Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Stay the course


 Life is hard. Some days more than others it feels as if the world's brokenness is on full display. Have you been there? I want to tell you that its okay if you are there. I want to tell you that its okay if you are struggling. I want to tell you that God's love for us is the most powerful power in the universe and friends, whatever life has thrown at you today or will throw your way tomorrow; God can handle it. Nothing is impossible with God.

I am given a unique perspective as a pastor; it is a blessing which is also a very weighty responsibility at times.

Some days it is easy to see the blessings; and some days the brokenness of the world and of the lives of others (and even my own life at times) acts as a foggy barrier, restricting sight of blessings that are yet to come. For me those days are days of hope; of believing where I have not yet seen.


(Locke Mountain-just south of Hollidaysburg, PA) 

Maybe you have been there. Maybe you are there today; and if you are I want to encourage you by telling you that you are not alone. Today I had the experience of speaking hope into a number of discouraging and messy situations; a friendship lost, a spouse on hospice care due to a cancer diagnosis, a struggle with addiction that is yet underway, dealings with temptation, a heart broken by a decision made by the governing body of the United Methodist Church. This was my day in a nutshell.

 But in the afternoon I get to come home to a dog that I love very much; and yet sometimes on days when the fog sets in the whole day can be compared to the feeling of what it is like to pick up a pile of dog poop with a plastic bag only to have one of your fingers puncture the bag. 

Gross.

When we have days like this though, let us resolve to live in solidarity with each other. Let us resolve to stay the course because the fog that limits our view of the blessings God has in store for us is also a veil of hope and an invitation to believe there are good things to come where we have yet to see.

So whenever you are having a day that's highlighted in brokenness, stay the course in your commitment to live your best life possible; stay rooted in relationship with God, give yourself in love and service to others, and enjoy life with those whom you surround yourself with. 

This is just one persons opinion and interpretation on life but I believe at least part of what it means to enjoy life with others is to relate to others in a spirit of non-judgment and mutual encouragement and to surround ourselves with people who will do the same for us.

Some days the best we can do (which is more than enough!) is to pray this prayer or something like it: 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
the courage to change the things I can, 
and the wisdom to know the difference; 
living one day at a time, 
enjoying one moment at a time,
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, 
taking as Jesus did this broken world as it is; 
believing that as I trust in the power of God's love all things will be made right, 
So I may be given the strength to live my best life possible.
(Serenity Prayer-revised)

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