First Steps – August 8, 2022

 Lately, I’ve spent a great deal of time reflecting on the aging process. Getting older can be those Golden Years where people relish the fruits of their labor, especially with those they love. Though I’m not there personally, I look forward to that aspect of life. However, there is a different side of the aging process that is less than golden, for it can be dark. With the loss of control and autonomy, things can be challenging mentally and physically.  I realize “control” is somewhat of an illusion, but the aging process crashes our perceptions in sudden ways that force one to confront realities that were kept at arm’s length for so long.  

Either through a firsthand experience or watching from the first row, the aging process can be daunting. For those that watch another journey down this path, there is a real sense of helplessness. It is painful to see people that were stalwarts, captains, and anchors for many years, now recess from center stage to the background. They still can be seen by the audience because of their respective wakes, for they have earned the respect of others for years, but as they move to the background, it becomes apparent that change has occurred. Now, the frailty of life becomes the focus of those watching.   

As I watch many go through this process, I find myself oscillating between grief and gratitude. The realization that one’s course has permanently changed and now faces a distant horizon that is not as far as it was before, leaves the pain and sadness of grief. This is my first thought. Thankfully, the next is one of gratitude. Just as I think of what is coming, I also think of all that has happened which fills my heart with gratitude.  

The Bible speaks of one that finishes his or her course in faith and now rests from their labors. On one level, grief. I know the course is coming to an end. With the next breath, gratitude in what lies ahead—rest.  In all of this, I’m humbled by God’s provisions, and his care for all that has been and for what will be.  


This Week’s Readings:
*Monday – Colossians 1
*Tuesday – Colossians 2
*Wednesday- Colossians 3
*Thursday – Colossians 4
*Friday- 1 Timothy 1

Prayer Requests:
*Children’s safety and anxiety as the new school year starts up.
*Heal those who are sick and protect those who are not.
*Comfort those who are grieving and in distress.
*Wisdom for our leaders as they navigate through uncertain times.
*Guidance for those seeking to find their way.
*Continued Growth Inside and Outside the Walls of St. Paul UMC.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.” – Philippians 4:6