August 8th Weekly Meditation
How long, O LORD? (Psalm 13:1)
Lately, I have been hearing this question a lot. How long will we have to put up with Covid-19? How long will this election drag out? How long until we can get back to normal? How long?
With the question I also hear talk of resignation. I here people say things like, "I don't even care about anything anymore." Or "What's the use?" Or simply, "I've given up."
I certainly understand. I have felt that way myself at times over the past six months or more. I see the challenges facing my family, especially my children, and the church, and the world as a whole and it all seems so overwhelming that I too have cried out with the Psalmist, "How long, O LORD?" How long?
At the same time I hear the voice of my parents reminding me over and over again throughout my childhood, "Oh Wayne, you don't have it nearly as bad as you like to think."
Years ago I was part of an area-wide response team that went into schools after a tragedy, the death of a student or teacher for instance, to counsel students and help them process their emotions. I remember one school principal tell me the students at the time had the worst coping skills he had ever seen. He told me most of these kids never experienced any adversity before and they were not prepared for it when it finally happened.
When I finally got to see the Mister Rogers movie, "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," starring Tom Hanks, I was happy to see they included the scene where Mister Rogers tries to put up a pop-tent. The tent is supposed to set up easily and by only one person. In the episode, Mister Rogers struggles with it for several minutes and is never able get it to "pop" open. When he was asked why he did not just reshoot the scene or have someone help him set up the tent, Fred Rogers said, "It's ok to let kids know things don't always go right."
Perhaps we too have forgotten things do not always go right. And perhaps we have lost the skills to cope.
We might recall things did not always go right in the Bible either. The Hebrew people in Egypt became slaves to Pharaoh. Later, they were exiled to Babylon. And Jesus wound up on a cross. In each of these cases, God's love remained steadfast and blessings followed; freedom, a return home, new life.
Maybe we cannot help but wonder, how long? Maybe we are not used to things not going our way. But as people of faith we are not allowed to give up. If we give up it means we have given up on God. It means we no longer trust God's promises. It means evil has won.
If you feel like giving up do me a favor. Go and read the rest of Psalm 13. Yes, it begins with asking, "How long, O LORD?" Please, go and see how the Psalm ends.
Worship This Week
Thursday, September 10, 6:30pm on the North Sidewalk
Sunday, September 13, 10am in the Peace Garden and on Facebook Live
This Week: Hey, Whatever Happened to Joseph?
If you choose to join us in person, please wear a mask and practice social distancing
"Living the Heart of Christianity"
Beginning Monday, Sept. 21, 7pm (for 5-6 weeks)
We will meet Monday evenings via Zoom with St. John's UCC
Keep In Prayer:
Family and friends of Lorrie Watkins
Lyle Rhoad (brother-in-law to Betty Rhoad)
Our shut-ins: Kate Shelley, Dot Ann Smith, Nora Smith, Helen Payne