Weekly E- Letter for the week of November 15th
Hello First UMC Alachua!
Have you ever been given a piece of advice by someone and at the time you received it you didn’t want to hear it? Maybe you rejected them and thought they were trying to boss you around? Maybe you thought it was inappropriate or that the person was just flat out wrong? It’s also possible that you still think that person is wrong and shouldn’t have said it. Do you remember that time?
I know there has been a number of those humbling moments like that in my life. The first one I really remember was when I was in 7th grade in Warner Robins Middle School. One of my favorite and most memorable teachers was Mrs. Albritton. She was my home room and science teacher. I respected her greatly. However, on one occasion I was less than respectful and didn’t want to hear what she had to say. I was talking too much in my English course, taught by another teacher. Imagine that…I was talking too much. I was sent out into the hall for a sort of “time out” to remove me from the classroom. While I was waiting outside, Mrs. Albritton came across the hall and read me the riot act.
Mrs. Albritton told me that I was getting “too big for my britches” and needed to chill out. (Where are all my southern people who have heard that term?) I was so mad at her that day. I was mad that she didn’t listen to me and I wasn’t getting my point heard. I didn’t want to hear what she had to say and that she was just being too strict. I would continue on through high school with that same penchant for talking too much and acting like a “know-it-all.” It didn’t help that most things I did, I could do well without trying too hard. I got A’s while missing class and not paying attention. I could act in shows and play trombone better than most and didn’t put the effort in to really appreciate and respect the gifts that I had. This led to a lot of moments where I was viewed as egotistical and really was getting “too big for my britches.”
It wasn’t until a few auditions that I didn’t get and a few bosses who sat me down in their office and flat out told me to “shut up” when I would finally start to take heed of Mrs. Albritton’s advice. I know that it took a number of humbling experiences to get me to the point where I am today. I know that what I say and how I say it, matters. If I had taken heed of Mrs. Albritton’s advice earlier on in life it might have saved myself a few bruises to my ego later on down the line. The trouble is, as a younger person I had a big attitude that I was right, and they were wrong. I’m still guilty of it somedays and need to be reminded of that moment in the hallway with my favorite teacher.
A few years ago, I sent Mrs. Albritton a message and thanked her for her influence on my life. (Might be time to do it again, our teachers are never thanked enough.) I learned more than science from her. I’ve thanked a few people along the way for their words of advice on my life, even when I didn’t want to hear them. Some days I still get advice I don’t want to hear, but I hope to heed the advice sooner than my teenage self-did at the time.
I believe one of the biggest struggles we have today in both our society and in our pews is this need to be right. Often, we need to be so right about something that we need others to admit they are wrong or leave the table. We have become righteous in our thinking and believes on many subjects. We have failed to remember that we are often that teenager standing in the hall being reminded that we aren’t as smart as we think we are.
I hope that we can learn to be humbler than the teenage versions of ourselves. We can be passionate about what we believe. We can learn about what we believe and love what it is that we are engaging. What I’m asking today is that we do not lean so hard into our own righteousness that we fail to have the humility to admit that we might be wrong. A pastor friend of mine said it best one-time “I believe that I am right about what I’m saying, 95% of the time. The trouble is I don’t know what the 5% is.” May we live with an open hand that is ready to receive the gift of great advice, especially when we don’t want to hear it.
This week, we will talk about some of that advice in our life, especially when it comes to the gifts that God has given us to steward. We will be looking at Proverbs 13:1-11 and thinking about the wisdom that comes from others and God about how-to life our lives. I can’t wait to explore that with you this week!
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, in person or online!
With Grace & Peace,
Operation Christmas Child – We will have boxes available on Sunday mornings. For more information contact Charlie Barkley – 352-262-1194
Church Council Meeting is on Nov. 16th in the Fellowship Hall. Mask’s are required and we will be socially distancing. Council Members – Please plan to attend as we will give end of the year reports and discuss 2021.
Thanksgiving Outreach – Sign Up Link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c4da5a922abfa7-thanksgiving Sign up by Friday November 20th. Meals are due Nov. 25th to the fellowship hall. See signup for more information.
School Ministry – We are partnering with Alachua Elementary to provide prayer and support to the amazing people of the school. We are starting with encouraging thank you cards that will be available on Sunday Nov. 15th. Please take a card, a staff name will be in the envelope, and write a personalized thank you to them. Return the card to the church by the 22nd of Nov. and we will deliver the cards along with a $10 Dunkin Donuts card to the school. The funds for this project have been generously donated by church members. Let’s show our Alachua Gators some love!
Hanging of the Greens – We will decorate our church for the Advent Season on Nov. 22nd after church.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us connect with people who don’t use electronic media! We send out the E-Letter via mail each week! Let us know if there’s someone we could be connecting with.