WE FOUND A WAY TO ESCAPE THE PANDEMIC
THANK YOU ROBIN, STEPHANIE, STACY AND ALL FOR MAKING THIS FUN PHOTO SHOOT HAPPEN!
Words from Wayne
by Rev. Wayne McKirdy
"Do not be afraid"
This is a sermon I prepared for Sunday. Except, with the tightening restrictions, there will be no more services until further notice. My case worker said if I would print it, she would copy it and distribute it for fellow residents to read. And now it is making its way into The Scuttlebutt for all of you.
Read Matthew 14:22-33 These are strange times, one's different than any of us have ever experienced before. So many unknowns -- and fear can change us. There is a fear that helps us, that contributes to our confidence. Fear is the needle of nature to keep us alert, to stimulate action, and to compel progress. If you were in action in any of the wars, you have experienced that fear? While it was always a hard position, the fear enabled us to do what was necessary to survive and help those around us. Of course, we are thankful for that fear that helps prepare us for what we face. In this way, fear keeps life worthwhile. But there is also the fear that is a liability: that can disable a person, paralyze the nerves, destroy powers of reason, thwart action. For example: Take a heavy plank, lay it on the floor, you will have no difficulty walking it, even running or skipping its length. Now, raise that plank 50 feet in the air. Now walk on it. NO? Yet it's the same plank, just as reliable. But YOU are not the same person. Fear paints a picture in your mind of what might happen. And you are frozen in anticipation of the consequence of failure. Or take this similar one: In my boyhood we liked to go visit Grandma Hagburg. But she lived about a half mile west of us, across the Heart River. To get to her we had two choices. You could hit south across the bridge, then a half mile up toward Riley's hill, then a mile of curvy trail west just past Hagburgs house, then North and east another half mile. And we're there. But most of the time the shallow spot in the river just in front of their house was fun to wade across. And they did have a plank system over this shallow spot. Tho the water ran swiftly under, I could walk, run, or skip across with no difficulty. But let the water get a bit higher, where the plank system was still working, but just barely -- wow, that was a different story. I could still do it, one careful foot in front of the other, and no skipping or running. What made it so much harder? Same river, same planks, but now, I'm not the same. Fear has changed my ability. Orva Lee Rice in her book "Tomorrow is Yours", wrote: "Often fear robs us of our peace of mind. How often do we hear people say: "I just know something is going to happen." That is the wide-open door where fear enters, and peace of mind leaves. We cannot do our best when we are robbed of our self-assurance by fear. Did you ever try something; a speech, a solo; practice went really well, but when it comes time to do it before someone - wow. In such predicaments you should introduce into your mind the thought that you are perfectly willing to fail in your appearance, you find yourself relaxing, you become yourself again, and once again you have all your powers." I read the story if Pamila Hollingsworth, a 5-year-old at the time, who wandered away from a family picnic in New Hampshire; clothed in summer playsuit and sneakers. For 8 days hundreds searched for her, the nights were cold, almost freezing. It rained a few times. And when she was found it was her voice calling them. She lost 8 lbs., had to have her sneakers cut from her swollen feet. Drs marveled at the resistance that kept her from pneumonia. Back-woodsmen said it was impossible. How did she endure? She said: "It was a long, long time, but I knew my Daddy would find me." Her faith in her father, and her utter lack of fear kept her alive. Charles Allen wrote: "Life has the power to hurt, to hurt deeply, but life also has the power to heal, to heal completely. When you are tempted to give up your faith, remember that life's helping power is stronger than it's hurting power." And we have our "Daddy" where and what we are into. Today's Scripture is about one of the times we are told "Don't be afraid” Peter had guts enough to believe and got out on the water and started walking to Jesus, but this was a rough day, and he got frightened. Jesus was there with his hand and said, "Don't be afraid." So many times, in the scripture we hear those words. The angels, at the birth of Jesus proclaimed it. Again, at the grave. And again, as the disciples gather after his death. Peter proclaims it to the early followers. And John says perfect love casts out fear. "Fear creeps in like a poisonous fog, making us pull down the shades and double lock the doors. Fear erects barriers of the mind more real than barbed wire or the Berlin Wall. Trembling disciples behind our barricades of fear, we have forgotten the Master, who walked thru all barriers", wrote Bob Hale. Much of our fear comes from our search for security. Sam Keepn wrote: "When I cease asking for guarantees that my feet will find secure ground, support appears for my advancing steps. The trick is to stop demanding certainty and trust in the ability of self to respond creatively to whatever happens. You can't be graceful looking at your feet" Look back to Peter, walking on the water. He honestly could do anything, as long as he was centered on "Who" rather than on "what" was around him. Life is an adventure my friends; step out in it. Say YES to life. Don't be afraid. He who created you does sustain you. Have faith my friends. Step out and see what happens. I would like to close with a prayer written by Barrie Shepherd: "Father, so much of my living is bound up in the search for security. Desperately I seek after life without risks, iron clad assurances, guaranteed guaranties. Teach me instead to live with insecurity, to realize that life is essentially insecure, and to accept it, affirm it as such in all its glorious insecurity." Amen