Daily Devotion for May 1, 2020

Give Thanks

“Take time to smell the roses.” How many times have we either heard or spoken that phrase? It is easy to get so consumed with work and activity, stresses and projects that we become “human doings” instead of “human beings”. Even in this Covid19 era many people are busier and more frantic than ever! Some are figuring out how to work in new ways, some home schooling children while juggling work and many people disturbed because we haven’t been able to accomplish as much as we hoped while “staying at home.” In the midst of this frantic new pace, have you paused to be grateful and smell those roses?

I have enjoyed a few walks with Bishop Jung. No matter what challenges are going on in the church or the world, he notices and celebrates the beauty in a flower, or a butterfly or bird flying above or in beautiful people. The cabinet traveled to El Salvador in January on a mission trip to United Methodists there. As we drove to the next stop, Bishop Jung spotted beauty and suddenly we just had to pull over. I captured the gorgeous, breathtaking view in the picture you see here. In the hectic pace of the mission trip, it was good to pause and experience deep joy and gratitude for the life that God has given.

Yesterday afternoon I received the startling and jolting news that Rev. Timothy Berlew, pastor at Wauwatosa Avenue United Methodist Church had suddenly died. Family, friends and colleagues are shocked and grieving the loss of this beloved servant. I thought back to the last time I saw or spoke with Tim. It is almost unimaginable that I won’t have another opportunity for conversation, a joke, a smile.

I invite us all to take moments to celebrate the treasure of life that God has created for our joy. Celebrate the beauty of the people in our lives and the nature that surrounds us. Remember that you are created in the image of God. Celebrate that image in your family, friends and neighbors. Please take a moment now to rejoice even in the midst of Covid19. Take a moment to give thanks for Tim Berlew whom God shared with us for a season and now holds ever close.

God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11