Pastor Bill’s Blog

Pastor Bill’s Bits  March 2019

The God We Can Know
As I write this, March is fast approaching and so
is the season of Lent…
Lent begins late this year with Ash Wednesday
on March 6. Lent gives us an opportunity to
develop a deeper relationship with our God.
After all, relationships are what the Christian
faith is all about—our love for God and our love
for others. So this month I want to share with
you an excerpt from the book, The God We Can
Know, by Rob Fuquay:
I once went to a mountain-climbing school.
Actually, my wife Susan sent me to a mount-
climbing school. I had taken an interest in
alpine climbing but didn’t really know what I
was doing. Susan figured if I was going to risk
my life it might be good to get some training.
Besides, my life insurance wasn’t paid up.
The next summer I traveled to the state of
Washington where I spent a week on a glacier
in the Cascades with a guide and two other
“students.” My fellow learners were a couple
from New Your City. Our experience began
early in the morning when we were picked up
outside our hotel in Seattle. We went first to a
park where introductions took place, and we
spread out our gear to make sure we all had
what was needed. …
Standing in line for coffee, the guy from New
York, who was significantly bigger than me,
turned around and said, “Okay, I understand
you’re a pastor. Is that right? I could tell by
his tone he was not excited about this
possibility. I said, “As a matter of fact I am.”
He continued, “Well, let me get this straight
right now. I don’t want to hear a bunch of
religious stuff all week. Got that? My
girlfriend and I are on vacation, and we don’t
want to be preached to!”

I responded, “It’s a deal. I’m on vacation and
don’t feel like preaching.” He swallowed a
shot of espresso like it was whiskey and then
ordered an extra-large dark roast. This was
not someone to mess with! I would learn later
that he was Jewish but not active in his faith.
His girlfriend had never claimed any religious
preference, and our guide had dabbled in
many religious systems, currently Buddhism.
…The most amazing episode, however, came
on the last morning. For our “final exam” we
would summit a local peak. Wake-up call was
2:00 A.M. After the hour-plus it took to eat
and gear up, we roped ourselves together and
prepared to climb. Right before we departed
the guy from New York said, “Wait! Before we
start we need the Rev to say a prayer.” Yes,
this was the same guy who threatened me five
days earlier about preaching. I just about fell
out of my harness! A prayer request—from
this guy?
I regrouped, asked everyone to hold hands,
and led us in prayer roped together and
standing on the ice under a clear moonlit sky.
I was reminded all over again that we all have
yearnings. Deep yearnings. The kind of
yearnings that make us wonder about life and
this world and what it’s all about. They’re
part of what binds us together. Even those of
us disinterested in religion, and perhaps even
faith, often wonder if there is a God; and if so,
what does this God have to do with us?
The story Rob shares with us in his book shows
us that even people who appear to be offended
by religion still struggle with the deep questions
of life. We may find that even if one day they
close us off, another day they may be open. So,
don’t give up! Let your light shine in this season
of Lent! Invite your friends to worship! Share
how God has worked in your life! Show your
love for God and others….
Pastor Bill, Ed.

 

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