February 4, 2019

Dear FPC— Our soul training exercise for the week is getting some margin in our lives.  That is creating some unscheduled “white space” that can permit us to absorb the shocks of whatever the week brings and permit us to be fully present with one another more of the time, rather than distracted by screens, to-do lists, phone calls, and that voice in our heads insisting that the next thing is very urgent.  The idea is to let go of some things to free up some new margin.  This is a way to avoid the great spiritual disease of our day, “Hurry Sickness.”  Pastor John Ortberg once asked his mentor Dallas Willard for advice as he entered into a new role in ministry.  Willard responded “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”  Ortberg wrote that down, saying “that’s a good one, what else?”  After a seemingly endless pause, Willard responded “There is nothing else.  Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.  That is all you need.”  Our margin exercise is a way for us to at least reduce hurry in our lives.

I feel that God is playing a trick on me, however.  This week seems especially busy to me.  There is a pastor’s retreat at the end of the week (isn’t that supposed to be margin?), and a presbytery meeting on Saturday.  Meanwhile, I have my normal duties and several extra ones, all with two and a half days (including almost all of my normal “weekend”) gone from my week! So—I am trying to do our exercise and find margin in the midst of this busy week by stepping back from some of the things clamoring for my time.  It is scary but we can do it!  I hope you will join me. 

Last Sunday we talked about how God is different, but same same.  That is God is very different from us—he is holy and pure, but he gave it all up to become like us so that we can become like him.  This Sunday we will be talking about how we are being transformed by Jesus.  I hope you can join us! 

This week’s catechism question is about how God created everything through his Word.  Here is a prayer about that:

Lord Who Spoke the World into Existence, we marvel at your creation, even though it has been corrupted. Your beauty is revealed in the splendor of the stars. Your might is shown forth in the strength of a hurricane. Your order is displayed in the laws of mathematics. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord for the works of his hands! Amen.

http://newcitycatechism.com/new-city-catechism/#5

               May you rest in God this week and let the hurry pass you by. 

               Pastor Steve