Life’s Not Fair

Dear Friends,

When I woke up last Sunday morning I realized I wasn’t feeling my usual perky self. I just walking to the kitchen—not that far—winded me and I kept wanting to go back to bed (that may not sound so strange to most of us!). How I made it through the early service I’ll never know. When I took my pulse, though, it was clear something was off. It was my heart, like a truck stuck in the mud just spinning its wheels and not getting anywhere. I was in atrial fibrillation. That means that the valve that pumps my blood was just flapping and flailing instead of opening and shutting and decisively pumping. My blood wasn’t circulating efficiently and I felt it. It happens, I’m told.

They wanted to keep me in the hospital for a few days after my heart converted back to normal rhythm, just to make sure the new meds are all working properly. So there I was, tied to a hospital bed by iv tubes and heart monitors, feeling perfectly fine, waiting for the next blood test to free me. They reluctantly let me go, perhaps because, like Pharaoh, they realized they couldn’t keep me hostage any longer.

The scripture text that I had already chosen to preach from this coming week was a story Jesus told about workers hired at different times of day who all got paid the same. The early starters complained that it wasn’t fair and the teacher’s divine voice calmly assured them that they got all that they were promised.

“It’s not fair!” is a complaint that starts for us sometime before we hit our eighth birthday. It’s a sign of our awareness that other people have either more or less than we have. I had to laugh as I thought of my sermon from my hospital room. There’s nothing “fair” about the maladies that have befallen me in the last few years. Nothing. So I try to hear that divine voice reminding me that I still live inside of God’s Promise.

I feel fine now. I still look forward to meeting my great-grandchildren and continuing to teach and preach and dig in the dirt for years to come. It’s not fair that I have to do the things I have to do to keep my body going, but it’s okay. Especially when I let myself hear the divine voice of Promise that’s so much bigger and wiser than how I feel.

Join us for worship this Sunday. It will be good to see each other again, and we can always use that.

On Monday at 7:30 we begin our new ten-week Study of the Bible. It’s our version of Bible 101, meant for anyone with questions about how to best approach the scriptures. We will use Marcus Borg’s book, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, beginning with chapter 1.

Enjoy these glorious days, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.




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