Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion September 27, 2017

Greetings!!

Who knew that getting old was going to be so complicated. Now I know many of you will laugh and say - “You aren’t old, wait until you get to be….” And I agree. The older I get the less ‘old’ I think I am and then I think about what I thought about ‘old’ when I was much younger and looked at people my age whom I thought were ancient.
It often amazes me now when I go somewhere and someone offers me a seat or offers to carry something for me or does something for me and I realize it is because to them I look ‘old’. And 'old' often translates 'not able to do this or that'.
People for years have told me about the aches and pains of getting old and I am learning aches and pains and stiffness are a true reality.
I use to go to meals with people older than I am and think how strange when they would take their pills out at dinner and begin to take them -
and now I find I have to do the same thing!
Aging does seem to be a bit of a daily challenge as you find that there are literally things you cannot do any more (like roller coasters - how I miss my roller coasters but now if I ride one I am so sore for weeks afterward the 2 minutes of thrill just doesn’t seem worth the following weeks of Ben Gay!)
Going to the doctor with various maladies now garner the response of “It’s probably nothing - you know you are getting a little older…” so I do consider that now before picking up the phone to make an appointment. I realize that much of this getting old is just something you have to live with!
There is an advantage however of getting older - people seem to think that old people have earned a reward so often there are discounts at eating places or at stores. Ever look at the clientele at certain drug stores on the first Tuesday of the month - or at certain grocery stores on every Tuesday? It is senior day and us ‘old’ people get discounts on what we buy! Many of the fast food places give discounts and they don’t even ask they just assume you are ‘old’ as they look at I guess our graying hair…..
So it isn’t all aches and pains and pills and being treated differently, there are the occasional perks….
But now the biggest issue I am experiencing is that in a few months I will reach the magic ‘old’ age of 65 and what that incurs is sales people - ‘medicare supplement’ sales people who are descending upon me like flies on meat. The mail person is probably now well aware that this ‘special’ birthday is coming up because the amount of mail that I receive has tripled. Because the sales people who are physically invading my home, are also burying me with mail. You need 'my' medicare supplement!!!
Now my fear is that I know that there is a particular mailing I will receive from the federal government that I will have to respond to and I am really concerned that in all this additional mail I am receiving from the plethora of medical supplement insurance people that I will miss the one important piece of mail that I need to deal with.
It reminds me of when my children were seniors in high school and starting near the end of their junior year and all the way through their senior year they received tons of correspondence from schools wanting them to consider attending their institution of higher learning….. and now the mail is wanting me to consider buying their particular brand of medical supplemental insurance which is of course has better coverage and is less expensive than everyone else’s plans in all those other letters I am receiving from the other medical supplement insurance vendors.
Then to cap it all off, I received an ‘official and you can be certain it is real’ book from the federal government which is essentially the guide book for what I need to do to declare myself officially over the hump and in the ‘old person’ category.
A book - not booklet, but a book. Now I am about as interested in sitting down and reading this book as I am about cleaning the toilet (I job I pretty much detest along with putting away laundry and emptying the dishwasher).
Then I thought ‘If I don’t read it then does that mean I will never get ‘officially’ old - but then the common sense part of me says, ‘no, it doesn’t work that way…..’
But then I think how many of us who are believers in Christ treat the Bible the same way? Maybe if we don’t read it then we can’t be held accountable for the way we live - maybe we can live however we want since I never read the section that says “Love your enemies” or “take up your cross and follow me”.
Maybe in all the misinformation we are inundated with each day we miss the true meaning of the Gospel - Love God and love your neighbor (regardless of who that neighbor might be).
Do we treat God’s word like I am treating my new “getting old” government issued book - avoiding it at all costs while knowing that I really need to pick the thing up and go through it?
God’s word is a gift - God’s word will help us live our lives in a way that will give us a peace and a joy that we cannot find anywhere else. But - we gotta pick it up and read it..


Amen!



These devotions began in 2006 as a way to give us a midweek boost as we live out our lives as the people of God! Feel free to share them if you wish.

Devotion September 20, 2017

Greetings!!

