Walking Our Faith: Live fully in this moment | SummitDaily.com

Walking Our Faith: Live fully in this moment

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson
Walking Our Faith
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson

My office faces the Historic Park on Frisco’s Main Street. When we moved our offices here during the summer, I looked across the street at Mount Royal, and I imagined that is where I would see the beauty of the Aspens in autumn.

But as I sit at my desk facing the little park, the glorious autumn beauty is in fact right across the street. The majestic cottonwoods that encircle the park are in their full golden splendor. I find myself through the day watching how the light burnishes the leaves, harvest gold in shadow, fiery yellow in sunlight, and it reminds me how often I forget to notice the blessings right in front of me.

I am often guilty of this. Always waiting for something far ahead, beyond my reach, always propelling me forward, wanting something more or better than I have in this moment. I live in a state of constant yearning.

Through the afternoon, the wind blew through the cottonwood trees scattering leaves across the lawn. Those leaves will not be replaced until next spring, and while I worry, I am in danger of missing the beauty outside my window.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” — Matthew 6:34

This morning, before I left for the office, I sat on the edge of my bed, bowed my head and prayed. I spoke with God about my worries of the future, about my mother so far away in Florida, my search for another job to supplement my part-time income and my dream of a little cabin of my own in the Blue River woods. With rejection, my mind paints a worst-case scenario, and I think badly of myself for being 58 and so uncertain of my future.

“Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” — Psalm 118:5-6

And so, I pray a lot. Some prayers are answered immediately, but these prayers, I have prayed for a very long time without an answer, and I am left wondering what to do if I cannot count on God’s help.

I know I am not alone in this. Many people in Summit County, and around the country, are facing uncertainty right now. Like the golden cottonwood trees, this season will not last, but the insecurity of this season can leave us fearful.

I remind myself that God has always answered my prayers eventually, not always as I would wish, but with grace and mercy that is sufficient for the day.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7

To live fully even in a season of uncertainty, I must work diligently but remind myself to look up from my job search, at the birds at the birdfeeder, at the mountains that appear close enough to touch, and give thanks for the happiness I experieince living here.

“Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” — Matthew 6:25-26

Stop for a moment right now and look around. Find beauty where you are. Recall a time when God answered your prayer. Know that God will never leave you. To overcome our season of uncertainty, let’s remind ourselves that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.”

Now, I ask you to continue reading about a very special Summit County tradition which will have a different look this year and will only be successful with your help!

Thanksgiving To-Go

This is the fifth year of Thanksgiving To-Go, and it has been a very successful program, thanks to the generosity of St. John’s parishioners and our other partnering congregations and organizations. Last year, over 360 filled bags containing food and supermarket gift cards were distributed all over Summit County.

This year, due to the pandemic, things are very different. However, I’m also finding from the agencies and charities with whom I partner that the number of people requesting assistance is greater than ever — in some cases more than five times from this same time last year. So even though we won’t be distributing Thanksgiving To-Go bags, we will be providing supermarket gift cards to those needing extra help and cheer this Thanksgiving. 

If you would like to donate to Thanksgiving To-Go again, it’s easier than ever. You can either purchase a supermarket gift card ($25 for an individual or $50 for a family) or you can write a check made payable to St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church with Thanksgiving To-Go on the memo line.

— Terese Keil, Thanksgiving To-Go coordinator

Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Walking our Faith” publishes Saturdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson is the author of 10 novels and nonfiction books on faith. She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at suzanne@suzanneelizabeths.com.

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