Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. – II Corinthians 9:7-8
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:33-34
I’m not really into hiking. I know it can be amazing to find a great trail which leads you to a beautiful lake or waterfall. I’m not really a trailseeker. I’d much rather drive there. Last month, my family went up to White Pass for a few days away. Paul was hoping we would find some snow, because the week before it had been really cold at home. We found some snow, but it was WAY UP the ski hill on the mountainside. Not to be deterred, we climbed up the hill, making our own trail, and the kids enjoyed “sledding” on their bottoms down the steep parts. Even Grandma Kriss and I enjoyed one trip down the “sledding” hill on our way back to the car. The next day, however, my legs were feeling the burn of our steep climb and my knees were not very happy with me. I’m not a trailseeker.
Jesus tells his followers in Matthew 6 that they should seek first God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness. In the process of seeking God’s work and will in the world, all the cares, concerns, problems of this world will fall into place. He admonished us not to worry about tomorrow. That’s not an easy task. I am a natural worrier. It is very easy for me to fall into a sleepless night with anxiety and fear of what may or may not happen… But that isn’t healthy and it isn’t helpful. “Each day has enough trouble of its own,” Jesus said. We don’t need to borrow it from tomorrow.
The families we serve through our Trailseeker program have experienced worry, stress, anxiety and fear. Many of them come from difficult situations with histories of addiction, homelessness, generational poverty, or abuse. These young boys and girls understand the trouble of today. When they connect with someone in the Trailseeker program who loves them unconditionally and shares the love of God with them week by week, they are encouraged and empowered to seek first God’s kingdom and not be afraid for their own future. They learn that no matter what might happen on this earth, the God who made them and loves them will never leave them.
As we begin our 31st year of Trailseekers, please keep our children and families, volunteers and leaders in your prayers. We have used many new and creative ways to meet the challenges of social distancing and no large group gatherings. I hope you enjoy the photos and testimonies provided in this special edition of our newsletter focused on Trailseekers.
Triune God, thank you for our Trailseeker program. Thank you for our leaders and volunteers, our children and families who receive the gift of your love each week. Bless our efforts and may we all seek first your kingdom, knowing that you are moving and working in the world and will make all things right. God of Welcome and Wonder, help us draw the welcome circle wider. Amen