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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Take Your Problems for a Walk
You can do the Ostrich or Turtle thing if you want to.
Sometimes it is a good idea to walk your dog. Perhaps it is a good idea to take yourself on a walk. Fresh air and a rhythmic exercise is good for you. Sometimes it is nice to walk with your lover and just hold hands and be together in the world. Walks are known healthy things to do in so many ways.
But just this once would you walk with your troubles. Do not leave them at home or in the office or shop. Pick them up and bring them with you. Do not worry, I have broad shoulders and will help you carry the load if you need it. But just to be sure, we will take them with us but we will not be bringing them back. Isn’t that a far better idea than running out the door to escape them? Let us give it a shot to just take them and leave them “out there”.
Now let us clear the air a bit. Nobody has better problems than anyone else. Let me tell you the truth. There two times in my life where just taking a shower was a problem for me. You may say that is crazy and I would have to agree with you to a degree. One time I lived outside and a shower was in a freezing cold river. Another time I was so depressed that just getting the energy to shower was monumental. Such a trivial thing but I raise it here to illustrate that a problem does not have any size other than what we give it. And I am in no position to gauge your problems for you. Only you can do that.
So I like to write down my problems on a piece of paper. That might sound innocuous. But to me it places them right there in a place where I can even put it in my pocket. That is manageable. I like having my problems all neat and folded in my pocket.
Just put out your hand baby!
You can see why people consider heaven to be in the clouds.
Let us give it a try!
Now here is an issue. Our minds can make a problem bigger than an elephant. It is darned hard to get an elephant into your pocket. If it won’t fit in your pocket then you have to make an extra effort to carry them around. Before we go for a walk would you just write down your problems so they are easier to carry for us? Totally silly I know but try it and see if it don’t work. Here is a truth that may sound magical or mystical. If you put your problems in your pocket and go for a brisk walk and leave them somewhere along the way. They will not be in your pocket when you return. Take it easy, you still have problems but you have taken the boogie man out of them. The problem exists but the boogie man is back on the walk.
Speaking of elephants. Did you know that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time? If we believe we must conquer a problem we set ourselves up for a fight. We magnify the enemy. And just possibly we create an enemy where there really was not one to begin with. ““Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win” Sun Tzu ‘Art of war’. (strange you think for a preacher to quote the Art of War)
One more thing about problems. They are real. One more thing about feelings. They are real. But are our problems made bigger than they are by our feelings. Somewhere our feelings adjust how we look at problems. Somehow our problems adjust how we feel. And quite often those adjustments are not in line with reality. That just makes you normal.
Now I am pumped up and I got your hand and you are walking with me. I am not handsome. I am not the man of your dreams. I am not the brother you always wanted. But I am here and I will make you walk those problems right out your door.
Now a preacher man can spout scripture and guide and lead you down a road he has already paved. I am not good enough for that. All I can do is walk with you. Get those problems. Do me a favor. Put them in a stinking bow. But keep them they are yours. Let me get a bottle of water and my sunglasses. Now we are ready and you are getting gitty. Because I promised you to get rid of those problems. Aren’t we a pair? Arm and arm down the street. Dang but we might even try to skip in unison and laugh too hard. Now I take your hand in mine and look into your eyes and say “unload it right here”. You got nowhere to run. We are all together – you – me – problems. Just do it, take them out and look at them. Do they compare to us and this moment?
Please do not walk alone.
Even a moonlit walk
Problems great and small
Believe for a moment that they do not matter. Believe and breathe. You and me we took a walk and will return. Your problems took a walk and will not return the same.
Now of course in the physical I cannot really go for a walk with you, though I am sure it would be nice. So still go for that walk with you problems. If you pause for a moment and just allow it, you will not be alone. Feel the love of God and all others. Connect into that love and breathe easy. Give your problems over to that love. Like we discussed the problems will not disappear but them being a problem will.
Generally speaking problems boil down to our perspective. And sometimes our particular skill set makes taking care of problems, well – problematic. So our walk is really more of a metaphor of a kind. We really are talking about taking our problems and letting go of the worry and angst. If we can do that we can be happier, more joyful and more productive in life.
There is some cool scripture that goes with this and I have always remembered it. It goes like this: 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6)
So there I am worrying about how to help my son create an art project for school. One of those father son projects. Only this is really artsy. And most people have more artistic ability in their left pinky than I will ever have in my whole body. So I sat down and prayed on it and boom the problem became something we shall have a great time doing today. (how do you attach a balloon to a heart anyway ;-)
Today I have tried to keep the concept to simple problems but the same holds true for big ones that really are serious in nature like our health. Bad diagnosis – Ok we break it down into bite sized increments and we take it one day at a time. But first we take that walk and we put the problem in our pocket and then somewhere along that walk we leave the “problem” behind. We still have the health issue but it no longer is a problem, it is just something to deal with. For me it is super easy as I have God with whom to share my problems. I pray for you the same.