As I write these words those of us in the Mid-Atlantic region, indeed on the entire East Coast of the nation, are experiencing a dramatic and unexpected “deep freeze.” With temperatures in the twenties during the day and in the single digits at night – well, things have slowed down quite a bit. Most people I know are not likely to “just run up to the store for a few things” or “go see what friends are up to” or “window shop a bit” in the freezing, icy cold. Home chores – though they go on; they always go on – and the normal household routine may be altered as electric consumption and water usage become something to watch – that’s if the water and power stay on in the first place. Even those of us with work responsibilities outside the home find the normal “workday” routine disrupted.
Maybe – just maybe – this a blessing in disguise.
I think of that scripture I love and of which I think so often –
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Whenever our “normal” routine is disrupted – either subtly or very dramatically – there is an opportunity to stop, if even for a moment, and give thanks for
- the simple things, like heat and hot water
- a change of pace, an opportunity to connect with those close to us
- a little quiet time
- a chance to help – maybe reach out, if able, to someone who does not have any of the above
- most of all, more time for prayer, Bible study, reflection, a conversation with God
I know, just like a “preacher” to think of such things.
Anyway, if you are reading this in a place of warmth and comfort – enjoy.
Take a little time to just stop – be still – and know that God is God.
All is well.
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 meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. 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, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. 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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