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Spiritual Director’s Message for June

June 25, 2009

Friends of Keystone Emmaus Community,

When my friend Ginny isn’t counseling young people, she can be found riding her bicycle. We’re talking serious biking here, not just the little leisurely around-the-block stuff.

She and her friends have covered a lot of America on their bicycles, conquering all kinds of challenges, like big hills, you know. Now, any of us who have ever ridden a bike knows it’s the hills that bite your leg muscles. As you are riding, you see this mountain looming in front of you. Ok, it’s a hill, but your mind is thinking “mountain.” My friend told me a fundamental “big hill” principle that she’s discovered and that she passes on to other bikers: “The longer you look, the bigger it gets!”
You may be facing one of life’s big hills right now financially, medically, in your
family or your ministry, or your work. And right now you’ve stopped pedaling, you’re looking at how big that hill is, and the longer you look, the bigger it’s getting. And the weaker and more paralyzed you are feeling.
That must have been how God’s ancient people felt when they looked at the challenges of the land that God had promised them: walled cities, barbarian armies, intimidating giants, and a big piece of occupied ground. God knows how we feel when we’re staring at those big hills. In our scripture from the Word of God, Deuteronomy 7, beginning in verse 17, God says, “You may say to yourselves, these nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out? Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little
by little.”

OK, first you have to remember who’s going to conquer that hill. It’s not going to be you, so your limitations are not an issue. It’s going to be “the Lord your God.” I love that phrase. “The Lord.” That’s the one who created and controls over a hundred billion galaxies.
Then, “your God” Yes! The Lord who rules the galaxies is my God. He is so big and He’s so close!

Decolores,
Bishop Jim Sunderland, Community Spiritual Director
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