It’s Too Slow

Good Friday in Santa Rosa de Copan, Honduras, features an unbelievable demonstration that involves an astounding amount of sawdust, a huge, wooden, hand-carried bier, a small but vigorous marching band, and an approximately three-hour procession to travel about 16 blocks.

A faithful crew of artistic townsfolk rise with the sun and create a beautiful and elaborate carpet on the cobblestone streets made entirely of sawdust. The carpet lays the path for the procession through the 14 stations of the cross.

The sawdust carpet begins just outside the Catholic Church on the town square.
The procession is led by the senior priest who is followed by an enormous wooden bier which is carried by 16 or so men. Upon the bier is a figure of Jesus carrying the cross.
At each station of the cross, the story of that station is read along with a prayer in which all of the people join. There are even actors in costume portraying the scene as it is read in some of the stations and sometimes a choir singing as well.

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I’ll Wait

I don’t like waiting. In fact, I rather dislike waiting.

Do you know what I dislike even more than waiting? I hate it when someone is waiting on me. I’d rather be way early than a little bit late.

It seems I come by it naturally. My dad, also a pastor, taught me that it is immensely disrespectful to expect someone to wait for you. In essence, it says that your time is more valuable than theirs. (Yes, I know that there are extenuating circumstances from time to time.)

Of course, he came by it naturally as well. My grandparents (on my dad’s side) both moved on to Heaven several years ago. They lived their last several years right around the corner from the church building where they worshiped. They were always there 30-45 minutes before anything began. Always.

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Disconnect fro…Wait, I Just Got a Text

I’m sure we’ve all experienced it and most of us have done it.

We have been trying to talk to someone when they were preoccupied with their phone or other device. Whether it was a clerk at a convenience store or a well-intended but foolishly distracted pastor, it’s frustrating to feel like someone at the other end of a mobile connection or internet site is more important than the people in the room.

It’s become an absolute epidemic of inattention. For some people I wonder if I wouldn’t be more effective at communicating with them only through their device since that seems to be a way to jump in line in front of anyone in their presence. Then again, maybe I’m the one…

Consider the counsel of this gentleman and his urging to be present…

You see, whether it is an unhealthy hanging on to the past or a problematic anticipation of the future, we can only really live here and now. We need to focus on who and what and where we ought to be here in the present.

The book of Hebrews, after urging us to let some things go and run the race of faith with endurance, gives the greatest advice for how we ought to run the race in verse 2 of chapter 12:

“…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Such a simple phrase, “…looking to Jesus…” I don’t think we realize that the greatest thing we can give to God is probably our most precious commodity – our ATTENTION.

He says that to run the race well we must look to Him – lock our eyes upon Him, get our bearings from Him, pay attention to Him. And when we do – especially when we stop regularly and disconnect from everything else in order to really focus in upon Him and our relationship with Him – we begin to see all the other stuff of life in the proper perspective.

Let’s take that one important step closer. When we are genuinely fixed upon Him, we begin to see each other through His perspective instead of our own. We begin to see how to love one another. We begin to learn to love our neighbor as ourselves when we really begin to love The Lord our God with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strengths.

What God is calling me to be is simply this:  PRESENT. Not distracted or preoccupied or sidetracked…present.

So tell me, what are the distractions that make it hard sometimes for you to see Him clearly?