More From Bill Pike

September 22, 2018 by Bill Pike (Virginia)

People often ask me, “When do you find the time to write?” My response is grounded in my will to write. Because I enjoy tinkering with words, I find the time to write. I might write at 4 in the morning and if I do, so be it. 

In August of 2018, my wife and I had the privilege of visiting family in California for two weeks. We were able to enjoy two contrasting environments — a beach town Carpinteria, and Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern Sierra Mountains. Both settings were unique, and we enjoyed the opportunity to explore everyday.

On this trip, I kept wondering what in the world was God thinking while creating California?  Desert, coastline, mountains, valleys, spectacular rock formations, and famous trees of the sequoia and redwood heritage. I imagine a lot of collisions and shifting in the plates of the earth took place as God molded and shaped this land of extremes.

Intrusions from earthquakes, wildfires, powerful winter storms, and mudslides make California vulnerable from many angles.  But even with these harsh realities, for the most part the people of California keep hanging around. They survive these brutal encounters with nature and to date the state hasn’t fallen into the Pacific.  

Just as I wonder what God was thinking while creating California, I also wonder what was God thinking while creating me 65 years ago. What does God think of how I have been molded and shaped by God's guidance and wisdom? Is God pleased or displeased with the choices I have made at this point in my life?  

It is very clear to me that I have been blessed no matter what life has thrown at me. Somehow, the good Lord has been there to assist in ways that are beyond my comprehension. The other day, I noted the advertising on the side panels of a tractor trailer that I was passing on I-81. The panel named the trucking company, but the panel also contained these words:  "Celebrating Faith and Family since 1945."  

Part of my blessing in life is that I was fortunate enough to be born into a family that valued their faith and the concept of family. I wonder what my life might have been if those two essential elements had not been a part of my parents’ makeup?  

In our world today, I worry about the erosion of our faith and our families. Perhaps God worries about it too. I hope that we can somehow find the means to slow down the erosion of our faith and our families. I hope we can find the courage to address these needs.  

If California can survive its challenges, I believe that faith and families can persevere too. Especially if I can hold on to Romans 12:12, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer” (NRSV).  

With the help of my youngest daughter, I do have a blog called Might Be Baloney: I have been posting for over a year on this site.

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I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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