This year has been a doozy so far! The year of 2020 will be known for introducing a new topic
of conversation that may have otherwise seemed quite odd. That topic would be,
You may overhear this question as you dine in the parking lot of your local restaurant, “So, what
vacations were cancelled for you this year?’ The answers range from places like Paris to New
York and Scotland to the Rocky Moutains. The facial expressions used by those telling stories
of their well-planned, but cancelled vacations look as sorrowful as if a
favorite puppy was lost in the process.
However, some people just shrug and say, “Oh, we hadn’t planned anything for this year.”
Gulp. That should be shocking.
There is an overwhelming message coming through loud and clear; people today are walking away from church.
Could it be that we’re reeling from the 2020 Quarantine that closed churches, prohibited singing and condemned community groups - isolating the believer from any kind of fellowship, so the idea of church naturally took a back seat?
Maybe it’s that we went to church for the reason of “checking the box” for the week, but never attended with any kind of conviction, so it was easy to leave when everything went online.
Possibly, we have some old wounds that are surfacing in our emotional life and we don’t really think church is the place to help fix anything, so we cocoon into safety, choosing a random television show for entertainment instead of researching a pastor’s website for the latest archived message.
Or…you’re a Law Enforcement Officer and you’ve experienced a fair amount of ugliness within the walls of a church during your career.
(Edited, originally written as a column for
The Police Chief Magazine, an IACP Publication:
Focus on Officer Wellness, Educating the Police Spouse)
"Fatigue roughens up the
edges of your nerves;
it exposes your fears
and your weakness.
Imagine my surprise one evening while walking down a seedy street in Portland, Oregon with my family, when without control my entire body froze and I began to shudder with fear. “Linda, let’s keep walking” my husband replied. I couldn’t move. I had just passed an alleyway that looked identical to the scene that I had created in my imagination, when hearing of my husband’s shooting many years prior.
My body was stiff as the words my husband used to describe the entanglement that happened between he and a suspect replayed in my mind and, also seemingly replayed right before my eyes. The sun was setting and the darkness was brewing, I could imagine the fight, the bodies rolling around on the ground, his fellow officer in training and her apprehension regarding getting involved and the eventual horror of the outcome. I was simply paralyzed.
Last summer, we left the comfort of our home and camped in a 21 foot travel trailer for 21 days. It was supposed to be what we would call “our sabbatical”. A time of refreshment after my husband, Brian’s, retirement and an entrance into more ministry opportunities
Linda Seitz, PeaksandValleys.life
Creating bountiful stories from our otherwise ordinary lives.
“I begin to think, that a calm is not
desirable in any situation in my life.
Man was made for action and for
bustle too, I believe.”
Last summer we took a camping trip to celebrate my husband’s retirement. We hitched the travel-trailer to the truck, filled up on gas and food, created a comfortable bed in the back seat for the dogs and headed off with the plan of driving all the way to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore. During that trip, we basically “winged it” in regards to finding camping spots and landmarks to visit along the way.
One day, as we rounded the corner of a road that was seemingly unending, we came upon a beautiful view of the river down below and quickly turned into the campground that was along the water. Excitedly, we were enticed by the movement of the rushing water and quickly chose a campspot on the grass that had a pathway to the river.
That evening at sunset, with a glass of wine in hand, sitting lazily by the water, we made a decision to brave the river in the morning. The campground we were at offered “white water” rafting expeditions that you could sign up for in their general store. We had gone white water rafting before with a guide and a whole boatload of people, but this time it would be different. The clerk at the store fitted us for life vests, gave us our inflated canoe and sent us on our way. I asked if a guide would be coming with us and he replied, “No, the river’s water flow speed is acceptable for you guys to go on your own - of course we could give you individual canoes if you prefer, hardly ever does a couple go rafting together that they don’t come back divorced.” Ha, Ha…the laughter ensued as we picked up our raft and paddles and hit the water.
The Ups and Downs of Life...