Psalm 143:8 – Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
As a child, I only knew one Kermit. He was small and green, and he sang songs and danced. He was also in love with an obnoxious pink pig. I loved Kermit because he was kind and gentle. He was also wise, and I learned when I paid attention to him. Kermit knew things I didn’t know, and he introduced me to new ideas without me realizing I was learning life values. Yes, Kermit was the best frog I knew.
Several years ago, I received the gift of a second Kermit in my life. Not much was different. This one isn’t small or green, of course. I have never seen him dance, and I don’t think he ever kept company with pigs. Other than that, my two Kermits have much in common. My live human friend is just as kind and gentle as my frog puppet friend. Human Kermit also knows things I don’t know, and he introduces me to new things and new ideas without me realizing I am learning life lessons. Yes, Kermit the Man is one of the best people I know.
Kermit is more than a friend to me. I look up to him as a mentor and spiritual leader. As a United Methodist pastor, Kermit is technically a retired colleague. In my heart, though, he is someone I strive to emulate – a great example of Christianity walking around on earth.
One of my greatest thrills in ministry would be to work alongside Kermit. Since the day I met him, I have enjoyed his company and thought that I have much to learn from this giant in Methodism. If I have a question about theology, I know he is able to walk me through my understanding because he’s very smart and has a way of helping me discern and develop my own insight. If I need to grasp something from our Book of Discipline, Kermit is my first phone call. (After all, he wrote a lot of it.)
A while back, I received a phone call from one of Kermit’s granddaughters. I have known several members of his family for many years so I wasn’t surprised to hear from her, but I was floored to learn of her reason for calling. Lindsey and her boyfriend, Daniel, had become engaged and were inviting me to officiate at their wedding – right alongside Kermit! Weddings are always great occasions for pastors and especially so when the bride and groom are precious to our hearts. Loving this couple as I do, their invitation was like being handed a piece of wedding cake. I do like cake, and sharing such a special day with such a wonderful family was to be a delicious treat. I have to admit that the idea of serving with Kermit was nothing short of chocolate fudge icing on that sweet cake!
When the psalmist wrote #143, he combined his cry for God’s help with an undeniably sweet commitment to trust the Creator. “Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning, for in you I put my trust. Teach me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” David needed to hear of God’s love early each day so he would be reminded of God’s delicious Kermit-ness: God is kind and gentle, wise and ready to lead those who will listen. David pleaded for God to teach him and guide him because he didn’t always know the way to the promised treats.
Treats in this life are sometimes difficult to identify. Chocolate-fudge-icing-kind of treats can be extremely scarce. I think Jesus faced a good deal of struggle in his human life, but I also believe he knew the sweet and delicious treat that was coming for all of us. Even when he described to his disciples his coming ridicule, torture and death, he was quick to add that he would conquer death and offer us eternal life alongside him. Victory over death and eternal life – talk about icing on the cake! As we enter into the final week of Lent, I want nothing more than a sweet, delicious relationship with my Savior. May I praise Jesus’ sacrifice for me; may I always seek God’s love, wisdom and guidance; and may I learn to walk in sweet and delicious ways.
(As for Lindsey and Daniel… I thank God for them, their families, and Kermit. I was honored to serve alongside him that evening, and the happy couple celebrated their second wedding anniversary this week!)
Praising, seeking and learning,
PRAYER FROM PSALM 143
Sweet God, thank you for your Love, your wisdom and your guidance. Help me to always look ahead and seek your direction, and may I live to glorify you in delicious ways. Amen.