( Author’s note: this post was written for and first published in May 2021 FUMC Winnfield newsletter “The Cross and Tower.)
As a youngster, I spent time each summer with my grandparents in the Lake Charles area. It was always fun and I have many great memories of time spent with them. Of course, one of my favorite things to do while visiting was to go fishing. My maternal grandparents, Nevada and Elmer Blount, would load their tan Nissan pickup truck, hook up the 14 foot Jon boat with a 25 HP Mariner motor, and make the 30-45 minute drive south to Cameron Parish to fish the Big Burns marsh off of LA Hwy 27.
This was always a great trip because we would put in on the Intercoastal Canal and then had a several mile run to the cut which would take us back into the marsh. Along the way we would pass huge barges and tugboats. Once we got into the marsh, we would encounter these floating islands of weeds in the middle of the water! They were so thick that birds could walk on them. But don’t get out of the boat and try it, for a person would most likely fall through. These floating weeds were called “flotant (pronounced “flow tawnt”) by the locals (and was sometimes referred to as “la prairie tremblante,” or, trembling prairie; also called quaking prairie), because it is a floating marsh that is not anchored to the ground beneath. It consists of tightly entangled plants and their roots, mixed with peat; typically there is water flowing below it, then some oozing soil, then clay. Patches of it may occur within normal marsh, and from the surface, it looks like any other marsh. If one steps on flotant marsh, one will feel like he/she is standing on a water bed. As one steps around, waves of grass spread outward from each step. It is tempting to jump up and down, but the flotant is rarely thick enough and one usually ends up falling through.” (source: http://www.americaswetlandresources.com/background_facts/detailedstory/habitat.html)
This world is full of flotant. Not literally, but it is full of shaky ground. Ground that won’t hold up when the storms and rain come. How do we find solid ground?
Finding solid ground is difficult for adults, it can be even more difficult for our young people. For the last 2 months, seven young people have been going through a process called confirmation. Confirmation means “with firmness” and is an opportunity for each young person to decide to accept Jesus Christ for himself or herself and become a professing member of the church by publicly professing his or her faith in Jesus. It is an opportunity for young people that were baptized as an infant to fulfill the promise to “accept God’s grace for themselves, to profess their faith openly, and to lead a Christian life” (United Methodist Hymnal, p. 40.) If the young person has not been baptized, confirmation is an opportunity to publicly profess their faith in Christ and to be baptized as a follower of Christ.
Through the eight weeks of confirmation we have studied creation, crisis, covenant, Jesus Christ, the church, practiced spiritual disciplines, read the entire Gospel of Mark, and much more! I am very proud of these young men and women and the decision that they have made to stand on solid ground by following Jesus. Please join us on May 2 during the 11 AM service as these young people take a stand and take their vows to follow Jesus and to become a member of the church. A reception and dinner for them and their families will follow in the FLC after worship during First Sunday Lunch (please bring a side dish or dessert). You will also have an opportunity to write them a note to tell them that you are proud of them and will continue to pray for them, or even bring your own card from home.
Join us on May 2 and join these young people standing on the solid ground of Jesus Christ. Maybe the old hymn says it best- “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.” (My Hope Is Built- United Methodist Hymnal #368)
Standing on Solid Ground,