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Tuesday Tidings February 19, 2024



Dearest Members of Bethlehem,

 

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” -John Heywood

 

I’m not smart enough to figure out internet algorithms, but I can tell you this much… if you watch a video of any kind for more than 10 seconds, there will be many more of a similar kind coming your way.

 

I slipped up, I admit it.  I was clearing notifications when up pops a video of a guy in a flannel shirt wondering around the woods.  They had me.  Would he be attacked by a bear, rescue a lost hiker, or discover some rare mushroom?  None of the above.

 

First, he started clearing some space on the forest floor.  Then, he leveled things out, and brought pea-sized gravel from a nearby stream bed.  Then he sunk some posts, laid a floor of rough cut lumber.  Next he framed out his cabin and completed the roof.  He installed a little wood burning stove, got a fire going, boiled some water for tea, and then crawled into his cozy handmade bed.  The whole project took a total of two minutes and thirty eight seconds, at least that’s how long the video lasted.  I’m grateful to report, that now, every time I pull up Facebook there are three more videos of industrious folks building cottages in the middle of nowhere, all completed in under five minutes.

 

And those videos, they could be dangerous.  If I hadn’t been involved in a couple flooring projects, if I hadn’t tar papered and shingled some roofs in my day, I would be convinced that it’s just that easy.  Simply walk out into the woods, wherever you’d like, find a nice spot, and toss up some permanent housing for yourself.

 

I know we all like easy and expedient, but I worry about content creators who distill weeks worth of work into 180 second segments.  Life, especially the more important projects in our lives, take patience and perseverance.  This is especially the case with our lives of faith.

 

And I think this is precisely why Saint Paul offered advice that he had already embraced in his own life, “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9 

 

It’s so easy, especially toward the end of winter, to grow weary, to wonder about the value of our efforts, or to question the wisdom of our decisions.  I get it, sincerely, I do, but please don’t lose heart.  Do what you can do today and trust that there will be another opportunity tomorrow.  John Heywood was right after all, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.”  Yep, one brick at a time, it’ll take a whole lot more than 180 seconds, but it sure beats doing nothing at all.         

 

Question for reflection: What do you do to give yourself a boost, find some inspiration, or recharge those batteries for the long haul?

 

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dan

 

Gracious Lord, occasionally we just run out of steam, we get discouraged, and resignation looks so much more appealing than rejuvenation.  But alas, we give you thanks for inviting us into a faith that encourages us to rest periodically, to share our burdens with our siblings in Christ, and then persevere while we look forward to a new day. All this we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.

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