Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NRSV)
“Thus says the Lord: Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals
and make mere flesh their strength,
whose hearts turn away from the Lord.
They shall be like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see when relief comes.
They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit.” And his disciples heard it.
Everyday life is running me ragged! You’ve heard it before, “Never is there enough hours in the week!” That’s what this week feels like. I am getting a late start to a week where my “To Do” list is so much longer than my “Been Done” list. Trying to focus on the message this week has been hard but also a source of peace to come back to. That sense that tells me; “Fran come back to what gives your heart rest.”
Hereditarily, I am half Puerto Rican (my dad) and half German (my mom)! How’s that for a combination? The questions that raises in and of itself should explain a lot about my personality but also throws me into a state of confusion. The German side of me wants to work hard, take responsibility (too often more than I should). The desire to please those people in my life that gives meaning to my life is often overwhelming. The Puerto Rican half wants to have fun! To hug literally everyone I love being around (my extended family and my church family—I must apologize if I have offended anyone with this).
This is where my roots come into play. My mom and dad were completely united in their shared desire to raise me; “…In the nurture and admonition of the Lord…”. For this, I am eternally grateful. For some strange reason, (yup, the Holy Spirit prods at me, thankfully) I have never fought this. I took joy in it and still do. Preparing for Sunday worship was preparing for worship. Laying out “Sunday best” clothes, taking a bubble bath, sleeping on rollers (loved those pink sponge rollers), polishing shoes, etc. Sunday is still the best day of the week. A chance to be nourished! A day to feed on the process of digging back into the word with a body of believers I cherish more than anything. That “oneness” that says, “You belong here!” Some days I wish I could move in!
Pastor Greg also mentioned the idea of continuing Sunday worship with the fellowship of our body of believers. Having a meal together after worship. This brought back the memories of going to my Hoppe grandparents’ home after church and joining a family of only twelve back then around the dining room table and listening to Grandpa saying grace in German. Thanks, Pastor; that memory is especially precious. I only wish we could go back to those times. To have time to enjoy each other’s company, without phones, calendars, agendas, or for that matter, Sunday sporting events (sorry, guys). That feeling of being “included” as a body of believers.
This worship series has allowed me to do that. To dwell on my roots, my connectedness, that helps me “hold it together” when everyday life is wearing me out. There’s a song by Jonny Diaz called, “Breathe” you can find it on YouTube; may I suggest you check it out?
Heavenly Father, Thank you for this day and the experiences you bring my way. Help me to learn from them, be enriched by them and desire to serve you with this in mind. Let Christ be seen in me today! Amen.
Written by Fran Baatz
Fran is happily married with two daughters, and now four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter! She was an army brat growing up (which means she moved a bit) and her parents (Francis and Orpha Jimenez) were charter members of Sheridan Lutheran Church. She was also the first girl baptized in the church in 1953, so she has been at Sheridan a long time.