The Pastor's Peace - July, 2013
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It’s hot! At least it has been hot as I write this Pastor’s Peace. Of course knowing Ohio weather, it will probably cool down by the time you receive the newsletter. Summer has arrived, though, and at least for now it is hot. This means that many of you have undoubtedly turned on your air-conditioners and thus have relative comfort inside your homes. At the Eastman/ O’Dowd household, however, we have not turned ours on yet. Amelia does not care for AC so much, and now that I have lost some weight, I don’t mind the heat so much. We are trying to see how long we can go without it. Granted, it helps to have a well-shaded brick house. Perhaps we will make it all summer, and perhaps not, but interacting with the heat has taught me some interesting things.

“Mad Dogs and Englishmen”-- that is the old line from Southern India that described the only people foolish enough to go out in the noonday sun. When you sit with and respect the heat, you realize there are some things you just should not do, like spend a bunch of time in the sun at the hottest point of the day. You also learn to slow down some. I think that some folks even learn to be less angry, because getting upset at things just makes you hotter. Perhaps this is why the slowness of places like the Caribbean Islands seems so strange to many Americans from up North. We are used to quickly scurrying about here and there, and they are used to being a bit slower
because of the heat. Slowness can be a good thing, however, as we tend to notice things a bit more and focus more on what we are doing.

I like to think of Jesus as kind of a slow person. First of all he probably was, because he traveled on foot in a hot desert. I don’t think the disciples sprinted from town to town. More importantly, I think that we find stories of Jesus interacting with the common folks of the town, because he took his time. He looked to see who needed help, and how he could best convey God’s love. Many times the disciples thought Jesus did not have time for such trivial things, but Jesus always did. Maybe we can learn a lesson or two from this. How often do we, like the disciples, think that there is no time except for the things we are convinced must be accomplished? How often do we rush by someone or some situation that could be important for us or someone else?

How often do we miss God’s calling because we “know” what we need to do. There is some value in the heat of the day--some value at recognizing that life is not always best lived in the fast lane. So this summer, sit back and relax a bit; kick up your feet in the shade. You might be surprised at what you find, and how important things you never noticed might become.

Pastor Brian