The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, June 10, 2022 comes to us from Linda Coggin of British Columbia, Canada.
9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat." 14 "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean." 15 The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." 16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven. Acts 10:9-16 NIV
“Limitation or Blessing”
At 61, with a new degree, I was discouraged. I had not received the job I had applied for with great hope. But then I received a phone call from the monastery where I’d been on a waiting list for a retreat. They had an opening that very weekend. The day I arrived, the scripture for the afternoon service was the story of Peter’s unwillingness to visit Gentiles because he believed they were unclean. I wondered, What do I call profane that God blesses? As I walked the grounds that afternoon, I prayed this question over and over: What’s holding me back? Lord, what do you bless that I don’t?
As I sat in the chapel once again God answered my question. It was my fear that I’m too old for a new job, to begin again, that was holding me back from finding my new place of service and a way forward. I felt God encouraging me to move past my prejudice against my age to see new possibilities instead of only limitations. I was seeing age as a problem when God did not! I left the chapel with this question clearly in my mind: Can I look past my biases and see what God blesses in others and in me?
Having entered my 70th year, I can relate to Linda Coggin’s reflection. I was blessed to return to ministry at Farmington: FUMC not long before the world shut down during the pandemic. Sometimes, I feel my age. But this reflection reminds me to let go of my biases about age – mine and others. It is important to look past my biases and pre-conceptions about others AND myself. I invite you to consider your own biases. Which of them do you need to get past?
Dear God, help us to face what we falsely see as obstacles that hold us back from your service. Amen.
People on Retreat
Thought for the Day:
What do I call profane that God blesses?
Peter said, “God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.”
Acts 10:28 (NRSV)