Community in Action January 4, 2021

There is a time for everything,

. . . a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter and a team to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain

from embracing,

Ecclesiastes 3:1a,4-5

    Joan and I had a great walk on New Year’s Day; going five miles along the canal, seeing Great Blue Herons, several Egrets, Mergansers, Coots, Mallards, and Sandpipers. Today we only went three miles, but I noticed there was a big difference in our walk besides the mileage. I noticed that on New Year’s Day there weren’t very many cars on the freeway. Today it was more like normal, the roaring of the engines, the squealing of brakes, and the honking of horns.

    The quieter walk on Friday we watched the water slowly tumble along with birds gliding along the surface, except for when they dive to gather food underwater, this was a more calming stroll. The walk today with the same number of birds and the water level nearly the same was let me say, less comforting.

    I enjoy hustle and bustle at times. I miss the gathering of a large number of people with several conversations going on at the same time around me, the sharing of good news among friends and new acquaintances, the tasting of a variety of ample delectable foods, and seeing people long missed and those who I have been with recently.

    Yet, there are times I just want to be with one other person, my best friend mostly. I want to be able to hear the sounds of nature around me. I want to smell the clean air after the morning dew begins to take flight. I want to see the undisturbed often more skittish animals who rarely are viewed because of too much traffic, vehicle and human.

    I am thankful God provides me with these two different views of life. The one which is busy, energizing, and exciting and the one which is peaceful, serene, and contemplative. Both have a special quality about them. One which keeps me engaged with the world and the other which causes me to be grateful for the world in which I am engaged.

    I am looking forward to the times when we can embrace again. I am looking forward to the times when we can dance with abandon. I am looking forward to the times when laughter punctuates our celebrations, but I do not want to give up the time to be alone walking with God in the garden of his presence.

    There is a time for everything. And though, right now, it seems the gatherings are smaller, than we might like, and the celebrations are quieter, than we are used to, let us be grateful for the time to cultivate a spirit which drinks in God’s presence. This presence which fills us with a hushed joy, a joy which flows out of our inner soul and reminds us it is great to be alive. This joy which causes us to respond to life by saying “Thank You.”

    Walking the highways and the byways with you,

    Pastor Randy

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