The Pastor's Peace - February, 2014
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We have several things to look forward to in February. There is the Presidents’ Day holiday, Valentine’s Day (of course), Groundhog Day, and my favorite, National Bagel and Lox Day, February 9th by the way. There is also something happening called the 2014 Winter Olympics. I am sure that NBC would rather I call it the Most Awesome Fantastic 2014 Winter Olympics That-you must-watch Extravaganza! I am, however, not sure how fantastic it will be. I like the Olympics, but I am not so sure about Sochi. Now I know there are probably some big Russia fans out there, maybe not, but Sochi averages around 48 degrees in February. You will notice that is above the ever-soimportant freezing of water temperature. Don’t worry, though, they literally have 450,000 cubic meters of snow saved in vaults, and hundreds, maybe thousands, of snow machines. No wonder the games are estimated to cost $51 billion, the most of any Olympics.

As I ponder this, I think about whether it is an example of man’s ingenuity and ability to overcome, or an example of our stupidity and arrogance. It is interesting that these two things are often hard to tell apart. The world’s verdict will surely be dependent on the success or failure of the games. If it does lean more to the side of lunacy, does this mean we should never attempt difficult things? At what point does bravery and hard work turn into ego and stubbornness? For me, I think it has to do with why we are doing something. I think that is true in the Bible, particularly with Paul, who
knew a thing or two about ego. When we attempt something of difficulty because we are trying to help others, or forward a worthy cause, then this is noble. If we are doing it only to add grandeur to ourselves, then perhaps it is something that is not the best use of our time.

Paul talked about other self-important false prophets and the fact that what he did was for Christ and the Gospel as opposed to himself. Now Paul did have an issue or two with ego, but in his heart of hearts, I believe he did what he did primarily out of a love for Christ and a need to share that love with others.

As Paul quotes in 1 Corinthians 1:31, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” As we live our lives and face challenges, perhaps we should think about what challenges are worth working toward overcoming, and which ones we should just let go. If we work for Christ in our lives, then this should lead to an outpouring of love and work to help others. Perhaps you can find a new person to share the Gospel with on February 11th, National Make a Friend Day, or even ways to help strangers on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day. Regardless of what day you decide to do God’s work, don’t give up, and know that God is with us even when things are most difficult. Lastly, don’t forget, even if you worked really hard towards something this month and you still don’t feel like you accomplished much, there is always February 22nd, National Margarita Day.

Peace and Blessings,

Pastor Brian