IN PROPER PATHS
with Rev. Rachel
3 IN PROPER PATHS - Psalm 23
Drive west onto Colorado Avenue until it dead-ends at Santa Monica Pier. Then walk straight out on the pier for 200 feet. The sign is just past the Bubba Gump shrimp franchise and just before the Playland arcade.*
At that trail’s end, a landmark awaits. When I experience a trail ending, it does not
often ever feel like Santa Monica. To boot, I don’t always know that the end of the trail is upon me.
I’m not thinking of anything too terribly major, here. It seems to me that there are just those times—those times when we are going along, getting by, doing what we do and pop goes the realization: We are off the path.
Last Sunday morning was one of those times. Attendance was low. I was sick with allergies turned something much worse. Cyclist types will tell you that power is work over time (how much wattage one generates). Well, I’m glad we weren’t wearing a power meter here at Boulevard UMC. No, simply gathering with others to celebrate life together as God’s—one piece of what we call Sabbath—does not guarantee a walk in proper paths (v.3).
“In the paths of righteousness” is the translation we expect. But it is the rendering “in proper paths” that may get us beyond the sound of certain language and to a place of considering the content of the Psalmist’s praise and prayer. The Psalmist looks to God as the source of right walkways.
The grace of a rough Sunday may be the relentless return of Sunday, to echo Bishop Pennel. And the grace of experiencing moments of disorientation or diminished output is that life can offer a moment to feel oriented and empowered.
Today was one of those times. Our new Bishop was installed. Bishop Sharma Lewis brought her A game. We weren’t on Route 66 but right off Cary Street Road, actually. The way felt so marked that it’s a bit embarrassing to think back to the feelings I felt six days ago.
Sometimes the trail does not end where we feel ourselves “off”. We just need the light of others and something like another try for the fog to clear.
_____________________________________ ￼* http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/route-66-end-trail