Devotional for Wednesday May 1st

Good Morning Everyone,

Our theme for this month: You Gotta Keep Dancing”

Our Bible verse for today: “You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance.” Psalm 30:11

Our thought for today: “Don’t stop dancing”

Your wife is mad and the kids have the flu? You gotta keep dancing. Your boss is a jerk and the bills are all late? You gotta keep dancing. Your mamma don’t dance and your daddy don’t rock & roll? You gotta keep dancing.

I’ll admit without apology or shame that I have borrowed the title for this month’s series from Tim Hansel’s great little book by same title, “You Gotta Keep Dancin”. Tim was the founder of a ministry called “Summit Expeditions”. He led groups of men on challenging wilderness expeditions with the dual purpose of having fun while conquering challenges in nature, but also as a time of Christian discipleship and spiritual discovery.

On one of those expeditions Tim had a rock climbing accident that resulted in a serious back injury that would never heal. After numerous surgeries and treatments of all sorts, combined with more medicine than any person should have to take, Tim ended up spending the rest of his life with chronic daily pain. From the time of the accident forward he was never without pain.

What to do? How do you live like that? You can succumb to despair and sink into a pit of despondency. Or you can live like a zombie zonked-out on tons of painkillers. Or you can simply resolve to get on with life as best you can under the circumstances as they are – you can choose to just keep dancing. Tim decided to dance.

I like Tim’s story because I find it inspiring. I’ve read his book multiple times over the years. It has helped me to stop being a whiny little snot and to just suck-it-up and get on with life. (Okay, I’m still working on the whiny little snot part.)

Sheldon Kopp was a well-known psychotherapist and author in the mid-to-late 1900s. After a lifetime of studying and analyzing people and their lives he wrote, “Life can be counted on to provide all the pain that any of us might need.”

True but dark. I like the quote from famed Bible scholar and theologian Frederick Buechner better, “My assumption is that the story of any one of us is in some measure the story of all of us.”

Yes, that’s better. We can learn from each other. We can be inspired by each other’s examples. I can learn to stop being a whiny little snot about my own small problems by considering how Tim Hansel and others like him handled their big problems with grace and courage and dignity.

That’s what we will do this month. We will learn from others who have handled big life problems well. The truth is that life happens. It happens to all of us. But you just gotta keep dancing.

God Bless,
Pastor Jim

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