Reflection November 21, 2019

Minister’s Reflection – Nov. 21/19

Rev. Dave Crawford


“The Whistleblower”


The title of this brief devotional may have either grabbed your attention or perhaps aroused your frustration, but before you decide whether or not to read on keep in mind, the focus here isn’t American impeachment hearings but rather our own Canadian Grey Cup! This Sunday at McMahon Stadium the Bombers and Ticats will square off for the annual championship, and it all starts with “the whistleblower” doing his thing to set the kickoff in motion. I’ve got a feeling this could be a great game, I’ll plan to watch it!


We need our distractions in life! We need our games, whether sportsoriented or otherwise. I attended a wedding last year at which the newlyweds wanted, at their reception, not a lot of drinking and dancing to pop tunes of the 90s, but rather board games. Yes, board games. After a fantastic meal and some short speeches and toasts, all the guests were invited to engage in varieties of board games. Unusual but fun! Reminded me of so many games of Trivial Pursuit back in the 80s!


When’s the last time you turned off the tv, put a cd or record on a real stereo, turned off the cell phones, cleared off the kitchen table, and pulled out a board game or deck of cards? It’s now an old lament but isn’t it true that we can allow ourselves to be so tied to technology that we lose contact with not only family members sitting in the same room but even life’s gift? Our addictions to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and BBC breaking news alerts can actually become, I believe, distractions from healthy distraction. It may sound old-fashioned but there’s nothing quite so fulfilling as connecting in meaningful ways with those we care about, not via email but through face-to-face engagement, where all the little personal idiosyncracies and habits, the gestures and expressions, the tones of voice and emotions, the intuition and eye contact, all come together in the moment to fill our spirits with something indescribable. Such moments may of course last many hours as more coffee is brewed, popcorn popped, and the deck shuffled just one more time.


The times we’re in now, in Alberta, are tough. Social media tantrums, aggressive Legislature battles, and economic uncertainty are just the tip of the iceberg. Many of us are under pressure, plagued by worries and frustrations. Rather than the sometimes unhealthy hypnotic isolation of cell phone obsession we might be better off grabbing that old, tattered Monopoly Game, or Trivial Pursuit, or even if not really excited about Winnipeg vs Hamilton, having a few laughs and maybe some enjoyment as we settle in for a few hours, with others!


When I visited Mozambique so long ago, in 1990, a country in the middle of a civil war, the thing that astounded me most was how the people lived fully and hopefully in the moment, despite great suffering. Perhaps that’s our calling and opportunity as we approach Grey Cup Weekend, for “great is God’s faithfulness” in good and tough times.