How to Get Started...
Pastor’s Newsletter article for September, 2013
This past month I was surprised to look out the window of my office and see a rather handsome couple sitting in a rather extraordinary car, which was parked in the middle of our parking lot. I couldn’t see them very clearly, so it was hard to tell exactly why they were there (Were they waiting to drive the final few blocks to an appointment? Were they lost? Were they having an argument?)
Then, after sitting still for a very long time, the car moved forward two or three feet, and lurched to a halt. A moment later it moved another short distance, and again stopped suddenly. This happened at least a dozen times before the car finally began to slowly make its way across the lot — at which time it slowly rolled to a stop, paused for a moment or two, moved forward two or three feet, and then lurched to a halt. By that time it was clear: he was teaching her to drive a car with an manual transmission.
Anyone who remembers trying to learn how to drive a “stick shift” knows that the hardest part is getting started. Once the car is rolling, it is relatively easy to maneuver — even to shift gears. But getting started — that’s the hard part.
I’ve had people tell me the same thing about their spiritual lives. They are relatively certain that practicing discipleship habits — daily prayer and Bible study, weekly worship, monthly (at least) community service, financial generosity, meeting with a faith partner or small group — would lead to a stronger faith and a deeper relationship with God, but they are not very clear on how to get started.
If this is you, there is an opportunity this month that you might want to consider. On October 18-19 an event will take place at Saint Peter called “Always Being Made New; A Retreat for Spiritual Renewal.” During these two days we will consider what lies at the heart of our Lutheran movement, and how it can help us to grow in faith and faithfulness. Whether you are a newcomer to our community or a long-time member; whether you are a life-long Lutheran, or experiencing Christian faith for the very first time; whether you are seventeen- or seventy-years-old, I want to encourage you to consider attending this retreat. I know you will be inspired!
Oh, the sports car in the parking lot? She never really did figure out how to get the car moving. But resting in the presence of God is not nearly that hard. Come and join us, as we experience it together.
God’s peace to you all,