Good Morning Everyone! God certainly is trying to push that sun through the clouds for us today. I'm guessing it will be shining brightly soon. Some people look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them the sun is shining on rainy days so I guess I have a different perspective.
This morning I want to discuss something that was inspired somewhat by a part of a message that Dr. Call gave at Thoburn UMC this past weekend. Its always a blessing to listen to his sermons. God certainly has given him a gift and he is using it very well. His sermon this past Sunday was titled "Fishing With Jesus". So many good things came out of the message, but one that kind of stuck with me was his discussion on now that Easter was over what should the Disciples do? Dr. Call's message was strongly focused on the relationship that the Disciples had with Jesus and their need to follow him and feed his sheep. You can actually find it on the Thoburn UMC website and I think all of you would enjoy it. The part that really inspired me as I reflected on it was the "what now" part or the "And..." part. I'm going to share with you what rotated in my pea sized brain as I looked introspectively into the feelings of not knowing what to do next as I'm sure the Disciples probably did following Easter.
What do I mean by the "And..."? Well, have you ever had the rug pulled out from under you or have experienced something that has completely taken the wind from your body? I'm not only talking about news you receive (of course that could be it). I'm also talking about something you have done (or haven't) that you shouldn't (or should) have that results in pain for someone else. If you have the heart I have, I'm guessing that you had this feeling of being knocked to the floor when you saw the results... some call it conviction. With all of that being said lets now discuss the "And..." Well, as with everything else in our lives God gives us a choice. We are free to live our lives without the compulsion of always having to follow a certain line of thinking. God gives us the ability to make choices, even wrong ones and learn from them. So as for the "And..." Maybe you have ignored something or someone in your life and... it has resulted in pain. Maybe you have made a poor choice and... hurt those around you. Or, maybe upon opening Chapter 5 of the Gospel of Matthew, you realize you have broken every law that is contained therein, and... are not only suffering yourself, but have caused suffering because of your actions. I've seen and experienced so much of this pain Brothers and Sisters and wish we all (myself included) could somehow learn to be free of the burden we bring upon ourselves and those in our lives!
Now for the good news... in absence of perfection... there is a level we can attain to serve ourselves and others... that is the real "And..."
Next time you have the feeling of falling flat on your face as I've described above I would encourage you think about something that helps me through with my constant struggle with imperfection: On many occasions, I've had to say that I have failed to be the person I'm supposed to be in Christ and... I'm still a Child of God. He loves me for who and what I am. He loves me when I'm on the top of the highest mountains, is there with me when I fall, strengthens me when I'm weak, protects and loves those in my life when I don't have the capacity or am blinded by my selfishness, and will never let me out of his hands! My prayer is that we all never, ever forget that! There is nothing that is too big for God to handle and life is going to be filled with things that leave us asking. Just know that regardless of what we do, our Risen Savior has his hands on us and heals us. Praise be to God for it all. We will live and learn here on earth until we return to our Home. God is good... all the time! Time to head off and remember the good "and..."
Love in Christ,