Community in Action August 3, 2020

One of the things I have learned during my brush with Spiritual Direction is that there are times of desolation and times of consolation. Our path in life is never smooth, nor is it always bumpy. We have ups and downs. We have difficult times and easier times.

    Even though we hear this often it is good to remind ourselves, and each other, that God is always with us. We can learn during both of these times. We can learn about ourselves, what brings emotion to our senses and what brings calmness, we can learn what is something we easily understand and what is difficult for us to understand.

    In times of difficulty we have an opportunity to ask God for to help us see or to hear what we can learn from this situation. We can ask God what do I need to do to be more aware of God’s presence and my own calling.

    I think the time Jesus spent in the wilderness wasn’t only those days after his baptism, I think there were times when he was surrounded by needy crowds, when he was frustrated with a lack of understanding among his disciples, and even those times when he debated with the religious leaders.

    I think during those times he realized his assignment here on earth wasn’t going to be easy. I think Jesus probably experienced all those emotions we experience and he had to learn how to live through those emotions in the most healthy way, just as we do.

    I think he learned what disciples were most loyal to him and what disciples were easily affected by their own desires. Some of them were more concerned about sitting at his right or left hand or some were more concerned about overpowering the occupiers of their land or some wanted him to be sure to put the religious leaders in their place. Yet Jesus came to his calling and he gives us the strength to do the same.

    Not only are there times of desolation or difficulty, but there are also times of consolation. There are those times when things seem to just fall in place. Even during this time of Shelter in Place Joan and I were able to see our newest grandchild in Washington, we were able to be refreshed at Pinecrest Lake, and we were able to continue to keep up our exercise regime by walking or swimming.

    These times of consolation need to be celebrated and we need to share those times with others. During this time our church family has been able to give good wishes to those who have special milestones in their lives through drive by celebrations or physical distance visits or even zoom connections.

    I think one thing I have learned during this time is how much I appreciate seeing others, even through physical distance visits, even with Outdoor Worship in a windy courtyard, even if our visit is just a short conversation through a car window or as I wait in line at the grocery store.

    I hope that as you travel this windy path we are traversing during this time you will be able to celebrate the good times and weather the difficult times knowing that you are not alone. We will some day be able to pass the “Peace of Christ” through a true touch or an unmasked greeting. Let us not just long for this day, but let us put our trust in the one who will bring it to pass, for He will do it.

    Blessings to you,

    Pastor Randy

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