The Pastor's Peace - October, 2016
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What a long strange trip it’s been. As most of you know, I was away for the summer on sabbatical, completing a 250-mile solo hike from the church to a monastery in Kentucky. I have talked a bit about my trip in sermons and I plan on talking a bit more about it during the October 16th “3rd Sunday” carry-in. There were, of course, numerous unexpected experiences both pleasant and unpleasant, many lessons learned, and disconnecting from everything for several weeks had a profound effect on me. It is something I will always remember and be grateful to the church for making possible.

One area that affected me greatly was the idea of how we as people face challenges in our lives. There are many things I have done that were “difficult” in life. However, one area in which I had never truly challenged myself was that of my body and physical activity. I have participated in sports during some parts of my life, but was never dedicated in the way those who truly call themselves athletes are. I have never done an Ironman, or run a marathon; I don’t even like running. So, the idea of walking around 15 to 20 miles a day with a 60-pound backpack was daunting to say the least. It was also unbearably hot; perhaps July was not the best time to walk across Kentucky. This also meant I had to get up very early each day so that I was not walking after 11am. By early I mean I got up between 2:30am and 4:00am each morning. Did I mention that I am not a morning person, and I don’t drink caffeine?

Despite the heat, long distances, heavy backpack, rain, being chased by dogs, and getting up way too early, I made it. This in itself taught me an important lesson; I am capable of more than I think I am. You are also capable of more than you think you are. When Jesus chose his disciples, he chose common people and despised people. They were certainly not anywhere close to the type that we would expect to lead the Church of the Messiah, the Son of God. Yet despite others’ expectations and their own self-doubt they performed great deeds, miracles, and were great leaders and witnesses of faith. Jesus knew they were capable of so much, and through Jesus they achieved so much.

The moral of all of this is to remember that all of us have greatness within us. Through faith and dedication all of us can do things we might not think we can. Do not let the doubt of others or even your own self-doubt limit your life. Listen to what God has called you to do and have faith that God knows our capabilities better than we do. Although, I do wish God had let me sleep in just a bit more.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian