Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Meditation and Prayer for Session Meeting

There is a change in my life, one that to my recollection I do not think I've actually shared here thanks to being otherwise distracted by bodily horrors and BOA nightmares.

As a citizen, of many different circles, I have always tried to bee helpful. My help is always taken up, but I have never been offered a leadership position. Over the years, I've applied for leadership or management positions but no one has ever given me one. I wanted to be an RA in college, and was repeatedly denied the role. It really hurt my feelings, because I thought I would have made a great RA. In work situations, I've wanted to lead, have been led by people who don't know half of the stuff I know, and have never been elevated to a position of responsibility where my skills can shine.

I've repeatedly said here that no one takes me seriously. When I was working with professor MF back in the day on her online course, all of my suggestions were overruled. And when things crashed, burned, went horribly, it was her on the line, not me... but I could have saved her the nightmare if she'd listened to me once in a while. And I had to listen to her cry and complain, but ... she made her choices, they weren't mine. In the end, things worked out for the class but I think it was rather a huge waste of time and a negative overall experience.

So I stopped trying for a good long time. Why bother?

This year, someone actually asked me to do something and I turned it down. My cute little Presbyterian Church asked me to be an Elder, and I said "No thanks, I'm over extended as is." I told then to ask Doug, because he wasn't doing any volunteer work (I am on our Boy Scout Troop Committee, I do a lot with them, and I just felt that my volunteer time was spoken for).

I thought about it then for a few days, and figured that I should say yes after all. So I called back and asked if the offer was still on the table. It was.

In February, I was "ordained" as an Elder. I didn't have to take a test or go to seminary. I had to attend a couple training meetings, and sit in on the Session a couple times before it was official.

Tomorrow night, I've been asked to give the meditation and prayer before the meeting. It is the first time I've had to do anything like this in a long time. My friend Greg's daughter provided a facebook posting with a verse that speaks to where I feel I am right now. And while I will not overshare my situation, I thought I'd work out some of the thoughts that will go into my devotion. Special thanks to Abby for providing the source code.

April 14 Session - Devotion & Prayer
Over the past few weeks, I've been sick. Not terminally ill, but sick. A lot of unrelated sicks that have added up to a great big sick. I even ended up in the emergency room because of some of it. I've had no fun. I hate being sick, I hate feeling helpless, I hate losing time in the day when I can be doing things other than sleeping or hanging out in bathrooms. I hate planning my day around "where is the bathroom going to be if I need it." It's been a rough month.

Suffice to say, I'm happy to be sitting here right now, and yes, I do know where the bathroom is.

But for as sick as I've been, there are those who are sicker. Thanks to Facebook, I've had news of friends who have been hospitalized, we've built prayer groups where family members post updates and we each type out our prayers and supplications for the friends in need.

The latest one is the daughter of my youth group director, Bob, and his wife Ann. Their girl Lauren is in her early twenties. She got sick, like me, only while being sick she managed to tear a hole in her esophagus and required immediate emergency care. A rush to the local hospital and a CAT scan later revealed the damage and an extra surprise.

A tumor on her gall bladder.

Surgery was scheduled to repair the esophagus, and remove the gall bladder. She currently is in a NYC hospital, and hopes are that the results of the biopsy on the gall bladder come back negative or benign. We should know tomorrow. Please pray that God's will is done in Lauren's life.

In talking with Ann, she was filled with praise for this event. Had her daughter not gotten sick, had she not torn her esophagus, they never ever would have known that there was a growth, tumor, problem with their otherwise extremely healthy daughter's body. If this is cancerous, or if something had happened where it went septic, exploded, no one would have been looking there, and she very well could have just been dead instead of hospitalized. Ann's praise and honest relief that this horrible event helped them avoid an even more horrible event humbled me and made me cry.

Funny way to look at it. But so incredibly true. And so I'm brought to Paul's letter to the Corinthians, where he gives us hope in light of illness. "Therefore, we do not lose heart, though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Cor 4:16-18)

Let's pray together.

God, through illness and wasting away we are reminded of our mortality. Through healing and strength renewal, we are reminded of your gift of life to us. Bless us with the ability to focus on the unseen, which sometimes is revealed to us by accident. Allow for us to use our times of health wisely to help those who are sick. Allow for us to use our times of sickness to allow for others to care for us and make us well. Bless us as we focus our energies towards the eternal instead of the fleeting. And give us your guidance this night as we work together as a team to do Your will in this meeting. By your grace alone, and through your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, Amen

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