DON’T LOOK AWAY

In today’s life, most of us seem to be so easily distracted. Some of us spend too much time with our artificial intelligent devices. For instance, my Samsung S9 normally tells me I have spent two and half hours staring amusingly at the screen or chatting with someone on the phone each and every day. Okay, let’s be honest, if you truly know me you know my phone conversations are mostly very brief as I am a man of few words and many distractions, so that means my eyes were most likely memorized by the glow of my “smart” phone screen, okay GOOGLE! Wait just a second, let me check my messages! Now for a reality check, just how much time did I spend in prayer or reading the scripture today? How much time did I spend helping folks? If you too are experiencing the same distractions then you and I both have taken our eyes off of Christ and looked away!

I have to pick on the Apostle Peter today as he once again was distracted. In the Gospel reading this morning, his connection waivered with Christ! [Mt. 14:30] I tend to see a lot of my choices are similar with this great Apostle. I convince myself I am going to “step up my game” or maybe to better define my thought I will say that I have good intentions on being more active or being more saintly, and then I briefly look away, and the rooster crows thrice! It is almost like a reflex or a twinge that constantly pollutes my heaven-bound intentions. Are my reflexes reacting to the distrust I have for mankind and its broken deceptive love or do I have a longing to be hell-bent?

And then there are those times I cast my cares to the world because I am overwhelmed or tired. I simply revert to carrying my cross alone amongst my hospital of woundedness and lack of trust of a love Divine. Seems like if I truly believed I would have completely surrendered years ago! Okay GOOGLE?

Am I that damaged and beyond repair? Do we all need constant distractions from our daily lives as we suffer from our corral of choices and lack of forgiveness? Is the life we are living really that bad? Do we think our answers are going to be found in the distractions of life instead of in the Creator of life?

“But when he saw the strong wind, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me.” [Mt. 14:30] What’s it going to take for us? We all see glimmers of hope in the midst of our struggles and yet we constantly put distractions ahead of our Risen Lord! Are you sinking?

Don’t look away as the world is only going to use and abuse you. There is nothing of pure substance that it has to offer. The world gives you empty campaign promises as it separates you from the flock where the evil one waits to consume you! “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be Sober; Be Vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” [1 Pe. 5:6-9]

Turn to the Lord! Don’t look away! “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”Isaiah 41:10 Look to Him with an emptiness needing to be filled! Look to the Creator of intelligence to find your answers. Look to the One who gave His life so that you and I could live! Look away from the distractions and slowly retrain that mind of yours to be steadfast in things that will not perish. Lord, save me, I pray!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 8-9-2020

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Father Gabriel Weller

Father Gabriel Weller was ordained by Bishop George Schaefer with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral. Father Gabriel was born here in the Shenandoah Valley Virginia. He spent many of his early years in Va. Beach but returned to the Valley in 1979. After many failures in life, He gave his life to the Lord and became very active in the protestant church. He had been a church leader in the United Church of Christ and the Methodist Church since his late twenties, serving in many capacities including Deacon, Elder, Church President, Youth Pastor and also served as Certified Lay Speaker, Choir Member and Youth Leader. He attended Seminary at Eastern Mennonite University with the encouragement of his pastor, but before completing his studies became frustrated with a growing perception of liberalism and other issues in the Protestant Churches he had known. He encountered Orthodox Christianity through his wife and her brother, Archpriest John Moses. He came to realize he could not go back to Protestantism because of the lack of True worship. He has served in the Altar continuously since his baptism, and was the Warden of All Saints of North America for two years. He was ordained to the Diaconate by Bishop Gabriel in 2007, and he was ordained to the Priesthood in 2009. He was the first regular pastor of the Holy Myrrhbearers 'Mission' in 2012 and on October 12, 2013, he was appointed Rector of the parish. His wife is Matushka Tatiana.