One of my best friends growing up in Maine recently posted on FB about all the people whining on social media about being stuck at home. Bored, lonely, and in some cases feeling hopeless. He said he gets it but has a unique perspective.
My friend and I went different directions after high school. I took off for work and college. He took off for a life of drugs, alcohol, and “that” lifestyle. His addictions landed him in jail many times and finally prison. He only recently was released from prison and has been reflecting on his life and the mistakes he has made. It is great to see God moving in and through his life now that he is back home and near his family and son.
He knows all too well about limited freedoms, boredom, being contained against your will, and all the other challenges we are experiencing with our stay at home order while we work to save lives by staying home. His was caused by choices he had made and ours has been made for us. Different causes but many of the effects are the same.
My childhood friend is no longer a prisoner of the state, but rather is now a prisoner FOR the Lord.
One of the challenges I think during this time is not just to be patient with each other on social media and with the families we are home with during this challenging time; we must also learn to be more patient with ourselves. We can run ourselves ragged trying to stay busy, productive, and in many other ways.
Some of the effects we are experiencing as we wait for our state to be opened up is increased loneliness, many are experiencing mental health challenges, burnout from doing more now than we’ve ever been expected to before (see: every parent of school age children…) loss of income and security, and even sleep patterns are being disrupted. There are some challenging effects we are feeling as we are separated not just from each other but from the life we once had and the life we will once again have. We are resilient people but it feels strange to be stuck in this liminal space: between the “what was” and the “what will be”, without knowing what the “will be” is.
Our scripture reading today reminds us that during this time gentleness, patience, and humbleness will be the things that sustain us as a community of believers. The Governor is moving us into a new phase with some more access but things will still be challenging. Churches will likely not meet on Sunday mornings for some time yet. Our scripture reminds us to live a life worthy of the calling we have received. Support each other, care for one another, and most importantly, care for yourself during this challenging time. I invite you to remove any pressure you may be putting on yourself and give yourself plenty of grace; then, share it abundantly with others.
I pray for all of your well being (physical, mental, and spiritual) as well as your continued faith journey with Jesus Christ during this challenging and strange time.
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
We are meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and 11:30 a.m. on Wednesdays in the Fellowship Hall.
Join us on the Second Sunday of every month for good food and good fellowship.
Military Appreciation Breakfast
Third Saturday of the month, 8 a.m.:
Veterans and Active Military and their Significant Others, join us for a hearty breakfast as we share our appreciation for your service.
United Methodist Women Monthly Meeting:
Third Thursday of every month: October 21, November 18, and December 16.
United Methodist Men's Monthly Breakfast:
*Postponed Until Further Notice
Tuesday: 8-12 am
Wednesday: 8-11 am
Thursday: 8-11 am
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
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