Pastor’s viewpoint: Aug. 25, 2018

Published 3:43 pm Saturday, August 25, 2018

I met Frankie Ruiz in the May 2018 issue of “Runner’s World” magazine. He’s the Chief Running Officer for Lifetime Fitness in Miami and he was frustrated, when he ran, by the “crumbling sidewalks, burned-out street lights, and drivers ignoring crosswalks.” So, he began calling the city to report those problems and encouraged the participants in his nine running clubs to notice their surroundings, reporting problems, and even picking up trash along their trails.
It caught my eye because I’ve been walking from my house to Bold Springs United Methodist Church, just shy of two miles from my house, and back home … doctor’s orders! While I walked, I couldn’t help but notice the trash along the road. So, I bought a “picker-upper” and started carrying a garbage bag; it filled up long before I finished my walk. Now I’m more selective, picking up aluminum cans on one walk and paper and plastic on the next.
There is a never-ending supply of trash to pick up, so I’m more likely to keep walking. In fact, I was walking three days/week and I’ve started walked five to six days/week to keep up with the problem. It’s the same old story … as old as creation … God created a perfect world and we keep “messing it up.”
So I’d like to ask you to do two things: don’t throw your trash out by the highway (especially on Bold Springs Road!), and if you walk, carry a “picker-upper” and a garbage bag. It’s a long-term commitment because it’s a never-ending problem … King David knew all about “long term commitments” and “never-ending problems.”
“[1] All the people of Israel went to David at Hebron and said to him, “We are your own flesh and blood. [2] In the past, even when Saul was still our king, you led the people of Israel in battle, and the LORD your God promised you that you would lead his people and be their ruler.” [3] So all the leaders of Israel came to King David at Hebron. He made a sacred alliance with them, they anointed him, and he became king of Israel, just as the LORD had promised through Samuel.” (1 Chronicles 11)
If you remember the story, Samuel anointed David as the successor to King Saul of Israel when David was a young boy tending his father’s sheep. The time from his anointing until he became king of Israel at Hebron was filled with adventure and danger and miracle stories. He killed Goliath with a slingshot. He ran for his life from King Saul.
There were opportunities to kill King Saul, but David refused to take shortcuts to the throne, choosing to wait for God’s timing. Sometimes the secret to life is simply making and keeping long-term commitments to do what is good and right and true!

Charles “Buddy” Whatley is a retired United Methodist pastor serving Woodland & Bold Springs UMC and, with Mary Ella, a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.