Thursday, October 1, 2009

At a loss for words

Yep.  That's me.  These past couple of weeks have been very stressful and - no matter how I dress it up - I am absolutely worn out.


God is good.

My friend Max - the pastor who married Bruce and me in June - tagged me in a note on facebook last weekend.  It's been so crazy around here that I just now got a chance to hop over to it.  Turns out it was his sermon from last Sunday ...

... and it was exactly what I needed to hear.

I'm going to share part of it and just leave it at that - I hope it speaks to you the words you need to hear tonight.

In the meantime ... come back tomorrow.  I've got a guest blogger coming!!

Peace & Blessings,

Sermon on Ingratitude
Rev. Maxwell Grant
Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
(Moses crying out to God on behalf of the exiled)

Maybe Moses is going through a moment of ingratitude himself. Maybe the point is that nobody is above ingratitude, not even Moses. Maybe he’s not as different, not quite as special, as he might think. Or maybe it’s just part of the challenge of being human.

Like him, we all have a tendency to see God’s hand in our comforts, and God’s inattention in our challenges. And that sense of God’s inattention makes us inclined to cast blame, to shake our fists at the sky.

In a funny way, maybe that is why religion still truly matters.

For all its faults, and it has many, religion offers us a way to learn how to be grateful for the right things. And it helps us to sort out blessings from mere comforts, and to sort out God’s role in our challenges from our own. Most of life’s messes are really of our own making. Most of life’s great blessings are shrouded in mystery and love. Religion helps us to see that.

But more than that, we need to learn how to say “thank you” to the Universe. And we need to learn it not because the Universe—or God—requires it, but because we lose something wonderful in ourselves if we don’t. Without it, we risk forgetting just what a gift it is to be alive.

For all our imperfections, and for all life’s heartbreak, we are incredibly blessed to be here. To have this day. To have this time. To be on this journey. We can’t let ourselves forget that. We lose something very precious if we do.

Gratitude isn’t a dull chore to be endured; it’s a joy to be encountered. As people of faith, we should seek it out. We should become really good at it so that everyone, everywhere can find it in us whenever they decide to go looking for it.

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