Wednesday, March 30, 2016

from Steve Elkins

I love Steve Elkins. He is such a great man. Steve came out of our church and went into ministry a couple of years ago. He is assigned to the Faubion UMC in North Kansas City. I picked up his latest newsletter article and got his permission to reprint it.  Love it.  Here you go.

I really enjoy reading…I guess that’s a good thing being a pastor – there’s always so much to learn and not enough time to soak it all in. I recently read an article about someone who always seemed to be rushing around – it seemed like she ran late to everything in her life because of unforeseen circumstances that always seemed to pop up.

Following the difficulty of finding a parking place near to a class, she burst into the room, winded and frazzled. The teacher immediately recognized the situation and offered encouragement. “Calm down, breathe. You’ve accomplished the hardest part of your practice. You made it here. You did it. Now take your time. Just be present.”

Sadly, when the unexpected enter our lives, it tends to absorb the rest of our day. We continue to focus on the episode that made us late or took us down a different path, but forget to see our eventual arrival as an achievement. Our mind is so affixed on the negative that we never truly get to spend quality time in the present – enjoying an accomplishment of being there.

Don’t get me wrong, venting has its benefits; but only focusing on the negative of our lives hinders us from seeing the opportunities God has planned for us in the present. I’m reminded of a statement I once saw on a bumper sticker: “Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.” Circumstances and people will let us down nearly every time, but when our true joy comes from serving others in God’s name – that happiness can never be taken from us.

There are things we can do on the exterior to support that happiness. For Stephanie and I, we are trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Yes, we fall off the wagon every once in a while when we don’t push that plate away and eat more than we should waddling away feeling uncomfortable. The trick is to climb back on that wagon. God gives us the same privilege when we sin and stray from Him. We simply must ask for forgiveness and once again come under the miraculous grace of God in our lives. God is always thrilled when His lost sheep make their way home.

Living in the present takes practice. We have to remind ourselves that we made it to this point and that, in itself, is an accomplishment. God has some amazing opportunities in front of each of us. Problem is, if we are always concentrating on the difficulties that brought us to the here-and-now, we will miss the joy of the present.

In His Love,
Pastor Steve

It's a beautiful day in God's world, be sure to see the good.

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