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March 29, 2022

Dear friends,

This upcoming Sunday, Rev. Blair Zant is coming to preach at Embry Hills UMC. You may remember her coming to preach at Embry Hills on the “transition Sunday” between Susan’s departure and my arrival as the pastor. Blair is the director of Congregational Excellence for the North Georgia Annual Conference, and loves coming to preach to excellent congregations!

It is going to be quite a different look for her though! The last time she was here, we had just started worshipping together again on Sunday mornings. There was no Sunday School. We were in the Family Life Center, and it was still tricky with masks and distancing. We’ve come a long way, even though we still have a long way to go.

I am with my family on a vacation in Myrtle Beach. We are visiting my sister and her family, where we haven’t been in over two years. I am excited for this time with them, but also thankful for a break.

I read recently about the invention of the treadmill and its original intent. Its invention was for prison systems. The inventor saw that people were going into prison as criminals, and coming out as better criminals, so he decided to do something about it. He saw this as an opportunity for prisons to become means of industrial production, and so he invented a human-powered mill system, with treads on it, hence the name. The prisoner would get in the wheel and walk/climb up the side, going nowhere, but powering a wheel to mill grain. It ended up becoming a type of torture device as prisoners were left on there for hours on end, and it was deemed a cruel form of punishment, and so was removed from prisons.

It is ironic that a device invented for punishment is now in our homes and gyms as exercise equipment and says something about our mental state of constantly having to be in motion. From the moment we wake up we are enforced with the message of “be more, do more,” when God’s constant message is, “You are enough.” I’m glad to be on a break but have to constantly remind myself that when running a marathon, it’s impossible to sprint the whole time. I think this is an important thing to remember, especially as we are coming up on Holy Week. We do not need to sprint past this time of reflection and remembrance but stay a while to understand God’s great love for us.



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