From your pastor…
Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30: 5b, NRSV
“HUMAN ERROR” is the way one local TV Sports reporter described the “No Call” of pass interference in the NFC Championship game when the Saints hosted the Los Angeles Rams. The referee messed up big time!! Some say it was the reason the Saints lost the game. We cannot be sure about that, but that was one possibility. We wept in New Orleans. Some of us expressed our grief in anger. We were disappointed. We learned yet again the lesson that Life is not always FAIR. And we don’t like that lesson very much at all.
How do we handle our disappointments and grief? What do we do with all that emotion? Recently, I watched a documentary on these rare monkeys that live in the Himalaya Mountains in China. They had never been photographed before. The cameramen followed them in freezing conditions for months to get the tape. What fascinated me was a six month old little monkey when his mother was weaning him from her breast milk. She was pregnant and knew she would be feeding another baby monkey, and he was old enough that he was eating leaves, berries, and solid food. The first time she refused him, that little monkey pitched a huge temper tantrum. He looked just like human two year olds when they decide to throw a fit in the middle of a store. The adult monkeys were trying to take a nap. They just put their hands over their eyes and completely ignored him. He was jumping up and down, screaming, throwing sticks and branches with leaves. He did summersaults in the air, and just let out this anguish for a solid five minutes, until he wore himself out. That entire temper tantrum did not accomplish anything. His mother did not let him begin nursing again. The next time she refused him milk, he did the exact same thing. And the adults also ignored him the second time. Eventually, he had to accept he could no longer nurse from his Mommy.
What can we do that is constructive behavior when we are sad or angry? All of us make human errors, sometimes they are intentional, and many times they are not. God is a God of grace and redemption. Even though God knows we mess up in life many times, God is there to welcome us and help us get back up, and try again. We are grieving over the loss of the chance for our Saints to go to the Super Bowl, but we are still proud of them and support them. The New Orleans fans are wonderful. It gives me joy to see blacks and whites, young and old, dancing and cheering together in the stadium and around the city. We can be mad for awhile, disappointed for a time, but then we need to accept the loss, and move forward. We have so much still to celebrate!
Valentine’s Day is coming soon. Mardi Gras parades will begin before you know it. King Cakes are out and are delicious. Life is good! Mourn if you must, and then let the JOY of the Lord fill your New Orleans soul!!