A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Dave's Deep Thoughts - Just Peachy

Here's Pastor Dave McDowell's weekly devotional that he sends out to members of his church. Dave is my brother and serves as the Music Minister at Stewartstown UMC in PA.

Superman has his kryptonite,
Samson had his hair loss.....
We all have things in our lives that
can bring us to our knees.

Those that know me,
know that I coil into fetal position
at the sight of a peach.

There is something about the texture of that awful little fruit
that just sends shivers up and down my spine.

It's like chalkboard & fingernails,
or putting my tongue to a popsicle stick.
My teeth begin to ache just thinking about it.

I am of the firm belief that if a piece of produce has a five o’clock shadow,
it has no business on this planet.

Now don’t misunderstand….
I love the taste of a pealed peach.
I just despise the furry coat that it wears.

I live my life in avoidance of peaches.
Each trip to the produce section raises my anxiety level,
as I glance around each aisle to see what is there.

If they would just arrange fruit alphabetically,
then it would be easy to not to venture in between the papayas and the pears.
But avoiding my furry little adversaries  isn’t that simple.

Late in the summer,
someone who was  either an uniformed neighbor or a terrorist,
dropped off a bag of the furry critters at my doorstep.
After three anxiety attacks, I managed to cover the bag with a garbage liner.

I was to host a large group for a picnic the next day
and had been thinking about what to serve with the ice cream for dessert.

I was faced with a moral dilemma……….

I was raised to never waste food.
I had unknowingly been given the perfect complement to the ice cream.
And I was the only one in the house.

I considered the unthinkable.
There are times when you have to decide
what you are willing to do in the name of love.

With God’s help and a pair of latex gloves,
I decided to go where I never wanted to go.

I learned several things that afternoon….
-one can  learn to peal a peach with one’s eyes closed,
-latex can  protect one’s skin, but it can’t protect one’s heart,
-one can do the unthinkable if it is for those they love,
-and nothing one does can ever rival what Christ did for us on the cross

We are daily called to sacrifice,
to step out and do things we wouldn’t do
as an expression of the love we have  for the Lord and for His children.

It might be an inconvenience,
a sacrifice of time,
a surrender of material possessions,
an expenditure of energy,
death to self..........
No one at the picnic knew how the peaches came to top their ice cream.
And no one in this life fully understands how much God loves us.

But what we do, and how we choose to live
is simply a measure of what we do understand about God’s love.

As for me,  here I am Lord.
I come with open arms and latex gloves.

And Jesus summoned the multitude with His disciples,
and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after me,
let Him deny himself, and take up his cross,
and follow me."
Mark 8:34

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