2008 07 08 - The Speed of Life...

       How fast things change. We’re finally into Summer, and Fall is just ahead. Just a few months ago, my son, Matthew, was performing his last High School Band concert. In late June, he was back at school playing drums again, this time as an assistant, helping the new and on-going high school percussionists learn their parts. Not long ago he was a high school senior; now he is looking forward to being a college freshman. Soon, he will have his last, Metropolis Summer Camp experience as a camper. Shortly thereafter, he will have his first trip to Greece.

       Not long ago, presbytera Cindy and I were busy with two boys at home, getting them ready for an active summer of activities; soon we will be pseudo-empty nesters (they do come home on breaks...), learning how to deal with a lot more quiet around the house... Not long ago, I was planning to get some much-needed work done in the office. Severe back pain, a trip to the Emergency Room, a brief test later, and I was side-lined with a rather large kidney stone that abruptly changed my plans for about two weeks...

       As the commercial states, “Life comes at you fast!” As much as we might like to believe it, we cannot prepare for every detail of every change since it is impossible for us to see them all. “Only God knows...” How many times have we heard that phrase? Do we believe it? It is one of the truths we as Orthodox Christians need to live by. If God is the only one who truly knows what is before us, He is the one we need to be closest to as we make our plans and look forward to our future.

       Proverbs 16:9 indicates that “a man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps”. Another favorite verse of mine is Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” No matter what life throws at us, God wants to be our guide. No matter what is around the corner, God wants to walk that journey with us. No matter what distress comes against us, God is there to be our comforter.

       I am comforted in knowing that through all the plans, changes and surprises of this summer, God is with us. I find strength in knowing that He is genuinely interested in everything I am doing. I am also reminded that since He knows everything that is and will happen, it might be a good idea to commit all of my plans into His hands and then trust that He will work all the important things out.

       God has some important things in store for our parish over these next two months. Have you included them in your plans, and have you committed your plans to God yet? If not, then I encourage you to make sure these items are high on your list of things to fully participate in. After all, they are a part of our church activities. Trust me – God thinks these are important for you to be part of, or He wouldn’t have made them such an important part of the life of our parish. Our annual Greek Festival is July 17th -19th. Sign-up lists are in the Social Hall. The first fifteen days of August (Decapentaugusto) are a major time of fasting and celebration for Orthodox Christians worldwide. Services and times are posted on the calendar later in this Vineyard issue.

       Life comes at you fast. Make sure the important things are on your schedule and that you have placed your plans in God’s hands. Not everything may turn out as you planned, but “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7