Philippians 4:11b…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I am heading out the door, and I can’t find my mask.
I am learning to be content whatever the circumstances.
I am about to join a zoom meeting and the internet is down.
I wish I could be content whatever the circumstances.
Today looks a lot like yesterday.
I wish the circumstances would change, and then maybe I would be content.
Working at home, again. Friends and co-workers quarantined. Yoyo emotions.
These circumstances stink.
Another night of Netflix?
Content? What’s that?
Any of this sound like your life? I met with Evelyn yesterday, and she suggested that we should count our blessings, the things we have learned during this pandemic. Evelyn has experienced blessings. I trust that God is bringing us blessings because God is always bringing us blessings. And some days I can see them. But lots of days it feels like I am still a new arrival to this new circumstance, and I am carrying a little suitcase filled with questions. I haven’t found a content place to put down my bags and actually begin to live.
I have learned this:
We need each other. More than ever before, I have come to realize how much we need each other. A text from a friend is a blessing. Going home to supper with Dave is a blessing. A conversation with you is a blessing.
My life and how I live it impacts the lives of others. Your life and how you live it impacts my life. We are contagious. The virus is contagious, true. But encouragement is also contagious. Creative thinking is contagious. Compassion and mercy and forgiveness are contagious. Even strength is contagious. We can be exposed to the strength of others and “catch” their strength. Evelyn’s assurance of blessings was catching. (Bitterness is contagious too. We have to be very careful about what we spread.)
Life is fragile. I have learned that too. A friend writes that the world is too fragile for anything but love. I think she is right.
Sometimes people share scripture with me. That scripture I opened with came from a woman named Irene. She was in her second and final bout with breast cancer, the one that would end her life. Philippians 4:11b…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. These were not just words for her. She lived and breathed a kind of contentment. This was not resignation. She had not “given up.” She had lots of things to take care of, and she did. But she embraced her life with a sort of contentment that said: “this is how I will live today, doing what I can, and above all else caring for those around me.” And through it all, she was certain that God was with her. (You might want to read all of Philippians 4.)
I am not content, not yet, but I believe is possible. I think I am learning that. Thanks be to God.
Pastor Cindy Hickman
West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Ave
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
Like us on Facebook or visit us at WDMUMC.org. We worship online at 9:30 on Sunday mornings and it is posted all week long. Hope you will join in!
This Week at WDMUMC
Please Welcome Theodore Zachary Valentine! He will be baptized this Saturday. He joins Elaine Ann Manchester who was baptized several weeks ago. God is good!
All Saints Service at 2 pm in the parking lot. In the United Methodist tradition, a saint is anyone who loved God as best they could and loved others. During this brief service, we will remember the saints who graced our lives. We will pray and ring the bell in remembrance. The Memorials Committee will light a candle for those remembered. Please mask and social distance. We will remain in cars. The service will be held just outside the lower level doors. Please park so that you can see that space. Needed: we need someone to ring the bell! Could you do that? Contact Pastor Cindy
Have you filled out the survey? WDMUMC is preparing for a new senior pastor. (Our old one is worn out, and she will be leaving in June.) We want to know what the church hopes for in a new senior pastor. Go to our website and scroll down and you will find a link to the survey. If you are a paper sort of person, call the church and a paper one will be provided to you. This is important for the future of our church. We hope you will share your thoughts.
Looking for a Fun Safe Halloween? Fair Meadows Parent/Faculty Committee is hosting a drive-through Halloween celebration on Saturday night from 6:30-9. This is a fundraiser for the school. $10 per car.