The Difficulty of Taking Time

Jesus’ ministry began with forty days in the wilderness. Lent comes as a forty day spiritual journey towards Easter. Fourteen days since my hospital release, forty days seems like a long time. Jesus wrestled with the Tempter. I am wrestling with defining my being by my doing. My twenty two year internal church drive says: “do church work”. Our internal pushes and God’s peace-giving Spirit are not one in the same. We professionals,who every Sunday work on God’s Sabbath, must learn to guard our sabbath renewal. The community’s needs, a call to preach, those sick and hurting people always beckon. Jesus took 40 days.

As chief shepherd, I know our staff and lay leaders will nurture our flock while I rehabilitate my hip. I know the variety of preachers and perspectives over these days will bless and expand our understanding of God’s Kingdom. God likely holds unseen lessons for us to learn together, if we wait and trust.

Each time I grasp the wooden sides of our historic pulpit to step into the place countless pastors have stood, I am reminded we belong to a faith community with deep roots, dedicated laity, talented people, enduring vision, emerging ministries and compassionate service. In other words, I know you, the people of God at Tullahoma First, are safely in each others hands.

I want to stride back into our pulpit without cane or walker. Pray that I have the good sense to listen to the doctors and therapist about the timing of this step. The surgeon cut five of six hip muscles and resurfaced my gnarly femur with a cobalt crown. My PT councils patience as I relearn the proper use of muscles that for years over-compensated or atrophied due to an RA affected joint. The Temptor beckons a rushed rehab focused more on getting to the office than getting well. As it comes, I am doing some work, but right now I need a walker, naps, a lot of Tylenol, ice packs and two PT sessions a day.

I am so thankful for your cheerful cards, delicious meals, home communion, and heartfelt prayers. Let us continue to uphold each other with our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.

Peace, prayers and appreciation

Paul

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