First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Here's a Simple Gift. Don't Worry.

July 17, 2016

    Let's feel small for a moment. In the vast nature of the world and this reality in which we reside, we ARE small!! Yet, God values and loves us. Yesterday, my family and I took some time to spend with each other. Granted the youngest family member wasn't as thrilled about our time as mom and dad. The temperature was 93+ degrees and humidity was around 75 percent. There was a slight breeze that felt more like a hair dryer than refreshing wind. We chose to drive out the Big Valley and hike up a double powerline near Fousetown. What a blast! (*insert teenage eye roll from our son right here)

    Admittedly, from basecamp near the highway, the summit of this hike looked a thousand miles long. It actually turned out to be close to a mile to the top, but anyway.

    We bug sprayed, sunscreened, cinched our packs, and set out through high weeds and enough rocks to build an Egyptian pyramid. Every so often we would stop for a breather and a drink. Carefully treading along meant a watchful eye on the path and a wide sweeping motion from our walking sticks. At one moment, Joe stopped turned around and came back to us and said, "Tick check! I just found two on my pant leg." In total, we lost count removing ticks after about 2 or 3 dozen of them went bye byes. Focus Randy, this post isn't about ticks. Stop worrying about ticks!

On our ascent, the hike was challenging but the rewards were up to the task. I have not seen such a variety of wildflowers on one trail in a long time. Sadly, I cannot name them all but they sure were pretty. In the photo is a panoramic picture from the top of the powerline and it is barren at the top. The flower pictures surrounding this shot were nestled along the path as we climbed higher. (There were perhaps another half dozen different flowers I didn't take pictures of, ones like queen anne's lace, daisies, columbine to name a few.) These tiny wildflowers were a nice respite for three tired climbers.

    Actually, Randy, this post isn't about flowers. Man, would you focus a bit?  What I really want to leave you with is a sense that God adorns nature with such beauty and watches over each of us with more concern than the flowers of the field. Often we worry over many things that don't deserve nearly the time and energy we expend. Pursuing things of temporal nature depletes our soul and leaves us feeling like a hamster on a exercise wheel. We go really fast and make a lot of racket but rarely make any headway.

        “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what

        you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at

        the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds

        them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his

        life ? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or

        spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how

        God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not

        much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we

        drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows

        that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to

        you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has

       enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:25-34, NIV)

Today, pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and whisper a thank you to God. Thank God for your life, your family, your health, your job, your hope and your future. Yes, you have a future no matter what horrid shape you think your life is in right now. Your future is found in a deep abiding faith in Jesus Christ. Grow spiritually closer to Jesus everyday. He is the one who holds sway over creation, over the flowers of the field, and over your heart. Let him. On the paths of life, we can worry about meaningless things or become the respite for another weary traveler.  Grow where you're planted.

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