PASTOR BLAINE'S WEEKLY COLUMN

Everyday – Ordinary/Sacred”
by Rev. Blaine R. Wenger

“There And Back”

The beginning of the week, Bonnie and I took a trip to Virginia. We spent a few days exploring Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. (A little get away for our 30th Anniversary.) It was a very enjoyable few days away, together. There were lots of interesting sights. I enjoy history. Seeing things up close and personal can really give you a different perspective than simply reading about it. (Another welcome aspect of the adventure away – popping into a restaurant for all the meals – no worrying about planning, preparation, or cleaning up!) That was the fun part. But as many of you know very well, traveling, while fun, can also be a bit of a chore.


Before our trip, I was working extra for days to have things ready so that I could be away. Traveling down to Virginia, Google said we needed about five hours. In reality it took over six and a half. Coming home, again, we needed about five hours; the actual time was about six and a half. We weren’t stopping much or long. The extra time? Driving around Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. It could have been worse, but it wasn’t much fun either. We would be in one slow down, and the map app was already telling us about the next slowdown ahead.


Then, when we get home, we jump right back into all the usual things; slightly behind for me. Some might wonder; is it worth it? In a word, yes! There was the adventure. There was learning and new experiences. There was simply time spent together far beyond what normally happens at home. Why even in the car, in traffic, we had more chance to sit and chat and “be” together than we normally do at home. If the attitude is open, there are blessings to be seen in every single aspect of the trip; even the parts you wished had gone differently. Maybe you can relate. I know I have talked to many people over the years, excited at the prospect of some trip or adventure, but also dreading the logistics, the preparations, or certain aspects that they knew would happen. Sometimes, people can get so anxious or overwhelmed, that they decide that this opportunity or that one is simply not worth the effort or the hassle. Let me tell you, as I have sat with families that were processing grief over the death of a loved one, very often memories that stand out include the adventures that were shared together, even the ones that were crazy or difficult at the time.


I reflect on this as I think about the next few weeks and months in the life of Ruhl’s Church. Very soon, we will be having two Town Hall Meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to share with one another how we feel God is leading the Church. Do we stay in the United Methodist Church? Or do we seek a way to leave the United Methodist Church? Honestly, this is a conversation that many have been having for quite some time. Now, we are at a point that decisions need to be made. We will set a course, or a course may be set for us by inaction. What to do? Many have ideas. Many may be unsure. Some are very eager and willing to consider what lies ahead. Some may be very reticent to discuss. For many, change is hard. And it is not uncommon to be at least hesitant, if not fearful, of the unknown. If we will see this as a “trip” that we are taking with God, maybe our perspective changes. That doesn’t mean that all will be fun, exciting, safe, and happy. But it does mean that we can find blessing in every single part of the journey.


Again, I want to encourage you to attend one of the two Town Hall meetings – Thursday, July 7, or Tuesday, July 12: both at 7 pm. And, if you haven’t done so already, be in prayer for the Church for this season of ministry. Pray that God would lead us. Pray that we would be faithful and obedient to God in all things. Pray that we be sensitive and compassionate to one another. Pray that, ultimately, we will be united with one another under God’s leadership. Pray for peace, and for God’s blessing.


5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)


Grace, Mercy, and Peace,

Pastor Blaine