I am only a moderate fan of westerns. Nevertheless, the old saying of ‘Back in the Saddle’ has always stuck with me. It captures in a few words the the quality of resilience in the human spirit which is so admirable. In the military these days, there is an increasing emphasis on tapping into one’s spirituality to increase our resilience.
But what it all points toward is that individually and collectively, life is often a series of “falling off the horse.” We fall off by lack of knowledge. We fall off through bad habits. We fall off by lack of attention. We even just get off the horse because we doubt our ability to ride, the goodness of our ride, or the difference we are making.
And of course, what “the horse” is differs for each one of us.
Today, out in an area an old western might be set, in years gone by, there are school children going back to school. In Moore, Oklahoma, just months ago, twenty five people lost their lives, including seven students of Plaza Towers elementary.
I admire those children (and their parents) as they stood in line today to begin a new school year. But what especially stood out to me is that a Baptist Church in Moore offered their building for this school year to the city since the physical plant of Plaza Towers Elementary no longer exists. This church stepped forward until the city can build a new one.
This is what the church should be all about – everywhere. Be it collectively, or individually, we need to help folks “get back in the saddle.” And we need to realize, more often than not, this has to do with individual challenges versus communal disasters. There doesn’t need to be a tornado, hurricane, fire, or earthquake for the church to be there and help fill the gap. Personal or family “tornadoes” pass through individual lives and families all the time.
Parkway tries to do this in a number of ways. We have our trained Stephen Ministers ready to help, just as they have helped so many through the years. We are active in the Program of Hope for the Homeless. We offer backpacks full of food over the weekend for school children in need. We pack food for Second Harvest and host AA, NA, Cub Scouts, and Girl Scouts at the church. All this is just to name a few things. But we always need to be ready and keep our eyes open to be ready to help people get back up.
Because this is just what God has done for us.
Until next time,