be found as you quiet your heart.
In the 1700’s the poet William Wordsworth visited Tintern abbey and wrote: “I felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thought.”
There is something powerful about taking the time to reflect and meet up with God that will change you and help you get perspective about your life. You don’t need to go to Europe to find a quiet place – there are opportunities that we turn down almost every day that could become a Tintern Abbey experience with God.
Your backyard, a stopover on the way home from the office along a back road, sitting in the car when you are a few minutes early for a meeting, a sunset up on old Honeyrun road or a walk through your neighborhood or in the park on a crisp morning can become such a significant moment. Reading your Bible out in nature can be incredibly rich as well.
If you are inclined to ask God some questions and then journal what you think he is whispering to your heart, you may be surprised at what will come out on the page. Some of us set a place setting and a cup of tea for Jesus and imagine speaking to him face to face as we pray and seek God.
Whatever your method or pathway might look like – if you carve out time to reflect with God, He will help you grow and reveal Himself to you.
On this Good Friday, will you take some time to reflect with God?
-Andrew Burchett, Lead Pastor