Day 176 | Friday, 11 September 2020
A DAY TO PAUSE AND REMEMBER 9/11, where were you?
From the Church Mouse
Must I be Dependent?
“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:4-5 NIV
A very long time ago, when I was young, and could do all kinds of things for myself, I had a pond on the back half of the five acres I called home. At that time, I had two young children, a large house, a huge vegetable garden, a beautiful rock garden and 38 rose bushes. The pond is the feature of the parable for today. It was 4 times as large as ours here at the Woodlands and was 12 feet deep. It needed to be 12 feet deep to “turn the water over” and keep it fresh.
The pond was home to 12 largemouth bass and many panfish. It was my pleasure to care for the pond and to keep the creatures in it healthy and happy. My son and I named the bass each after a different dinosaur, my son’s passion at the time.
I had to keep the three feet barrier around the pond in good shape and to keep the algae at bay with barley straw. I knew that if I got too busy with other things and let time go by without checking on the pond, something could go haywire. One thing I had to watch for were the muskrats that insisted on taking over the pond leaving burrows everywhere and snacking on my fish with insistent regularity. I preferred the “have-a-heart” trapping method followed by relocating them to a distant location: more work, less guilt.
I realized that the creatures at my pond, yes, even the muskrats, were dependent on me in order to thrive. I loved my little wild ones and did not want to put them in harms way.
As humans we can be clueless when it comes to realizing how dependent we are on one another. We can surely seem to be as clueless as my fish as we swim through life unaware of the help we need from others (and God) just to get through the week. If COVID-19 has taught us only one thing it is most certainly that.
Just as I’m certain that I cannot survive without my community, here and at my church, I also realize how much I struggle with my fierce independence and my comfort with being a loner. I also realize how vital it is to my well-being to depend on others, whether they are family, friends, neighbors, or people in my church.
As I struggle with my independence as I walk around our Woodlands Pond checking on what is needed, I want to be like our grass carp now: just doing what I can and asking for help (how awful!) with things. I can no longer manage. I can manage just fine if I trust in others and my Lord.
Heavenly Father, thank you for providing all my needs and making available others who care for me. Help me learn to receive their love gratefully and trust those you have placed in my life. Amen
On Missing my Beloved greyhound, Jonah
God summoned a beast from the field, and he said, “I endow you with the instincts uncommon to other beasts: faithfulness, devotion and understanding surpassing those of man himself.”
“Lest it impair your understanding, you are denied the power of words. Speak to your master only with your mind and through honest eyes.”
“So be silent and be a friend to man. This shall be your destiny and your immortality.” So spoke the Lord.
And the dog heard and was content.
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Rev. Douglas Knopp, Pastor Emeritus