I have a feeling that you all have probably figured out why this post is late today. Procrastination, of course.
Oh and also it’s Father’s Day, and so I was spending some time with the people that allowed me to be a father. And the weather couldn’t have been more perfect (well, it could have been a bit cooler at times, but at least it wasn’t raining). Among our several (outdoor) activities that we partook in today, was a trip to the playground (of course). At this playground they had this really big climbing apparatus (not sure what they’re called). One of our kids was determined to get into this part of the apparatus that resembled a hammock… a very hard-plastic, uncomfortable-looking, banana-shaped hammock.
The designers of this apparatus didn’t make it easy for this kid’s height and shape. He was huffing and puffing and trying so many different ways of getting up on that thing. After what felt like an eternity and a little coaching from dad (that’s me), he finally made it to his throne of uncomfortable awkwardness. He sat back and just enjoyed the spoils.
I had to give it to him for his determination though, as it totally didn’t look worth it to me. There were about 43 other seats that were much more accessible for him and looked a lot cozier. But he was happy he stuck with it and accomplished what he set out to do.
For that 4 minutes before he jumped off and went to do something else.
Persistence seems to be a theme in these readings. However, I must say that I am not usually a fan of the “persist and you will be rewarded” type stories, because in my experience, that isn’t always the case. Sure, maybe you will get the grease as the squeaky wheel, but as all wheels go, the squeak will come back eventually and it might be time to just change the bearings or the hub or whatever else might be causing the corrosion causing the squeak.
I guess what I’m saying is that persistence isn’t actually the key to happiness or fulfillment or healing. It might seem like it for the time being, but soon there will be something else that will catch our eye and we’ll want that instead. Rather, what I’m saying is that the object of our pursuit is the key.
And I propose that the object would be the grace of God through Jesus Christ.
I know, pretty typical thing for a pastor to say. But as we see in today’s gospel story, it isn’t the pursuit of healing that heals, but rather it is the pursuit of Jesus’ love for people, Jesus’ compassion for the sick and lost, Jesus’ desire to see all people as one in God’s kingdom. This isn’t also to say that if we persist in God’s grace, then we’ll get everything we want. But it is to say that our persistence might help to change us and what we want. And in that, we are healed.
Physically (maybe), mentally and emotionally (possibly), and spiritually (definitely). We are healed. I do believe that is worth the time and effort.
Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!
(note: featured picture isn’t of said playground or even from the same day, but it all really looks similar sort of)