Connected to something bigger

The Bavarian Alps, viewed from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, August 2005

The Bavarian Alps, viewed from Garmisch-Partenkirchen, August 2005

“When everything around you is changing, turn to the part of you that doesn’t change, that is calm, centered, and connected to something bigger.” 
 Ariane de Bonvoisin

Churchgoing people are accustomed to hearing various metaphors for faith.  It’s spoken of as an anchor, a rock, a fortress, and a shield.  It’s described as “the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things unseen.”  All these images take on new meaning when crisis overtakes what used to be normal life.

As change, sorrow, fear and chaos swirl around us, it’s easy for all that matters most to get tossed away.  It helps to have these images to ground us.  We hold fast with gritted teeth and closed eyes, sensing the unseen foundation beneath us.  Our spirits are strengthened by the intangible but real presence of others who are standing with us, in prayer, hope, faith and courage.  The connection to something bigger than all our troubles can sustain us, as it has before and will again.

My gratitude goes out to all of you who are in that company whose presence we feel and cherish.  I wish for all who visit here today a time of contemplative awareness of that calm, centered connection.

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Judy from Pennsylvania

    A very encouraging post that is spot-on for the times we live in. Maybe it also applied to the world when you originally wrote this 7 years ago, but it’s super applicable today. Thank you again for giving me something special to share with one of the faith groups that I meet with on Zoom! Keep up the good work, Julia. You’re very appreciated, very loved!

    • Judy, how could I ever repay you for the many ways you have blessed my life? Your generous spirit continues to give me strength and encouragement. As always, I’m honored to know that you are sharing some of our ideas with others. If this blog can help others even a little bit of as much as it’s helped me, that makes me very happy. Thanks for being here and shining your light!

  2. Lydia E Gama

    What an inspiring post! We never imagined seven years ago that our lives would be completely changed. Your words remind of Mordecai’s word to Esther when she was hesitant (and with good reason) to intercede for her fellow countrymen. “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 I, too, am grateful for those who are standing beside us sustaining us with their prayers, words of encouragement and lives of service. May we be a beacon of light to somebody who needs a word of comfort.

    • Lydia, I’m so happy you liked the post. Yes, the phrase “for such a time as this” has been often in my mind during various crises, as I can see where others (or even I) have been prepared by past experiences and resources to face an undreamed-of challenge. Like Esther, I only pray we are equal to the tasks that lie before us. Thanks for being here!

  3. Carol Hoyos

    Well, we were here as well on another getaway from Munich, where we (my dad) were stationed in the earlier 60s. The Zugspitze is the tallest of those German alps and our family ascended it on a funicular. At the top is a hotel and ski area. My dad and I decided to rent gear and try it. Only thing, neither of us skied. 🤭 After a few runs on the bunny hills with an instructor I decided I was ready. I grabbed hold of a T-bar to get to the top of the ski run and it promptly threw me off to the side. At that point you would’ve thought I would have had the sense just to stay put at the bottom but somebody from behind help me up and put me back on the T-bar and told me to keep my skis straight. I did and got to the top. Now I have to get down what looks like an icy mountain. After a few false starts where I started picking up speed I knew the only way down was on my backside. I ended up with a sprained ankle and injured pride. Ahhhh, memories 🥰

    • Carol, thanks for sharing these memories! I didn’t know the name of that mountain, so once again I have learned from these comments. It also brought back some very happy memories from 1972. I had my 16th birthday while visiting friends in Heidelberg, Germany and while with them we spent a few days at the General Walker hotel near the AFRC in Berchtesgaden. I had similar skiing experiences as you did! I didn’t fall but I ended up going down the intermediate level slope without intending to- I started sliding and couldn’t stop! I prayed all the way down and somehow managed not to fall! Maybe you remember the General Walker? My 13 year old brother and I had a blast exploring while our parents and their friends were out for the evening. Knowing the Nazi history of the place (it was taken over by the Allies after WWII), we played all sorts of fanciful games imagining we found traces of the Nazi top brass and their secrets hidden away in that big rambling place. Then that night we heard the sound of a radio coming through the air vents, and since it was all in German, we really had a blast pretending we were in some sort of espionage novel and it was some sort of secret network that had somehow survived the war. Thanks for bringing back more memories– and for telling me the name of that mountain!

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