Earlier this week, Lucy and I went on a hike. We did a section of the Long Trail taking us to the summit of Bromley Mountain. It was a lovely day and there were no bugs and I was in high spirits but early in the hike I slipped on a wet rock in such a way that I really hurt the heel of one foot. It hurt badly enough that I thought about abandoning the hike and returning to the car. Lucy, who is an awfully good girl, would have been disappointed, but she would have been supportive. Still, I decided to soldier on.
But each step was painful. And at one point, as we were balancing across some planks keeping us above deep, muddy places, I realized that I had a choice. i could either be painfully on a plank or cheerfully on a hike. The hard part was that, because of the nature of the path, I had to keep my eyes on the ground the whole way, which made it hard to keep my mind on the summit.
But I resolved to keep my mind on the summit and the summit ahead of me had an effect on the trail beneath me. The prospect of a grand arrival rendered all the slippery rocks and gnarled roots and narrow spaces into a ribbon of adventure threading its way through a lovely forest.
I'm glad I kept hiking.
And, of course, the preacher is making a point. You might feel like you and your church are on a plank in the wilderness with an aching heel, but I am eager to lead you on a hike and to have you join me at the summit. In his second letter to the church at Corinth, Paul writes, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
We are making good use of the Marble Museum and the internet and we are doing really good work at the Pittsford Food Shelf. The board is being wise and strategic about finding our path forward. And the mission of making more and better disciples for Jesus advances. And we are not the turning back type.
Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church Blog