Transforming not Transmitting Pain

I have one last quote to share before I move back to my regular blogging schedule and thoughts, now that I’m back from vacations. So here it is for a Monday morning.

“If you do not transform your pain, you will surely transmit it to those around you and even to the next generation. Suffering, of course, can lead you in either of two directions: It can make you very bitter and close you down, or it can make you wise, compassionate, and utterly open.” – Richard Rohr

The reality is we suffer. Life has struggles, ups and downs. But this quote reminds me it’s what I do in the struggles that counts. That’s why I like this quote, because it reminds me that what I’m going through doesn’t define me, my choices in the struggles define me.

So I like this quote because it reminds me that even out of bad things, God can bring something good…

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

On Sunday we had planned for a missionary to come and speak, but in light of all that has happened in our faith community this week, it didn’t seem to fit. After discussion with the staff and elders, we all agreed it would be best to have someone from our community share and reschedule the missionary’s talk for another date.

So that means I’m writing a sermon I wasn’t preparing for this week. Often life makes us do things we weren’t preparing for. But I’ve had a few people say why not pull an old sermon rather than write something new? It is the easier option, the faster option, the less stressful option; but it is not the right option.

I’ve learned from many different people, and mostly from my dad over the years, that rarely is the easy option the best option. Rarely is the quick and easy fix the right thing to do. So on Sunday I’m going to be discussing the question “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People”?

An easy topic to speak on? No, not at all. But the right topic? I hope so.

So on Sunday I want to discuss what do we with the difficulties we encounter in our lives. Because sooner or later we all run into obstacles. So I want to discuss why that is, and even more importantly, what are we to do when those difficult times come. How are we personally to respond? How, as a community, do we respond? And what can give us hope and assurance in a difficult time?

Are any of these questions easy to answer. No. But rarely are worthwhile questions easily answered; that’s what makes them worthwhile…