Pastor’s Pen October 12, 2016

“Have no anxiety about anything…” Philippians 4:6

It’s hard to let go of things that have happened in the past. We worry ourselves to death over things we cannot change. We imagine that if things have not always gone perfectly, and they never do, then the worst is about to happen now. Let me tell you a story.

Two monks traveled by foot along a road when they came to a necessary river crossing. As they approached they noticed a young girl also attempting to cross to her home on the other side. The young girl asked for assistance, as she could not swim. The monks exchanged a meaningful glance, knowing that they had both taken vows not to touch a female.

Without a word, the older of the two monks picked up the girl and carried her across the river, placing her gently on the other side, and continued on his journey.

The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After catching up with his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.

Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk blurted out the words he could no longer contain: “As monks, we are not permitted to touch a female, how could you then carry that girl child across the water?”

The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river and left her there. Why are you still carrying her?

This story is for all of us who worry about things that have happened, feel anxious about the consequences of something we cannot change, or carry a restless spirit about the worst imaged troubles that haven’t materialized. Our faith teaches us that we can “cast our cares upon God, for God promises to care for us and to sustain us”. Whatever burdens you carry from the past, God invites you to leave them at the shore and keep walking.

Prayer: O God, release the knot in my stomach, and the tightness in my throat. You know what I’m up against. Just for today, I give all anxious thoughts to you.

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Anna V. Copeland