What You Don't See....

On the Heliotrope Ridge Trail last Friday morning.
See the beautiful flowers, the neatly packed pack, the smiling face and the semi-fit guy on the trail? It is a nicely preserved split second in time. That guy is actually a mess of wonder and worry. Weary and wrecked; hobbling in wet shoes down the gorgeous foothills of Mt. Baker. Pam and I finally got our first training overnight together. A couple of things we learned:

•Things take a lot longer than you think. (all things) We started late, crossed three raging glacial fed streams, the last by headlamp. Couldn't see the trail on the far side of the fourth. Didn't finish our planned trail day because we ran out of energy. We turned back and found the nearest place remotely resembling a place to pitch our tent and got 3 hours of restless sleep.

•One moment of forgetfulness has consequences that vary randomly in their affect on your future. We purchased a lighter to ignite our camp stove for hot meals and coffee; then forgot it in the car. Consequently we ate cold reconstituted dinner and had no coffee. Sleep deprived and coffeeless the next morning, I forgot where I was and stepped back and "pop," twisted my ankle. Consequently I hobbled down the mountain, my training opportunities are cut short by  recovery time, and my summer trip is in peril.

Sometimes church life is like this. We pause for split seconds to snap great pictures as we hobble broken, hungry and weary into church on Sunday. There we, like the many crowds Jesus faced, hear good news, have our bodies healed and our hope renewed and share a meal that feeds our bodies and souls.

The week after next we will welcome our community to share a VBS experience. My guess is that they will arrive and smile nicely for a split second as they come to play and learn stories of God's love for their lives. On the inside they are most likely a mess of wonder and worry. Weary and wrecked running through their lives looking for the trail. Our task will be to help them see the trail and follow in faith's footsteps.

We are uniquely qualified to show them the trail, because it is where we travel every day. We learn from our mistakes and their consequences in our faith and life. It makes us good guides for following faith's footsteps.

Your Limping Pastor