Monthly FLAME

April 2021

Pastor's Letter

 

I have two words for you (actually three): 

ALMOST & NOT QUITE. 

They appear to have the same meaning—but, DO THEY?  When I think of the word ALMOST, I think of approaching a hoped-for goal.  Just a little more and we will GET THERE! There is a sense of accomplishment - some things we can be proud of. There is a sense of MOMENTUM.  Look at we have done, despite the obstacles thrown in our way.  If we did THAT to this point, think of what we can do in the FUTURE!

When I think of the words NOT QUITE, I think of making a good effort, but just NOT ENOUGH - of FALLING SHORT. We can feel PRETTY GOOD about ourselves.  MAYBE we will do better next time.  At least we can hope to be PRETTY GOOD AGAIN.

I guess you could say, “It’s all in how you look at things.”  Existential writer Albert Camus wrote his book about “The Myth of Sisyphus.”  Sisyphus was sentenced to push a large rock up a hill, knowing there would always be enough obstructions so that he would never get to the top.  Instead of bemoaning the obstructions and focusing on the set backs, Sisyphus takes life as it comes and focuses on each challenge as a one that all people go through, and to make the best of it.

This is good advice to help us avoid becoming a NAYSAYER.  As Christians, we don’t have to push that rock on our own.  I find

1 Corinthians 10:13 very helpful.  St. Paul writes, “There isn’t any trial that you have experienced which is unusual for humans. God, who faithfully keeps his promises, will not allow you to be tempted beyond your power to resist.  But when you are tempted, he will also give you the ability to endure the trial as your way of escape.”

Did you get that?  The way to get out of life’s trials is to accept the size of the rock, to identify what needs to be done, and work with God and each other to move to a better place. 

This past COVID YEAR, I have had to do more intentional planning, have more intimate and regular conversations, and appreciate my life more.  I encourage you to help me push my rock, and I will help you push your rock, because God thinks we can go beyond NOT QUITE and ALMOST in the way we stay in contact with each other, look for special ways that each of us can contribute, invite people to join with us, and how we can joyfully give of our time, talents, and money.  See you on the hill!