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Finding Faith: Living within limits

Rev. Alison Grove

Moses was a great leader, but he had to learn, as we all do, how to find a way of life that works. The negative effects of the way that Moses was carrying out his leadership responsibilities seemed to just sneak up on him — as they do for most of us.

The first hint that Moses’s life in leadership had become unworkable was that early in the journey he sent his wife and children (his young family) back home to Midian to live with his father-in-law, Jethro. This was not a good sign because evidently his lifestyle was not sane enough for including his wife and children. Eventually, Jethro brought Moses’s young family back to him and it was during that visit that Jethro began teaching Moses a new orientation toward his life (Exodus 18).

Like Moses, at some point we are brought face to face with our own limitations. In our humanness we tend to take on too many things at once. Often our attention toward all these various things depletes what energies we do have. Such depletion of the body and soul become exhausting and even at times can be paralyzing. Leaving us empty, out of sorts, and possibly feeling lost or alone.

Fortunately, Moses had a teachable heart. Moses learned a lesson that we all must learn — to be human is to have limits. Obliviously there are physical limits of time and space along with strength and energy. I might add there are the limits that are associated with this season that is occurring in your life, or my life now.

In the new Testament, Paul talks about our limits in this way, “15 We do not boast beyond limits, that is, in the labors of others; but our hope is that, as your faith increases, our sphere of action among you may be greatly enlarged” (2 Corinthians 10:12-17, NRSV).

Paul is talking about the danger for comparing and measuring ourselves to the accomplishments of others. Of course, the remedy is for learning to remain within the limits for our own life and calling.

Throughout this pandemic, I have been wrestling with learning new limitations and what that means as I consider living life in this body at this age and stage. For living life with my family at this age and stage. For accepting life in this personality that I am. Or for living life with this community.

Our world has changed tremendously over the last several months and no doubt we will all face learning and possibly relearning what it means for “Living Within Limits.”

Maybe you could ask yourself the question, “How are you doing at being human?”

Notice what your limits are, notice your needs, notice those tender places of your soul, notice your weariness, your vulnerability, and notice your strengths.

“The word of God is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe,” (Deuteronomy 30:14). The will of God is right here within us in your body, in your soul, and even in our present set of circumstances.

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. Alison W. Grove, pastor of Covenant and Faith United Methodist Churches, Lock Haven.

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