First United Methodist Church
FROM THE PASTOR
Some of life’s greatest blessings come unexpectedly, and sometimes from incidental and brief encounters with people we never see again. Sometimes a blessing is not recognized until much later, and sometimes we end up being blessed by an experience which at the time seemed to be anything but a blessing. Do not be surprised when blessings come to you from strange and unexpected sources, and even from painful experiences.
A number of years ago, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen wrote a little paperback book entitled Kitchen Table Wisdom. There was a companion volume, My Grandfather’s Blessings. If you ever come across either of these, it will be a good decision you make that day to get it.
Dr. Remen suggests that most of us have been offered more blessings than we have received. Our lives tend to be “filled with so many lesser things” that we have no room for the blessings. One of her patients once told Dr. Remen that she had “an image of us all being circled by our blessings, sometimes for years, like airplanes in a holding pattern at an airport, stacked with no place to land, waiting for a moment of time and attention.” Dr. Remen also pointed out how people with serious and life-threatening illnesses often turn loose of a great deal of trivia, creating an opening in their lives for those waiting blessings to land.
We are empowered to bless others when we have been blessed. Often, we don’t recognize a blessing, or we may have ideas that prevent us from experiencing it. There are many ways to feel empty even when blessings abound. Sometimes when we come to the end of our rope, havening exhausted all the tools we customarily use to “deal” with our problems, we come to see that there are better tools than anger, guilt, shame and judgement to help us get our lives to a manageable place. When we are able to get beyond those unproductive tools of relating, we can usually see that the anger, guilt, shame and judgment others may direct at us is often not what it seems to be about, it’s about something else. Not infrequently the problem comes from another time and place; from an old wound that never healed; an old, unresolved and perhaps forgotten hurt that keeps looking for resolution, often in people who had nothing to do with the original wound.
In this unusual and often draining year, let me encourage you to look for blessings in ways not customary….but in ways that come wrapped in adversity and uncertainty.
Blessings to you – Pastor Bobby