"Wasting Precious Time"
(by Joseph Sica--as seen in Morning Coffee)

1-26-2005 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #375

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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Patije

Story of the Week
“Wasting Precious Time”
(by Joseph Sica--as seen in Morning Coffee)

I recently visited a friend in the hospice unit at one of our local hospitals.

As I was talking with Bill, a gentleman walked into the room. Bill began to cry and so did the gentleman, who leaned over the bed to embrace Bill. After a few moments, the gentleman, Ken, said to me, "He's my brother. We haven't spoken in over 25 years."

Caught by surprise by his comment, I said, "You're kidding me?"

"No," replied Ken. "We had an argument over a piece of property and have been estranged from each other."

Bill said, "Ken, you haven't met my children."

Then Bill introduced his children to their uncle. I left the hospice unit thinking, there's something wrong when we can't forgive. Life is short, and it's difficult to make up for all the time that has been lost.

This experience caused me to think the power of forgive- ness and the need for it in our lives. Sure, when someone says something or does something to cause us harm, it hurts. But we need to move beyond the hurt to healing, which comes from forgiveness.

I like to think of forgiveness as the bold choice we make to clear out of our lives resentment, bitterness, anger, hatred and revenge.We need to ask ourselves, "Do I want to waste precious time and energy carrying around these nasty feelings?"

It's the unfinished business we may have with a spouse, parent, child, brother or sister, or friend that we need to take care of before it's too late. Holding on to the past only weakens the relationship and keeps us from mending it and putting it back together.

When we refuse to forgive, the other person owns us. Often forgiveness is not for the other person, it's for us -- to let it go and begin again.

Charlie came to see me about a problem he was having. He was angry with his father for dying. He said, "He died just when I was getting to know him as a buddy, a friend. We'd fish, hunt, and golf together. Now it's all gone."

I told him, "You have unfinished business with your father. Go and tell him."

"He's dead," Charlie said, "How can I?"

I said, "Get in your car, go to the cemetery and tell him how angry you are with him." He left me looking confused.

Two weeks later, Charlie came and told me, "I feel better. I drove to the cemetery, stood over his grave and dumped my anger. Then I closed my eyes and said to myself what I felt my dad would say. Wow, I never realized how much energy keeping all that anger inside can do to a person."

I agreed and applauded Charlie for what he did. Forgiveness brings healing, freedom and peace back into our lives. It opens our eyes to see what happened. It calls us to break down the walls, stop the silent treatment and put an end to the cold war. One day, the roles of wronged and wrongdoer may be reversed.

Use today as an opportunity to open a door that has been closed too long. Forgive. Let it go. Put it behind you, and see how much better you will feel.

Give it try. It works.

Pastor's Quote of the Week
        By opening the human end of the channel of the God-man communication, mortals make immediately available the ever-flowing stream of divine ministry to the creatures of the worlds. When man hears God's spirit speak within the human heart, inherent in such an experience is the fact that God simultaneously hears that man's prayer. Even the forgiveness of sin operates in this same unerring fashion. The Father in heaven has forgiven you even before you have thought to ask him, but such forgiveness is not available in your personal religious experience until such a time as you forgive your fellow men. God's forgiveness in fact is not conditioned upon your forgiving your fellows, but in experience it is exactly so conditioned.

(From: The Urantia Papers - Paper-146 Section-2)

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        May I learn to forgive as perfectly Lovingly as You do.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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