West Union United Methodist Church
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Luke 10:27

Pastor's Corner



  Consider This… From Chris

There’s a book out by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love, which I have not read, so I can’t comment on the whole book.  But there’s an image she uses in a part about prayer that I find intriguing.  Consider yourself to be a circus acrobat standing on two horses, riding around the ring.  One horse you can control, the other you can’t control.  Sound a bit like life these days? 

The challenge, and it’s sometimes a daily one, is to figure out which horse is which and then act accordingly.  There are some obvious things over which we have no control.  The weather comes to mind, COVID-19, the driver in the other car, the price of gasoline, and the germination rate of a batch of seeds.

That does not mean we are helpless in the face of those things.  We can dress appropriately for the weather, or move to higher ground when it floods. We can use the best medically advised practices of social distancing and hand-washing. We can drive our own vehicles with caution and watch for the actions of other drivers.  We can drive slower to save gas, or walk more, or use more fuel-efficient cars.  We can plant our seeds at the right times using the best methods we have available. 

Whether it’s the horse over which we have no control, or the one we can control, we have choice in how we react and how we act.  So what does this have to do with prayer?  Much.  Prayer is a part of the way we react and act.  Prayer is the connection we have with the One who gives us the resources to choose wisely, and the strength to deal with what has been done to us by forces beyond us.  Prayer is the quiet calm we have in the midst of isolation and fear, and is the way we care for one another in the midst of crisis. 

If this brings to mind the prayer written by Reinhold Niebuhr, good.  In its original form it reads like this:

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.


Please continue in prayer with me for those who are dealing with damage from storms, loss of jobs, abuse, and loneliness in isolation and illness, as we seek God’s guidance for how we will react and how we will act on their behalf.

See you in church, when it’s safe to gather again.