Pastor Tim

Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Pastors – Pastor Tim of Holy Trinity, May 15 2020

A situation vs a slog

I am going to my Seth Godin well once again!

Seth writes:

“Wake me when it’s over,” is a natural instinct during a short-term interruption in our usual pattern. A crisis is there to be managed or waited out. The goal of each day is to simply get through it. Until things are back to normal.

But sometimes we’re dealing with a slog. Where the number of days is not small enough to simply throw them away. In a slog, the pattern of only getting by undervalues our days and diminishes our ability to contribute.

During a slog, we have a chance to accept a new normal, even if it’s temporary, and to figure out how to make something of it. You don’t have to wish for it, but it’s here. There’s very little value in spending our time nostalgic for normal.

When we get to the other side of the slog and look back, what will we have contributed, learned and created?”

Romans 12:12

Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.

Seth have you been reading my emails? Were you sitting at the dinner table the last few days? Did I leave Siri on?

WAKE ME WHEN IT”S OVER should be written on my forehead. When people see me from 6 feet away they will know without seeing my whole face how I am feeling!

According to Merriam-Webster slog could be any of the following:

Slog as transitive verb

1 : to hit hard : BEAT

2 : to plod (one’s way) perseveringly especially against difficulty

Slog as noun

1a : hard persistent work

  b : a prolonged arduous task or effort

2 : a hard-dogged march or journey

Yup, been there and felt that. These last few months have been filled with both “slog” and “slogging.”

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

But Mr. Godin is not going to let me stay in my slog zone. He is challenging me to take this new “normal” and continue to create and to make a difference in the world.

Here is something interesting….”slog” according to the Urban Dictionary means the following: a ‘SLOG’ is a conscious stream of creative thinking towards the world. A place where others can sample how you see the world, it was coined by Tsyon Feleke in 2018.

I like that. If people were to see a sample of how I see the world what would they see? What is the world I am living in filled with? Hope, healing, pain, anxiety or anger? What would people see in a sample of the world in which you live?

Are we being creative in our sharing of grace, joy, forgiveness and love?

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.

One of the gifts Jesus gave us is the Holy Spirit. The Breath of God which blows throughout all creation and time. We are not alone. Along with the Holy Spirit, we have The Community of Saints, that great cloud of witnesses cheering us on. I find great comfort knowing that they are person known and unknown praying for me, for you and for US.

As we continue to experience this “slog in time,” may we remember we are surrounded by a great cloud of love,  prayer and hope.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Tim

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