I'm writing a sermon for this coming Sunday, as I will be sharing in worship with a dear friend and colleague. Although it is Transfiguration Sunday, remembering the experience upon the mountain that caused the Disciples to fall to their knees, and then being told, "By the way, you can't say anything about what you have seen here today until the Son of Man is raised from the dead."
Where is the "happily ever after?"
It seems that Christ's whole life is leading to the importance of his death and the resurrection. Although I attempt to embrace the idea of eternity and the here after, I wish that I could understand it all better.
"Happily ever after" for Christ was no fairy tale.
God is just simply amazing. If you've been my friend for any period of time, you know the struggles I have experienced. The times I have shared joys, but of times where my heart has been hurt, because I have felt somehow shorted, or that I just felt like I should have been treated differently.
I think that we all experience moments where we look around and wonder why God blessed someone else. Why did God bless them and not me?
The longer I live (which is part of my happily ever after) I am learning that God leads and we must remain faithful while following.
Easier written than done. I remember back nearly 30 years now, when a Roman Catholic Priest shared with me that if I was going down a one way street the wrong way. God would literally turn the world around under my feet in order to plant my steps in the right direction.
I know that some of you are walking among dark shadows. I understand that life is simply not fair at times. However, happily ever after is a fact, not a writer's dim wit ending because the writer ran out of story lines, unless you're the character in a Shonda Rhimes television show, then that's the risk you face!
It's the realization that each of us are living it now, and if not, the question is, "why not?"
The sweet by and by is here. The Kingdom of God is here. The Christ who is the Messiah is here. And if there's any question of that, then poor life choices, or the presence of doubt, or the question and images of what we are fed by others has simply made it impossible to move forward and find that your path, or journey, is what God desires for you.
I understand that pain, sacrifice, and sometimes, suffering can consume any thought of happiness. I understand that loneliness can drive you to consider choices in your life that are unwise to help mask those times. I understand that life at times is completely and radically unfair. I understand that anger, and bullying can dismantle every hope and dream, and finally, I understand what it feels like when a door shuts in your face.
Let me just share this, I believe in happy endings, and whatever villain, choice, life-condition, or simply what belief system you live, somebody is believing that God has a happy ending for you.
Enough preaching. Just know you are loved, and that I hope you are living the happily ever after and thanking God.
Stay in God's grip!
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.