Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…
We moved into our new gym/fellowship hall and Sunday School wing on September 9th, 2001. It was two days before 9-11 and the sermon title that morning was, “The World will never look the same.” On that grand day of celebration, we did not realize how that sermon title would ring true. When we walked in for our first-ever coffee hour, the floor was brand new and shiny. The gym was in constant use from September of 2001 until March of 2020. The gym hosted wedding receptions, potlucks, youth group activities, Preschool play, model airplane flying, and volleyball. Never a dull moment. When our campus closed, members, guests, and students quit coming. The gym, like the rest of our building, went silent. The floor had been mopped every week, but deep down, the dirt of 20 years had left the floor without shine. For the past 5 years, at least, I had longed to have that gym floor deep-cleaned.
Finally, two weeks ago, we had professional vinyl cleaners come to deep-clean the gym floor. The results were amazing. The floor looks brand new. The shine is back and I was beside my self with contagion happiness. We left the doors open for several days as we attempted to air out the gym. That is when it happened. Two barn swallows decided to fly in the open doors. They hovered in circles around the ceiling. They danced nervously from light fixture to light fixture. I encouraged them to leave, and then I demanded that they leave the building. We were closed after all. The longer they flew, the more tired and anxious they became. I opened every door and returned to my office to work.
It was a pleasant surprise a few hours later to see that the stressed swallows had found the door and, presumably, found their way home. I closed the doors and took a deep breath; order had been restored. 2020 order that is. I discovered what birds do when they are anxious and tired. They poop. They poop, they poop, they poop on my clean gym floor. Somehow, the metaphor had not escaped me. We can make every effort to clean up our lives, our space, our acts, and someone, something, or some virus can come along and poop all over us. The gym floor will now be spot-cleaned. It once again will display the luster of its youth. For now, anyway, it is clean.
The gym floor is a metaphor for life in 2020. It is a tough time for that floor, but it will be serving us long after this virus and those birds have moved on. Let’s not let this crazy new rhythm get the best of us. Just dust yourself off, clean up the mess and carry on, one day at a time. After all, we are one day closer.
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