This Week at Trinity Beamsville
Friday, November 6, 2020
There has been a common theme running through my week, and if I’m honest, through the past several months. Seems it’s knocking me on the noggin to finally learn from it, so I thought I’d share in case it’s a relevant lesson for you, too.
Dan and I have been part of a birth class held on Thursdays for several weeks. One of the greatest take-away’s has been the frequently repeated wisdom that, “it’s not likely to go the way you think it’s going to go”. My respect goes to birth practitioners who must grow accustomed to the need to switch plans so frequently, sometimes moment by moment. It must take an incredible amount of resilience.
Earlier this week I watched “Dunkirk” in preparation for this season of remembrance. I found myself amazed as I considered the life of a soldier; the extent that they are required to adapt in unpredictable settings is astonishing and surely stretches the limits of their humanity.
In the lectionary reading this week, Jesus shares the parable of the bridesmaids, who are models of adaptability and preparedness, too. (And to the bridegroom, no less heroic!) In anticipation of changing plans, they put extra oil in their flasks, just in case. As it turned out, the groom was so delayed that they all fell asleep! Surely it wasn’t their hope that the party would begin at midnight. It wouldn’t be their first choice to wait so long. Yet they prepared themselves for the long haul, just in case, and as a result, would have been able to light up the reception for a long time. It would seem they had imagined the possibilities of surprise, delay, hardship and unpredictability, and lived accordingly. However, as time wore on, their wills thinned. They began to worry their supply was inadequate. So, they left the party, not realizing they would have had enough fuel to stay alight until it was time. They missed the best part, and the party was more dim without their presence.
Jesus’ story and these other examples have given me pause, as I apply them to my life. I invite you to do the same, and consider for yourself: how well do I tend to prepare for the long haul; how flexible am I to the unexpected; how often might I desire to control an outcome, to my own disservice; How often might I dim my light, doubt my strength, or give up prematurely.
Last week, in Betty Mittler’s farewell letter, she wrote “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”. So much about life is unpredictable. Weather. Babies. Delayed elections. Delayed medical appointments. Pandemics that drag on. Fill in the blank!
May we remember that God’s notion of time is different from ours, and press on with trust and openness. May our faith not be dependent on things going our way, or as we’d plan. May we move forward with courage and trust that God’s Spirit is with us, empowering us with fuel to keep us going through life’s circumstances, beyond our imagining. May we keep shining our lights into dark spaces, come what may, that we might help one another along on their way. We are more needed and valued to this community, to this world, than we could ever realize.
God bless you and yours! Please feel welcome to be in touch for pastoral needs, or even just to catch up.
This Week at Trinity Beamsville