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Tuesday, July 25, 2017
E News July 25, 2017
First Lines by Griff Martin
It’s hot. Like, really hot. As in, unless you are in the cold waters of Deep Eddy or Barton Springs, you should not be outside hot. And it’s so dry, it almost looks like fall in my backyard because of the falling leaves. After much consultation, my trees are not diseased; they are shedding leaves to survive the hot and dry (there is a metaphor for the church and our souls in that, and I will let you discover it on your own).
Hold onto that while I switch gears for a bit….
Jude has recently developed a passion for baseball. He has a very simple pitching machine toy for the backyard, and often you will find him in the shade of a tree hitting baseballs. You can also often find him screaming in frustration at the machine. Poor Jude sometimes gets so caught up in batting practice that he moves too close to the machine and then he can’t hit anything; it’s a constant swing and a miss.
So each time I hear the cry of frustration, it’s the same drill…. I head outside to remind Jude that all he really needs to do is take a few steps back and not be too close to the machine.
In the midst of this year, that might be the exact message that so many of us need to hear: take a few steps back so you can clearly see things, and then see what you can do.
And maybe that is exactly what summer helps us do…to take time off…to relax…to remind ourselves of the Gospel truth that we don’t run things, but we merely follow…to remind ourselves of the salvation of Sabbath, a sacred rhythm of rest…to remind ourselves that built into our very being is the need for 6 days of actions and 1 day of rest…. To remind ourselves that it’s all so much bigger than us.
And then, to step back in with renewed energy and restored vision…ready and willing to follow, understanding our place better, and from that place doing our part and suddenly seeing how important that part truly is (it’s the old truth: we matter so much less than we think we do and we matter so much more than we think we do).
I try to copy a prayer each night from my favorite Pope who reportedly prays each evening: “Lord it’s the end of the day and I did all I could for your church today, but it’s your church so I am going to rest while you keep working so that tomorrow I can be about Your work once again.”
It’s the middle of a long hot summer and this has been quite a year. We have all engaged in so much and been so busy, and maybe it’s time to take a step back.
To step back so that we can once again fully engage and do the work that matters.