Newsletter – September 2021

Greetings from the desk of the Pastor! As summer winds down, and the fall schedule kicks into gear – I wanted to take a moment to talk about what happens when we unplug from God.

 A few weeks ago there was a terrible storm that swept through on a random Wednesday night. The next morning I learned a new word as we all saw the devastation that a “micro-burst” can cause. For my little section of Flushing, it meant that we lost power for almost three full days. Not to mention the fact that it was one of the hottest stretches we saw in all of August. Around my house – a lack of power meant spoiled food and no air conditioning. Truly I am grateful that with this supportive community surrounding us – it was more of an inconvenience than a devastation – but I learned a few things.

When there was no power, and the temperature was so high with no air conditioning – our house was full of cranky toddlers. When it was so hot it just seemed to sap all the energy out of my little family. We just sat around and sweat. Have you ever experienced this? It was exhausting, even when we were doing nothing. But then on Saturday afternoon, when the power came back, and the air conditioning roared to life – it had a dramatic affect on our moods. Suddenly, with the power restored, even though it was the end of a very busy week – I was happier, had more energy and just felt better all around. It was almost as if the psychological release, letting go of the stress of that week was more important than the actual return of electricity.

It’s no secret that our world has been through some tough times. With COVID and all the ripples of affects in our lives, I know that so many people are just absolutely exhausted. And it’s not about getting enough sleep – we are weary in our souls. We are tired on an emotional and psychological level that has little to do with our physical bodies. It’s a lot like we’ve lost power. We are exhausted, even when we are doing nothing. And much like my toddlers on a hot day, that can make us all a little cranky.
            But I noticed a curious thing over the summer. Folks were going on vacations – and they would come back and they were STILL burned out. People were finishing huge projects or seeing COVID restrictions go away – and still we are just as weary. Rather than welcoming good news with cheers and jubilation, we can barely muster a slight “yay.” The power has returned, but the air conditioner hasn’t kicked on. We are still exhausted, even when we are doing nothing.

I think one of the big pieces that explains our soul-weariness is that during the power outage, we have unplugged from God. Major life events have a way of disrupting our normal routine. Maybe we stop working out, stop doing daily devotions, fall out of habit of going to church, or step back from the life giving connections of community. But if we don’t plug back into God, our true source of life, we will continue to find ourselves exhausted and burnt out – no matter how much the rest of our life has returned to “normal.” And so as we look at what the fall will look like – I want to encourage you to start fresh. Commit to making God a priority and let him recharge your life! Go to church every Sunday! Make time with God a priority, talk to him, read his book. These aren’t meant to be draining obligations but rather outlets for us to plug into God’s charging station. They are meant to be life giving activities that bring you closer to the life giver.

The last thing I wanted to note is that another reason so many of us are so tired is because the pandemic is still very much a reality in our society. Though many pieces of “normal” life have returned – the fight is not over just yet. As I encourage you to “plug in” to God’s presence, I hope it is understood that we must also continue to be safe and smart in the WAY we plug in. If you are not comfortable with in-person worship, then I still encourage you to go to church every Sunday – but join us through our livestream! Make recharging your soul with God a priority, using the method that is best for you and your family at this time.

Pastor JJ


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