By Cheryl Saur of Round Rock, TX, USA
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from God’s glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience… —Colossians 1:11 NRSV, adapted
My seven-year-old granddaughter was angry. With money tight she knew there would not be another pair of shoes until she outgrew her tennis shoes. So… she was angry.
Being the youngest of four children with three older brothers, she always tried to find a way to get what she wanted. This time she decided to fix her shoes so she could not wear them at all. First she cut off the Velcro tabs so they would not fasten. Finding her shoes could still be worn even without the fasteners, she decided to make several long cuts from front to back on both sides of the shoes so they would just fall off her feet. Surely this would convince her parents she needed new shoes!
However, her Dad took one look at the results of her angry effort to get her way and merely said, “Duct tape…I can fix these with duct tape!” So every day before she left for school, her dad taped her shoes to her feet. It may seem harsh, but again, money was tight, and she needed to learn a lesson.
Often, out of selfishness and despair, we believe the only way to solve our problems and change our condition is to first destroy what we already have. We shake our fist at God and yell in anger, “See, this is really messed up now!” As we hastily try to “fix” what is wrong, we lose our patience and go buy something new, change jobs, leave our friends and family, or sever ties with our church community.
However, what we need is to let God wrap us in Divine love. During the rough patches of life in community, we can hold one another with prayer, love, and perhaps a strap of duct tape. Something greener or newer on the other side of the fence is not the answer. We need to be aware that Blessings of Community are worth the wait.
Prayer for Peace
Understanding God, forgive us when we try to rush ahead with our own agenda. May we do everything we can to share Christ’s peace, and then patiently leave it in your hands.
Spiritual Practice: Offering Blessings of Community
Receive and share Blessings of Community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the friendships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, and people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life. What blessings flow to you from these circles? How have you felt the love of the community?
Today, God, I will patiently wait (and save) for what matters most.