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  • Veranita Alvord, Pastor

Relief IS on the Way!

Amazing, isn't it, how one can remember a commercial from childhood and forget where one placed her glasses five minutes ago?!? "Plop! Plop! Fizz! Fizz! Oh what a relief it is!" This is the advertising jingle used by Alka-Seltzer from the 1970's-1990's. In the original commercial, a little guy named Speedy sings the song as he floats down beside a glass of water as two tablets drop in, producing immediate bubbles. That jingle actually doubled Alka-Selzter's sales because of the double "Plop!' and the double "Fizz!" It actually takes two tablets to provide the relief from your indigestion, two plops, two fizzes and double sales for the flagging company losing its market share in the 1960's because of its lackluster reputation with new buyers. With this ad campaign from Madison Avenue Tinker & Partners rewired the way users thought of Alka-Seltzer and the company found itself not only back in market share, but doubling its profits.


I wish relief from coronavirus was two plops away, or at least two shots away for every single person. I wish financial relief from unemployment, rent to pay, skyrocketing health insurance was two fizzes away. I wish I could drop two tablets of something into a glass of water and relieve Ivan's Senior year of High School from being one rolling disappointment after another. I can't.


However, I do believe that relief is on the way. It's right in front of me on the second shelf of our medicine cabinet in the kitchen. And, no-- it isn't found in all of the jars of antacid lined up in a nice row. Joe said when I lined these up for the picture that perhaps he didn't need to buy anymore for a while. (You think?) My theory is that whenever he has indigestion and he's out, he goes ahead and buys another jar to get speedy relief. He needs relief right away, immediately. Waiting until he gets home just isn't fast enough. I bet Joe is the only person I know who does such a thing...(wink, wink, nod, nod!) Instant gratification, quick solutions, drive-thru food that's fast--these are the desires that sell billions and billions of burgers, fries, ice creams and then, in turn, sell more speedy aids for indigestion. NOW. I WANT RELIEF NOW. I want my hunger to be sated NOW. I want my re-flux to end NOW. I want to slake my thirst NOW.

Well, see the aluminum cup in the background on our shelf? It's from a Clergy Health Initiative sponsored by Duke University. It's called the Spirited Life-Selah. Selah is a word used 74 times in the Hebrew Testament, mostly in the Psalms. It's exact meaning isn't known, like so much of life. Since the Psalms are songs, it could be a musical direction, it could mean "Amen" in response to a previous section of a Psalm. Like a break or pause in the hymn verse to soak in the meaning and importance of the words, it's often used in conjunction with "for the choir master." And NO, I didn't plant that cup there to write this article. I was only interested in lining up our collection of antacids as a sign of how much we look for instant heartburn relief and acid reduction.


Like so many problems, relief is right in front of us, we need only pause. Other meanings of selah are "so be it," "this is valid and truth-preserving, hang here to soak it in." Relief is on the way! Hang in there! Take a deep breath and receive this immediate relief, let me plop these words into your brain:

  • God knows the future that is in store for us, plans not for our harm but a future with hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

  • God, who began a good work in us, will be faithful to complete it. (Philippians 1:6).

  • Do not let your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Jesus. You know the Spirit of Truth, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. Jesus says, “I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you." (John 14 selected verses)

When I get frustrated thinking I need some immediate relief right NOW, I tune into these words from Scripture and I also tap my feet and shake my head to one of my favorite Spirituals by Dottie Peebles, "On Time God,"--"God may not come when you want Him, but He'll be there right on time." Relief IS on the way!


Grace and Peace,


Veranita


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUPvQmyZYCQ

"On Time God" by Dottie Peebles


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