Be Careful

Scripture selection: Luke 21:34

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.”

Even as Jesus was about to leave them, he warned his disciples to be watchful – be “careful” – and be alert for his return, whenever it might come.

That is a message we are to take to heart even thousands of years after his departure.

It is so easy to be, as the scripture says, “weighed” down by things.  We can be weighed down by

  • Wild and unwise life choices
  • Anxiety and worries that plague us
  • The simple, and long, “To Do” list
  • External threats
  • Internal fears

You name it – it can weigh us down.

But, if as the old hymn says, we “keep our eyes upon Jesus” day in and day out – such things become much lighter to carry.

We don’t know when the Lord will return – but in faith – we know he will.

So be careful, be alert, be ready, be of good cheer, be at peace.  No matter what.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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