Pastor’s Keyboard: I’m Back! I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last Pastor’s Keyboard. My secretaries have tried to get me to write them before the deadline and I’m always meaning to get them in but then something unexpected happens. I’m much like my dad; I like a schedule that is filled and orderly. I like it when I have a little time between meetings, and I like it when people arrive right on time (not too early or too late). Inevitably, a call comes in unexpectedly or unforeseen person shows up at the door needing help, or one person comes late and my entire schedule is thrown off.
Usually this makes me very upset, the emotions grow strong and I want to throw myself a pity party. But reading the writings of the Saints reminds me that this is actually meant to be received as a Great Blessing! Why? How? Because God often allows or even wills it to be so, then we must trust Him and not our plans. It stretches us in the virtues of patience, charity, and trust. If we allow it too, if we turn to the Lord in that very moment and not to the Panic Button (a button I’ve too often turned too).
How can we do this? My grandmother used to use scripture verses (her tried and true answer to every one of life’s unexpected difficulties). The Saints often had a particular phrase like “Jesus I trust in you, help my lack of trust” or “Jesus help me to desire Your will, to know Your will, and to do Your will.” Often if I have to drive somewhere unexpectedly, I’ll turn on Christian music (it can help tame the wild beast). These are all methods to helps us center less on the unexpected circumstances that are driving us crazy, and more on the God of the circumstances who is directed it all and wishing to lead us through it with more faith and trust in Him. Some of the saints called this life – our spiritual gym. By means of the unexpected, God teaches us to come to Him, to trust in Him, and to follow Him where we would not choose to go on our own. This advent season as your shopping, decorating, cooking, partying, and all the while praying, sacrificing, and fasting at times may you stay centered on Jesus who is Emmanuel (God with Us). For the more you and I stay centered in Him instead of our circumstances, we will remain peaceful, cheerful, and charitable in all the situations God brings to us or allows to change our plans. Blessed Advent!!!
Your brother and father in Christ,