MONDAY MORNING REFLECTIONS – LISTEN TO THE RHYTHM OF THE RAIN

It is a rainy evening in the Susquehanna Valley as I prepare this post. I had a delightful Sunday morning with my congregation at the Church of God of Landisville, hearing their God stories, baptizing a young teenager named Hannah, sharing a message on how God’s grace can transform us if we allow God’s love to live in us. Most pastors thrive when they have these kinds of Sundays. After lunch at Chili’s with some precious friends and a nap on the couch, I returned to my pastoral role to share three counseling sessions – one in my office, one over Facebook, and one in my second office at Silver Spring Family Restaurant. The rain, interestingly, is a wonderful benediction on such a day. Rain has a cleansing effect. The steady pounding on the roof is a gentle massage of peacefulness. The fresh life this rain will produce with the morning sun will be a hope-filled greeting tomorrow. Thank You, Lord, for the blessing of this Sunday and for the rainy staccato of your grace.

Gas prices came down this week – almost ten cents.  A step in the right direction.  Too bad the market doesn’t give us the same encouragement.  The internet has become a life-line and a lifestyle for many; but this week Verizon seemed to have a lot of trouble keeping it working properly in my community.  It created a  lot of aggravation for those who have grown dependent on its availability.  Just a reminder that life is filled with hassles, and life being so “daily” makes those hassles an ever-present reality. I believe that’s why Paul counseled the Philippians: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (4:6-7)  In the uncertainties of the world, I find great peace in the knowledge that God has my back.    

 
Facebook has allowed me a regular entry into the life of my wonderful granddaughter, Natalie, who lives more than 500 miles from Landisville.  It has also allowed me to “hear” her heart.  Just a few minutes ago she warmed my heart with this observation:  ‘I don’t understand this: first we complain about not growing up fast enough, about time being too slow; then when we realize how much time we’ve wasted, life suddenly moves too fast. So yeah, something exciting is going to happen tomorrow; it doesn’t mean that today can’t be just as great. Don’t worry about time going too slow; be more concerned with the minutes that you waste waiting for the next one.”  Natalie reminds me to celebrate the moment instead of worshiping the past or allowing the future to keep me from savoring the moment.
Have a great week! – Steve
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