The Rev. Bonnie M. Orth is the Pastoral Care Coordinator at Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home
Many wonderful things come without planning
September 6, 2014
By The Rev. BONNIE M. ORTH, Leader Herald
During the summer, when the children in our church are on break from Sunday school, we have what we call “adult time” during our worship service. I have been reading snippets from a wonderful book by Mr. Rogers called, “Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers, Things to Remember Along the Way.” Fred Rogers was a Presbyterian minister whose specialized ministry was his wonderful children’s television show.
This past Sunday, I read the following entry from his book, “I saw a friend who is a freelance writer and asked him what he was working on. ‘Nothing right now,’ he answered. ‘You know how it is for freelancers. But at times like this I tell myself I’m in between opportunities. That way, I don’t have to feel I’m nowhere.'”
Mister Rogers continued, “There’s often a tendency for us to hurry through transitions. We may feel that these transitions are, ‘nowhere at all’ compared to what’s gone before or what we anticipates next to come. But you are somewhere, you are ‘between.'”
September is a time of transitions for many of us. Children transition to a new grade, and teachers transition to a new group of students. College students transition to living in a dorm on campus and parents transition to empty nests. For many churches, September is also a time of transitions, the beginning of a new Sunday school season, often the gearing up of church activities, Bible studies, stewardship campaigns, committee meetings and the business of the church after a restful break for the summer.
Many of us are thrown by transitions. They seem an awful lot like that dreaded word “change.” I wonder if we too looked at the transitions of our lives as “in between opportunities” we might be more open to them and would embrace them.
Mr. Rogers finished his lesson by saying, “Sometimes it surprises me to think that my work on that first children’s program was almost by chance! Isn’t it mysterious how so many wonderful things in life come to us seemingly without our planning? We start traveling down one street, and we find ourselves interested in something we never expected on a side street, and as we explore it, the side street becomes the main street for us.”
As we enter the transition times of our lives, may we have the patience not to hurry through, but to take our time and experience the plans that God has for us. None of us can go back and make a new start, but we can all begin today and make a new ending. Trust in the words from Jeremiah 20:11-13, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart.”
The Rev. Bonnie M. Orth is the pastor of the Mayfield Central Presbyterian Church and the pastoral care coordinator at Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.