Pastor Tim

Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Pastors – Pastor Tim of Holy Trinity, July 22, 2020

Your Defining Moment(s)

It’s easy to wait for it. The movies have taught us that when the music swells and the chips are down, that’s when leaders arrive and when heroes are made. It turns out, that’s not how it works in “real life.” Our beliefs, values, ethics and character is what happens in all our moments.

Leadership doesn’t simply appear when the script announces it does: It is the hard work of showing up when we’re not expected to, of seeing what’s possible when few are willing to believe.

After almost 30 years of marriage, my wife Debbie and I were able for the first time to pick the base and trim color of our house. We have always lived in rentals where the “landlords” picked it. The colors have included light brown with dark brown trim, cream base with teal trim and the last house was a nice salmon pink with white trim! Most of the colors were faded and once they even painted a new coat of the same color!

During this COVID 19 pandemic we have spent a lot of time in either our front or back yard dreaming of what color we should paint “our house.” I do need to say that over these years the list of colors we would paint our house has had many revisions. I have a shoebox somewhere in my office filled with paint chips to prove it!

So one evening it was decided the time had come. Scraping, repairs were made to rotten wood, more scraping and then a washing was completed. I should also tell you it was a family project. Well to be honest, the Huff Family plus a few others in our “Coronavirus bubble.” Interesting note, your “Coronavirus bubble” rapidly shrinks when you mention prepping and painting your house!

I mention all this because the day before we started prepping we went into the paint store to finally pick the colors we would use. It was a defining moment. After all these years of driving and walking by house after house and determining if we would have used that color, WE had to choose. We no longer could blame the landlord. It was now OUR choice. We would have to claim ownership and responsibility for our action and decision. Sure we painted samples on walls in the shade and out in the sun. It wasn’t the whole house though. Our kids were not much help, they told us to hurry up and decide, to just make a decision, after all it was only paint. Yeah, but we have waited almost 30 years, what do you mean hurry up?

So this whole process was for me a reminder that one’s defining moment is whenever one decides it is. My defining moment is different than yours, and yours is different than mine.

Each and every day we get a new chance to make a decision for how we will act, react, lead and live.

Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Paul is talking about a marathon not a sprint. Weather we are at home, work or play we are defining the moments of our lives. We are given precious moments to live as God’s children in the world. We are given opportunities to practice love, grace and forgiveness. We are able to offer hope and encouragement. We can work toward justice and peace.

Through the power of God’s love we each have more to offer than the world expects. And growth is something we’re capable of, as soon as we’re committed to seeing what we can contribute. The Gospel of Good News calls us to action instead of compliance.

When we open ourselves to the power of God’s Holy Spirit, any moment becomes a moment where we can make things better.

So, may the moments of our lives define us as children of a loving God!

Pastor Tim

P.S. We chose “Greige” and Swiss Coffee. : )

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