Thursday, April 18, 2013

Devotional 4-19-13

A Little Rough on the Climb Out

I seem to be flying a lot lately.  I can’t say that I like to fly, but I can say that I DO like getting where I am going with two hours of travel time invested in air vs. 10 hours of driving. I certainly do not enjoy the security lines, the delayed flights and the checking of my carryon bag because the overhead bins are full. I also do not enjoy the anticipation of what the flight might be like. Motion sickness and I aren’t strangers. I have yet to “share” anything with a seat mate but – geesh – the anticipation. Traveling in the winter and as the days change from 75 degrees one day to 35 the next creates potential turbulents that are horrendous. I know I’m in for a ride when the pilot comes on the speaker, greets the passengers, thanks us for flying with them and then ends with, “It’s going to be rough on the climb out.” The airport and the runway may be experiencing fine weather and the weather at 30,000 feet also may be fair – it’s that area in between that has me rethinking my last meal choice. It’s that area where the climb out happens.

We are Easter people. It is the very corner stone of our faith. Easter is the most wonderful season. Everyone dresses up, the flowers are beautiful and smell so good, and the pews are full. That’s the tarmac and the weather is fine. Now Easter is ‘over’ -- not Easter the story of the resurrection and the core of our belief but Easter the day. The baskets are half full of candy, the flowers have been set aside and have begun to wither.  Now it’s time to get on with the work of Christianity – the climb out. And it’s going to be a little rough.

The disciples had a rough climb out. Once they finally got hold of the idea that Jesus really was, well, Jesus and that what he said was true, they went on an evangelism spree. It was not easy and everyone they encountered was not happy to see them. Even at 35,000 feet, the air may be calm but at that distance from the ground if you have a problem, the fall is most certainly going to be an issue.  Risk no matter. I haven’t done the research and have never heard anyone apply a percentage figure to it, but suffice it to say a fair number of Paul’s letters were written from prison or while under duress. Although not one of the charter members, Paul had seen and believed and was on a mission to proclaim his Messiah as king.  We too are there. We leave when everything is in our favor (church on Sunday is super), we ‘climb out’ through the turbulence (reaching out to someone in need), and then we hit the calmness of cruising altitude (the person seems to respond to our witness) but we always have our eye on the risk. What if we don’t get through or that person hurts us? (remember the 35,000 foot drop).  But we know in the end there is a smooth landing at our Father’s house.
The 23rd Psalm is part of today’s lectionary reading:
The LORD is my shepherd I shall not want   
He makes me go to the terminal where the weather is great
He assure s me that all will be ok
Even though it’s a little rough on the climb out
I am not afraid
Your love and your grace, they cover me
You make me get on the plane
I am apprehensive – but
You say “I am with you > always’ 
Absolutely blue skies and calm winds will find me
I will land at your house – every time - forever

1 comment: said...

Steve, your devotionals are always so "on point". It helps a lot when everyday happenings are the base for devotional thinking. Thank you. Jean Dean