Pastor’s Corner October 8th

 In Pastor's Corner

“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”    Arthur Ashe

At the close of a recent Weight Watchers meeting our workshop leader left us with the above quote. Although short and simple, it really resonated with me. So often we want to be somewhere else and do amazing things. In our world today we get a lot of messages that try to tell us that who we are and what we have is never enough. As individuals we spend our lives striving to be someone we are not. We work hard to gain power and prestige. When I heard the above quote I thought of myself. As I approach my mid-sixties I am very aware of all the dreams I had for my life. I am blessed to say that many of them have come true. And yet, at times, I think wistfully about the places I still yearn to go and the things I still hope to do. I have to confess that I often do not feel adequate to meet the challenges of life and when I compare myself to others I come out lacking. I suspect I am not alone.

But, as I pondered the above quote I also thought of how often this is true for us as a congregation. When I look around and see other congregations that seem bigger and appear to have more to offer, I feel a bit envious. In our world that asserts that bigger is better, it is sometimes a challenge to accept ourselves as we are. What would happen, as a congregation, if we took Ashe’s worlds to heart?

It is easy to read Ashe’s words and forget the challenges in his life that forged them. Ashe had many challenges in his life that he was able to overcome. He became the first, and in some cases still is, the only black man to win a variety of tennis titles. As if that wasn’t enough, later in his relatively short life of approximately 50 years he had to battle HIV.  Not only did he have to cope with the illness, he also had to battle the stigma associated with it. He had many challenges to overcome and yet was able to embody the above thought. He started where he was, used what he had and did what he could. He has left an indelible mark on tennis, our nation and the world.

It is so easy to be aware of what we think we do not have. We think we do not have enough people, enough money or enough time. In this season of our stewardship campaign we have been invited in our weekly sermons to ponder, what kind of Christian community do we want to be? How can we be a reflection of God’s reign as it breaks into our world today? How can we be the incarnation of Jesus Christ in our community and world now? As we ponder these questions how would our answers differ if we also held on to the above quote? So, let’s start where we are, use what we already have and do what we can. We start here at FCC. We are called to use the resources we already have; our gifts, our time, our passions, our money and our resources. WE do what we can, one step at a time. We are invited to reach out to the students and families at our nearby elementary school as we collect many of the things we take for granted. Each bar of soap, every toothbrush and tube of toothpaste, every bottle of shampoo make a difference in the daily lives of others.

What we have to offer may seem small and unimportant, but it matters to someone, somewhere. So, let’s start where we are, use what we already have and do what we can.

With joy and love, Pastor Karen

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