Pastor Tim

Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Churches – Pastor Tim Huff, August 26, 2021

Devotion for August 26, 2021 from Pastor Tim Huff of Holy Trinity:

Are speed bumps and potholes obstacles, detours or opportunities?

Recently I had an appointment out of the area. So, I did what many of us do – I entered the address into Google Maps. I was given three possible routes. I choose the middle option because it was scenic and approximately the same driving time.

Halfway on my journey, I received a notification that there was an accident on my route and it offered me options to avoid the area. I needed to alter my course in order to reach my destination. I would also not make my original arrival time all due to an obstacle.

Obstacles. Our life journeys are all full of them. Some anticipated – others unexpected. We experience them in all aspects of our lives: personal, professional and even in our faith lives!

We’re either going or we’re not going. We get to make that decision every day. Perhaps you’ve decided: I’m going or I’m not moving!

That detour we hit, the pothole we narrowly avoided, the interruption that was unexpected – we experienced them, and we can decide whether we’re still going or not leaving our front door.

Speed bumps and potholes are real. They’re a warning, or they’re unavoidable, and they hurt. Speed bumps, potholes and other obstacles cannot be denied.

A speed bump or pothole that stops us from moving is an obstacle. Often, the only difference between a speed bump and an obstacle is our decision about which one it is.

Christ The King, Good shepherd south Asian Ministries, Holy Redeemer and Holy Trinity Lutheran have all encountered speed bumps and potholes in our journeys have we not? The loss of members, financial stress, fires, antiquated equipment, deferred maintenance and aging facilities to name a few. Some began as speed bumps and have become obstacles. Many of them stopping us from moving forward in our visions.

 So, I charge you: be strong; be courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged,
for Yahweh your God is with you wherever you go.
(Joshua 1:9)

Once again, as God’s children we find ourselves in the wilderness. Out of our comfort zones and perhaps wondering where we are going. Perhaps now is a time to begin a period of discernment. A time of assessing the needs of our neighborhoods and communities. A time to take inventory of our gifts and what God’s vision for us is.

Recently, I came across the following statement:

You might think you know your strengths and weaknesses, but did Blockbuster expect to be blown out of the water by Netflix?

Not at first. In a fast-changing world, a casual approach to analysis is a big risk. Conducting a systematic analysis of our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) is important to make sure we are moving in the direction that God has for us.

That which threatens us, are the obstacles and challenges in our way. God promises to be with us in our journey. Sure, there will continue to be challenges, speed bumps and potholes along our path but hear the words of Deuteronomy 31:6:

 Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them because it is the Lord your God who goes before you.
God will be with you; God will not fail you or forsake you.

Let us be strong. Our God goes with us!
May we trust in God’s promise and boldly continue our journey together!

Pastor Tim

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