Pastor’s Corner: Arbitrary Decisions

February 20, 2019

Arbitrary decisions have their advantages.

Not too long ago, I arbitrarily decided that any day on which I saw a kolea – a Pacific golden plover – would be defined as a good day.

I’ve written before about feeling comforted by the sight of the kolea who lives in our neighborhood (or in whose neighborhood we live). He’s an industrious if not very talkative neighbor. I don’t particularly know why seeing him makes me feel better, but it does, and I take delight in it.

Deciding that it’s a good day if I see him or one of his relatives, however, is entirely arbitrary. There’s no real reason it should improve my mood for the day. There’s no reason for that at all.

The remarkable thing is that, by and large, it has worked.

It hasn’t lessened the challenges of any particular day. They still bring decisions, and questions, and shortfalls, and puzzles, and obligations. What it has done is make me face each decision, question, shortfall, puzzle, and obligation with a greater sense of resilience. “It’s a good day,” I tell myself. “I’ve got what I need to deal with this.”

And even when the shortfalls and obstacles are more than I can truly handle, I still come away feeling, “I did what I could. It’s a good day.”

I have no idea whether something like this will work for you. I didn’t think it would work for me. But it’s worth a try, isn’t it? Find something to tell yourself that this is a good day for you. Make it as arbitrary as you like. Then see if it leads you to that resilient core, the one God strengthens and maintains. That’s the goal: find that, and treasure it, even if the route is arbitrary, or even silly.

When the kolea fly off to Alaska, I’m going to have to find another one.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

The photo is of Holy Cross’ neighbor kolea feathered for its Alaskan summer. Taken by Eric Anderson in March 2018.

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: | Posted on February 20, 2019

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Leave a Reply

close window

Service Times & Directions

Sunday School Classes

Sunday 8:45 am

Sunday Worship Service

Sunday 10:00 am

Adult Bible Study

Monday 6:30 pm, Wednesday 9:00 am

(International Young Adults Association)
Bible Study

Wednesday 7:30 pm

The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga

(The Rev. Tevita) Sunday 1:00 pm Wednesday 7:00 pm (Sanctuary)

The United Church of Christ, Pohnpei - Hilo

(The Rev. Ichiro) Sunday 10:00 am (Bdg. of Faith)

The Samoan Church

(The Rev. Sunia) Sunday 4:00 pm (Sanctuary)

440 W. Lanikaula Street
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 935-1283