Wednesday, June 19, 2013

This Far By Faith

In Pastor Randy's most recent sermon (part of the series, "This Far by Faith") he quoted the following from one of his favorite authors:

 “In unexpected ways and at unexpected places and times people of all sorts, believers and unbelievers alike, make their way to us, looking for something that often they themselves can’t name any more than you can well name it to them.”  But our lives with our people and events continue to shape us.  Perhaps that is why the early church, and apostles like Saint Paul, continued to hold up the significance and impact of a community faith.  All of us here, in a way, are merely passengers on a journey, in a slower way we are sitting here together in this building as passengers on a train.  We are co-riders together with our hopeful destination being a full life, a faith filled life, and a grace filled life.  We are partners together on this journey, and people come in and out all the time, and whether a newcomer, whether we move away to another train, whether our mortal life ends, we are still impacted and affected by each others’ presence.  And often times in life, “the decisions that we think are most important turn out not to matter so much after all, but whether or not you mail the letter, the way you say goodbye or decide not to say it, the evening you toss everything aside and go and watch the sunset, these are apt to be the life changing moments for ourselves and others.”

From Pamela:  As Pastor Randy said, not all lasting moments come in spectacular packages.  I experienced a formational moment long ago when words of one of my adult children reminded me of the importance of paying attention to what is TRULY lasting.  The situation was pretty typical:  
     My husband and I were preparing to paint the living and dining room.  I was eager to try something "creative" with color. I wanted to paint the walls a couple of differing shades of the same color, and have the ceiling be something other than the predictable "white" it had always been.  My husband wanted it all the same (which would, of course, shorten the amount of time needed for the project).  At one point in the conversation (my child was also present,but wasn't saying anything) the voices were getting a little testy. 
     My adult child sat there listening and finally said:  "Can I offer an opinion?" Ah, I thought, now we will have a "tie breaker".  But instead, this is what was said:  "I really don't care what color(s) you choose, but this room will be less enjoyable for me from now on if the main thing I remember about this project is your raised voices."  
     Wow....  that event happened almost a decade ago, and I quite honestly don't remember how the color debate turned out.  But I know the voices immediately lowered and some humor was interjected which changed the tone of the entire project.  I think of that one sentence now when I am discussing plans or projects -- the words spoken and the tone of voice are what will echo long after the observable results take their place in history.  
     Spontaneous words can be life changing!  

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