Pastor’s Blog for April 2021

The Lord’s eyes watch the righteous, his ears listen to their cries for help. (Psalm 34:15)

I spent over half an hour this morning trying to renew my driver’s license online.  This is a service the Department of Driver’s Services (DDS) has introduced for our convenience.  Unfortunately, since my last license renewal, I have been prescribed glasses to help with my long-distance vision and wear them when I go to the theatre, to sporting events, and when I drive.  The online form asks if you wear glasses to drive; I truthfully answered “yes”.  This resulted in me disqualifying myself for online renewal and now I have to go into the DDS office for an eye exam.  Since they told me this after 30 minutes of messing with the “convenient” online form, when I arrived at what I thought was the final stage and conclusion of the process, you can imagine my frustration when I was disqualified.  So much for “convenience”.

In our modern lives, when so much of everything is available right at our fingertips or without much wait, we tend to complain when things become inconvenient.  The internet and cable tv are out-of-service, (in my case for several days due to the recent tornado), and people complain.  The website isn’t working right.  I don’t have any cell service. The lines at the grocery store were sooooo long. The wait at the Emergency Room was a nightmare….

Have you ever stepped back from our “first world problems” and taken a self-critical look at how we act?  We have become so accustomed (some would use the word “spoiled”) by our modern conveniences that we tend to forget that we are very blessed to have them.  Can you imagine a villager in the Brazilian rain forest complaining “the internet is out”? There are millions of people around the world who have never been to a website (let alone operated a computer). There is more area on this planet not covered by cell service than is.  There are places in the world, many in this country, where food is scarce, and people would gladly get in line to wait for it.  Maybe the person being helped in the ER that is making your wait so long is in such bad shape they do not have any concept of time anymore; they are solely concentrating on taking their next breath.

As we emerge from the “inconvenience” that the Covid-19 pandemic has been, I hope and pray that the world, our community, and our congregation do so with a renewed perspective.  Yes, the closed church doors were an inconvenience to many, but North Fayette UMC emerges from this crisis, (Lord, may this blessing continue), without any known Covid-19 related congregational deaths.  To put this in perspective, I spoke with a pastor friend this past week who performed 11 Covid-19 related funerals over the course of the pandemic.

As we cautiously, with measured steps, reopen and resume church functions, I ask for your patience, your prayers, and your participation at your wise discretion.  God has got this.  We trust and we follow knowing that God’s eyes do not grow dim or weary.  We trust in God’s vision and plan, trying to maintain a loving, proper perspective.

For some Biblical point-of-view on this, I invite you to spend some time, slowly and pensively, with Psalm 34.  Note how the Psalm engages the senses, especially sight. 

See you around soon,

Rev. John