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July 2018

Pastor’s Perspective – July 2018

I have written dozens of pages over the past month.  Dozens of pages about philosophy, theology, and civics.  I have read hundreds of pages in order to research my topics and hone my knowledge.  I have prayed and thought and focused my mind on the difficulties, dangers, and trials of the last few weeks, and I have come up with nothing that I want to publish.  Not one thing.

The truth is that the problems are so deep, the questions are so buried, the disagreements are so entrenched that it is hard to get past the emotions of it.  When I try to get cerebral, I find myself writing a thesis that is so far beyond the parameters of this forum that even the most diehard reader would find it hard to navigate.

So I sit at my desk and exhale.

I understand the words of St. Paul who tells me that God understands my inner groanings.   God knows my spirit and can comfort me even when I am unable to fully unpack my struggles, my baggage, and my frustrations.  I am a man of words and even when I am blocked my problem is usually having too much to say, but God doesn’t need me to articulate in order to understand.  God does not need me to be brilliant in order for me to be heard.  God does not need me to…

(Exhales deeply, again)

God does not need me to know.  There are days when God does not want me to tell or teach.  There are times when God just wants me to sit with God; to be with God.

So that is what I will do.  The world is chaotic around me.  Smart men are losing their wisdom.  Wise men are losing their hope.  Loving women are shouting obscenities at onlookers and using their own children as props in their political theater.  Politicians are sure that their opponents are the devil incarnate and many people are losing faith in their nation.

God is near.

We are looking in the wrong places and trying to solve the wrong problems.  We are spilling our words like blood in a pyrrhic battleground that results not in a victory or a defeat but in another argument, another debate, another sleepless night trying to find the words to illuminate the truth.

God is speaking.

I have my own words to say.  My own truth to tell.  My own wisdom to impart.  I want so desperately to change the world.  I want so sincerely to find words that could bring about a peace, a willingness to learn, an agreement to bring solidarity to a people.  A foundation to build a community upon.  Everything that I write is shifting sand and eroding soil.  There is no foundation built by politics and by earthly standard that is stable and true.

God is our firm foundation.

I am restless and fidgety.  I want to move and shake.  I hate staying still and being quiet, but foundations are for people who stay put.  They are valuable because they don’t easily move.  They are faulty if they shake.  Foundations are deep and stable, not shallow and swift.

God is seeking to change me.

I see so much sin and destruction around me.   I have an inner radar that spots garbage thinking and can find the hole in any argument.  I use it against myself and it cripples me.  It lets me know that even my own thoughts and ideas cannot stand up to the Truth of God in Jesus Christ.  I read and seek wisdom, I write and seek understanding, but I consistently fall short of my own standards.  It is never good enough.  I am never good enough.

God loves me as I am.

I want approval, but rarely trust it.  Approval is funny that way.  It always has to be reinforced.   It is never good enough to do well today because you are always preparing for tomorrow.  There is never time to rest in a job well done because there is always something more to accomplish.  There is always another problem to solve.  It is unending.

God is eternal.

Tomorrow the problems will still be there.  The news will tell me of another catastrophe, another tragedy, another moral failure, and another natural disaster.  The trouble never ends.  It is the problem of human sin.  A reminder of our own fall from grace.  Our own distance from God.  I am a sinner and I cannot seem to stop.  I solve one problem and stumble upon another.  My body doesn’t desire what my heart knows to be good.

God forgives me.

I may never find the words.  I may never solve the problems of this world.  I may never be the man I desire to become.  But I will never stop trying.  I will keep writing.  I will keep thinking.  I will continue to struggle daily with my walk with God.  Not because I am seeking a God who is not there, but because I am following a God who is here with me.

God is here.

In the end I guess I do have the words for the moment.  Here… at my desk.  As I try to find my way of speaking and teaching. God is ever willing to listen, but God also wants to speak to us, to speak thru us.  God is seeking for us to stop trying to do things of our own strength and by our own might.  God is ready to lift us up, comfort us, and love us.

God is with me.

Where ever you are.  Take a deep breath and know that God is with you. Whatever is troubling you, know that God understands.  Whatever you are struggling with, know that God is strong enough to save you.  Whoever you are, know that God loves you.

God is here.

Pastor Dan