A Word From the Pastor

A Word From the Pastor
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As I get older, I'm becoming acutely aware that subsequent generations from mine have grown accustomed to a pace of life that is much different than I experienced as a child and in young adulthood. I grew up fishing in the creek, building dams, running around in the woods, swinging on grapevines, and playing on Sunday afternoons. No, I am not the missing link. However, the natural world played a prominent role in my early life and I loved observing nature.

Then I grew busy. I spent years working, going to school, and serving in bi-vocational ministry. For many years, I lived life at a frantic pace. When you do that over a long period of time you develop behaviors and coping mechanisms that shut out distractions so that you can accomplish what you set out to do. That is both beneficial and rewarding, but it can be detrimental if you never turn it off.

In the past 4 years I had a knee replacement, a hip replacement, and received a pacemaker. Last month I had my second rotator cuff repair and will spend most of the summer in a sling and doing physical therapy. It seems as though my low-maintenance body all of a sudden has become high-maintenance. It has been disappointing how my struggle with deteriorating joints has occupied much of my time and energy. Is this the golden years?

When it comes to physical movement, what used to be automatic now requires quite a bit of intentionality. In the end, these things will have changed my life more than just physically. I've had to slow down, and that's made me more observant and reflective.

The day after my knee replacement, I sat in the recliner with my knee elevated and iced down. I noticed a couple rabbits in the backyard. Since I wasn't doing anything else, I closely observed their twitching movements and interaction. I couldn't remember the last time that I had taken the time to observe something that closely. I began to watch the movement of trees swaying in the wind, the movement of the water in our pond, the birds flying about, insects buzzing about, and so many other creatures and natural phenomena. I was reminded of the complex beauty and majesty of God's creation that is around me all of the time.

Psalm 8:1 says, "Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (Psalm 8,NIV) Then it goes on to describe the witness of God found in: children and infants, the moon and the stars, his creation and care of human beings, domestic and wild animals, birds of the sky, and fish of the sea.

I'd like to suggest that you not be like me. Don't wait for life to force you to take some time to observe nature and be awestruck by its wonderful complexity and the intricate detail of God's creation. It's summer everything around us is alive. Look closely at plants that are growing, listen to birds that are singing, and enjoy young animals that are frolicking. Look closely at a bug - if you can.

If you do these things, you will discover some things about the majesty of God because all of God's creation testifies to the majesty of God. As for me, I'm again spending time being observant and reflective. I hope it won't take something like that to cause you to pause and see the majesty of God in the work of his hands.

Read Psalm 8, and then pause to see that it is true. You may actually see and exclaim
"Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (Psalm 8:1, NIV)

Pastor Mike