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Pastor’s Pen February 17, 2016

Verlee A. Copeland

“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.” Psalm 86:11

         You may be reading this by the side of the pool in Florida or sitting somewhere without a jacket. If that’s the case, you won’t be all that interested in what I’m about to say. Nevertheless, feel free to listen in, but forgive me if I don’t cast much empathy your way. You see, it was eleven below zero here last week. That’s real temperature, not wind chill. At the top of Mt. Washington, a researcher threw boiling water into the air to see what would happen, and at those temperatures, it immediately turned to snow and fell. Dogs walked two feet into their morning yards, and turned back whimpering, foot-pads nearly frozen in seconds.

         So vacationers and Floridians, please forgive my reverie today. The temperature just hit 39 and I’m looking for the beach towel. A lone surfer dove into the 40-degree water at first light this morning as if it were a holiday in July.

         In the past week our temperaments shifted from sullen if not surly, to outright giddiness. We New Englanders are not prone to giddiness in any season, but we’re especially surprised when we’re overtaken by it in February, in Lent no less. We feel anxious when things get too emotional, the weather too volatile, our lives too chaotic. We don’t care much for change, even if it improves our circumstances.

         This is the part of the story where faith matters. When we’re in control of everything, the world is predictable. We find this comforting. After all, how can we step foot out the door in the morning if we don’t know whether to expect black ice or sunshine? However, there’s a cost to playing safe. When we have to be in control of everything, then our world remains necessarily small.

God’s plans are often grander and wilder than our greatest imaginings. There is only one way forward when the future seems uncertain. Trust.

Prayer: God of calm out of the chaos, settle my soul in You, that I might walk in your truth and trust in your ways. Reassure me once again that I need not be afraid, for all manner of things will be well according to your promises, and revealed in your time. Amen

God’s Grace, Mercy and Peace,

Pastor Verlee