Monday, October 6, 2014


by Alice Valdal

 For the past several weeks I've devoted all my energies to hosting a family reunion.  I prepared breakfasts and dinners ahead of time, loading my refrigerator and my freezer.   I filled the cookie jars.  I vacuumed in forgotten corners.  Made up beds that hadn't been used in a long time.  Laid in extra supplies. Planned outings.  Made reservations.  Arranged airport pick-ups and drop-offs.  There were lists on every flat surface, and then lists of the lists.  There were hours of lying awake at night, reviewing my plans.
    Once everyone had arrived, I fussed about the weather -- as though my fussing would change anything :-) -- confirmed arrangements, added another leaf to the table, laid out all my dishes and cutlery, even borrowed a few, all to ensure my family had four days of good times in each other's company.
     Now, everyone has gone home and I'm wandering about wondering what to do with myself.  I've lost my purpose.  I pick up a book and set it back on the shelf.  I stare at the garden and don't know whether to weed it or pull it out.  I look at my desk and turn away from the work awaiting me there.  For the moment, I have no focus, no direction. Although the visit was a mountain top experience, I live my life on the plains of day-to-day.
    Thankfully, I have touchstones for my days, a calendar with events and deadlines and projects written down, a path to lead me back to the routine of life, a compass to put me back on course. Choir practice beckons.  Bible study begins.  My gratitude journal lies open, reminding me to give thanks in all things.  Did you see the lovely pink clouds in Friday's sunrise?  

    At church, too, we can get so caught up in our projects, our passions, our busyness -- all good things -- that we are distracted from the purpose behind it all, the heart of our faith.  
   On Sunday, SPPC celebrated world-wide communion, our touchstone, a reminder of why we devote time, talent and treasure to the church, the bride of Christ.        
   Because Christ loved us first, because He gave His life for us, because our chief end is to "glorify God and enjoy Him forever," we spend time at His table, we share communion with each other and with the great company of saints who have gone before.         Grounded in faith, in the love of Christ and fellowship with each other, we are strengthened and renewed, ready once more to pick up the everyday tasks of Christian living.


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