Central Baptist Church of Westerly
16 Elm Street, Westerly, RI   02891
Phone: (401) 596-4929   

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The Right Place to Use Our Energy
    
                                                                                    October 12, 2016
Dear Friends,

I opened my suitcase and immediately knew something was wrong.  My things had been
tampered with. I found two of my medications were out of the bag I had put them in.  
I assumed that it was the TSA that opened the bag and checked them out.

It was no big deal but for the next hour I kept thinking about it.  There was no note.  
Usually the TSA will put a note in your bag if they open it.  So what could have
happened?  Your mind will make up all kinds of things to make sense of a situation.

That's what I did. I jumped to a conclusion.  I thought I knew what had happened.  
Then I noticed that there was a hole in the baggie that held my medicine.
It was a slit that you could hardly see.  That's what happened.  
No one had been in my bag.

Maybe you've heard the old joke about losing weight?  You can lose it easy.  Lose
75 calories by beating around the bush, 25 calories by passing the buck, 500 calories
by making mountains out of mole hills and 100 calories by jumping to conclusions.

It is easy to jump to a conclusion based upon what you see.  Our minds have the
natural ability to fill in the blanks to make sense out of our world. Karl Friston a
neuroscientist from the University College of London calls it predictive coding.

“The brain’s main function is to minimize surprise – that is what it has evolved to do,
"Friston says.  "Memory and the predictive power of the brain combine in a very helpful
way to allow us to anticipate our surroundings."  Yet it isn't always right.

I think that's why Jesus warned us about judging others. We only see what our eyes see
but God knows the heart and motives.  It is God's job to judge.  He's the one who set the
parameters of right and wrong.  He is the one who can do so with authority.

I like what Pope Francis said about judgment earlier this year.  He said, "Before judging
others we need to look in the mirror..."  He's right.  Our call is to live every day to the
glory of God. That's where we need to focus our energy.  Who knows?  Maybe there is
a way to spend a few calories doing that too!

God bless! See you in church.

Cal
Pastor Cal Lord's Weekly Epistle
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