Faith Matters

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By Rev. Dr. Brian Gigee

 “ON DOING YOUR BEST!”

 “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”                                                  

                                                       – Galatians 6:9

Some days I’m better at being me than other days.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m pretty good at being me as I have had years of practice.  It’s hard to notice sometimes; but others do.  My sister told me once, “I like the brother you are now better than the brother you used to be.” Whoah. Words to live by!  How are you at being you?  What do others say? It takes an effort, for sure, and my hope for me and you is that we don’t ever tire of trying to do our best.

Doing our best bears fruit.  Living at our worst, creates consequences that overflow all around us… and, more often than not, as we spend extra time fixing our own mistakes and the mistakes of others we end up having less time to focus on being our best.  In the Psalms anyone can read… If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, LORDwho could stand?” If this were true, all of us would be in rough place.  Faith matters.

How fun it might be for you for me to recall the many times I have not done my best.  “And you’re a pastor?”  people exclaim.  “Yes, but I’m a sinner, too,” I reply.  “Always.”  Thanks be to God, then, for grace and forgiveness.  We are always doing our best as we exercise grace and forgiveness as I’ve come to admit that the only way the world is an evil place, at times, is because evil lives in my heart.  And if that’s true, then evil lives in your heart, too.  Caring for our own souls, then, helps all of us keep moving into God’s perfect future.

But there was this one time that you should know about.  It was when my wife was running in the San Antonio Rock ‘n Roll marathon.  I was there for support as I refuse to be a runner.  NOTE: when people ask me why… I simply tell them, “Jesus said… ‘follow me…’ and as Jesus walked everywhere, I try to do the same.” Ok?  All right.

As I remember, I was the hander outer of bottles of Gator-Ade at the race’s appointed mile markers.  It was very early and very dark when I dropped her off at the gathering place but needed to park the car which was some six blocks away.  I did and, again, it was very early and still dark!

Walking back to the staging area I realized I needed some breakfast, so I stopped in the Omni Hotel to eat.  I tried to pay my bill, but I couldn’t find the host.  This created a momentary hurdle as I needed to get back to hand off the liquid refreshments to my wife.  So, I walked out of the hotel without paying my bill.  Yep, and you’re thinking… “And he’s a pastor?”  Agreed.  Not my best moment.  That’s my point; and there’s more!

So, I made my delivery and about 30 minutes later went back to the Omni to try again to pay the bill.  “Cool. Finally.” I thought, and then approached the breakfast host.  He had a black starched shirt on and an Omni Hotel name badge.  I introduced myself and before I could finish, he abruptly pointed across the lobby to the front desk with the message, “Yes sir, we know you walked out without paying your bill.  You will need to see the man at the front desk.”  Uh-oh… but did.

I slowly walked to the front desk to speak with the tall, young man who seemed very much in charge.  And as I began to tell him about the bill, he interrupted me and said, “Sir, I know who you are, and I want you to know that your breakfast bill has been taken care of.”  I was stunned.  Not MY best effort but certainly one of his.

It turns out he’s from Pearland. His mother knew many people at New Life Lutheran Church and somehow knew me, too.  So, who keeps records?  And what might his mother have said to those church members had I not gone back to pay my bill?  Note to self and others:  Life is hard.  Hurdles appear.  Do your best.  We’re all in this together.

Brian Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland and the lead pastor at New Life Lutheran Church located at 3521 E. Orange St. in Olde Pearland. Comments and questions can always be sent to [email protected] or you can follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Friend2theRabbi.

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