I just spent the morning driving around Charlotte, NC. Now for many of you that may not seem like such a big deal, but for this growing up in small town West Virginia girl and living a large chunk of my life in rural WV girl, driving in Charlotte, a really large city, is quite the challenge.
Understand that most of my life I was in areas that were mostly 2 lane roads and sometimes just wide one lane roads that admittedly took a bit of spunk and bravery to drive on because often you couldn’t see around corners or over hills and you just took a deep breath and hoped that there wasn’t a car coming the other direction because there truly were only inches to spare if another car needed to go the other way while you were going your way…..
And on these one or two lane roads in these sparsely populated areas there weren’t a lot of cars anyway so rarely did you have to deal with cars whizzing by you on either side or especially with cars that darted in and out from behind you to beside you to in front of you in a matter of seconds - or bumper to bumper cars going a million miles per hour when you were trying to go the speed limit because that is what you were suppose to do but realize in these big cities the speed limit is obviously a minimum rather than a maximum.....
There are other challenges with driving in Charlotte that do not come naturally to this country road driving girl which include the problem of which of the 4 lanes do I need to be in when I reach that stoplight because if I am in the wrong one I will not be going to where I need to go and there are way too many cars to change your mind; or the dreaded traffic circles which probably are the most confusing things that I have ever encountered as there are cars driving around in circles and cars going part of the circle and darting another direction and cars coming into the circle from all different directions and it is extremely confusing to figure out what to do - and then there are the ‘you have to make a u-turn to get where you need to go’ roads where the turn is into oncoming traffic that never seems to have an opening for you to jump out into and you really don’t know what to do while the traffic behind you made up of cars who also have to make the dreaded u-turn are also now frustrated because there is no break in the oncoming traffic and for some reason it is your fault because you are the lead car…..
Then there is the challenge of not having any idea of where one is going in Charlotte. I know where I am and I know where I need to go but getting from point A to point B is problematic - especially with a car whose GPS has never been updated and there are a zillion (minimum) new roads in this section of Charlotte and the poor lady (it is really just a voice generated by the GPS but you just come to think of her as a real person) in the GPS gets rather frustrated as you sit at an intersection where she is telling you to go pondering the fact that there is no longer a road there, or the road there is now one way. And even better yet when the GPS lady starts to yell at me because I am driving on a road that she doesn’t think exists (Notice how I treat this GPS voice as if it were a real person….)
This morning as my granddaughter (who is 2 1/2 and therefore has no clue where we are going and can be of no help except when she reaches the destination because she knows “Mommy’s Church” or “Walmart” or “My house”) and I needed to run some errands for my daughter who is in the hospital giving birth to my granddaughters new baby brother (she is in for such a shock when this new little intruder enters ‘her’ home!) and the errands required going to various locations in Charlotte. Fortunately I had addresses for the locations and I crossed my fingers that my GPS lady had a good idea where these addresses might actually be.
And I admit for an old GPS with the new roads in this area she didn’t do too bad. She did try and take me to the place where the Walmart use to be but fortunately I could see where the new Walmart was; and she tried to take me down some weird road to get to the church but again I could see the sign for the church down the street and I was able to get there as well…
But it was the coming home that proved to be a little tricky. I left the last destination on my errand running journey and punched in the address of my daughter’s home and and my GPS lady said she was preparing the map and I should proceed to the highlighted route and so I did.
She actually found where I was and had me turn right and we were off where I trusted was the proper way to go in order to get to my daughter’s house.
All seemed to be going as it should until my GPS lady told me to turn into this neighborhood that was not my daughter’s neighborhood… but I was afraid that if I didn’t go the way GPS lady told me to go I would get really lost and end up somewhere I didn’t want to be and so I turned where GPS lady told me to turn.
Through this neighborhood I went - and I admit it was a very nice neighborhood with some very pretty flowers so the trip was enjoyable even though I didn't understand why I was going through these streets - turning left and right and right and left and crisscrossing by these carefully maintained homes - and I admit I was becoming a little concerned that my unupdated GPS was thinking it was somewhere it was not when lo and behold I ended up on the proper road that would take me to the neighborhood in which I needed to be to get home.
It may have been a circuitous route but it did get me where I needed to be! But the whole time I was traversing through this twisty turny routeI was wondering....
Sometimes in our journey with God we start to think that he might be a GPS lady who doesn’t know the new roads. We think we know which way we want to go or even the way we think we should go and God begins to lead us here and there and around and right and left turns through wondering roads and the whole time we are wondering if God even knows where he wants us to end up. So we worry and agonize over where this journey is taking us and lo and behold we eventually find ourselves right where we need to be! Imagine that!
So if you are willing to listen to God’s direction, know that the road may not be straight or level or smooth or even make sense, but it is the exact road where we need to be!
Amen!


These devotions began in 2006 as a way to give us a midweek boost as we live out our lives as the people of God! Feel free to share them if you wish.

These devotions began in 2006 as a way to give us a midweek boost as we live out our lives as the people of God!  Feel free to share them if you wish.