Today’s Word from Pastor Tom Kidd…
What do you think is the coolest invention of the past 40 years? Okay, okay, the vaccine for Coronavirus 19 wins, but what gets your vote for the next coolest invention after that? What would be the next neatest invention? C’mon, indulge me. The internet? The sharpest, newest, fanciest smart phone (which will be stupid in a matter of days)? Chia Pets? Electric cars? How about cruise control? That gets my vote. I think cruise control is the neatest invention in the last 40 years (disclaimer: I really do not know when it was invented).
What? Cruise control wasn’t on your list? Here’s the deal, I have a very bad back. A full complement of surgeries, numerous spinal procedures, more steroid injections than you can count, massage therapy, acupuncture, an inversion table, physical therapy, bee stings (yep, you read that correctly), blah blah blah. I still do most activities, but if I was to swing a golf club with the same vigor as our pastor, I would be exactly two hours from my next conversation with the anesthesiologist (in the interest of full disclosure though, the man cannot putt).
Anyway, when we first purchased a car with cruise control, I discovered this absolutely amazing side feature; I could drive with my feet flat on the floor. With my feet flat on the floor, my back was in a naturally curved position. It took so much less energy to drive; my back did not hurt near as much, and I was, just by nature, a happier camper. The cruise control put me in a position to feel less pain, travel further, and feel inherently more joyful. When was the last time you gave thanks for your car’s cruise control? Oh, you don’t have a bad back? Good on you. Happy for you. Posture is the key!
I regularly think on my posture, both back posture and heart posture. When St. Paul exhorted the Church at Thessalonika to “pray unceasingly,” he wasn’t advocating for a physical posture – hands folded, eyes closed, bended knee – as he was arguing for an attitude, a position of the heart. Walk through your day with the joyful anticipation of a holy encounter with God. Do your life while staying open, keeping your heart open to the Spirit’s intervention as if you are perpetually thankful. A closed heart regularly walks by God utterly oblivious to God’s presence and potential blessing. An open-heart posture is critical for “unceasing prayer.” It’s praying with eyes wide open.
I submit Mary’s Magnificat, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant…” is possible because of Mary’s heart posture. To the angel of the Lord, she had already loaned out her womb for God’s plan to save the world. “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Her womb was available to God because her heart was. Our gifts, our good intentions, our generous acts of service, our joy in worship, our commitment to a prayerful life, is possible because our life is open to Jesus, unceasingly. We journey through life with good heart posture. Pastor Jim regularly challenges us to put ourselves in the path of the Gospel. Good advice, like enjoying the physical benefits of driving with cruise control, good heart posture is a prelude to the experience of God’s blessing poured out in Jesus.
Christmas Eve, one week from tonight. Because of COVID we already know it will be unlike any other. Keep your heart posture open and expect to be blessed. Light is coming and Jesus does not disappoint.
Blessings, you are loved, profoundly,