I wake up, a little too early.
I hear the squirrel gnawing at my bedroom ceiling.
I think of house maintenance and the money to be spent.
I remember the labour dispute, docked wages, frustration.
My back hurts – oh and the exercises and physio appointments.
And I pray an “oh God, oh Jesus, Jesus help.” kind of a prayer,
but already I have laid a rock upon my chest, and another and another.
Stones of Hindrance, they press in on my heart and seem to say: “look at all of that, and all that lies ahead. However can your god deal with that?
If only I would look back to where yesterday’s stones stand! Stones of help from the days before.
This is not putting my hand to the plow and then turning back unworthily – regretfully. No, I look back in reference – how did God help yesterday? Where have we been, and where are we today?
Two stanzas of the hymn Amazing Grace come to mind:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.
I had expected to spend this past holiday weekend away at an island camp with the youth from our congregation and two other congregations, returning home exhausted, worn out from serving, delighted to have spent my energy as part of something big and wonderful, where more than a hundred youth come together in praise and fellowship. Do you get the specific servant thing I am describing?
But I was sent home from the retreat (voted off the island) due to illness. One doctor said that he estimates I will need to think about being off work for a week. I went to a clinic at Superstore, and I will see how it goes, and perhaps see my GP this week for a better sense of how long this is all going to take.
I certainly did not Outwork, Outlast, Outplay – but I definitely left a heap of dishes for some of the faithful to tackle.
This was not the outcome that I had anticipated.
Where shall I file this past weekend?
Was it a waste?
Did I do what came to me, with grace?
So here is the question: was what I did last weekend more or less worthwhile than what I had planned to do?
Did I serve God in my enforced sabbatical?
Ecclesiastes 9:10 (ESV)
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Am I grateful?
– yes, for all the care I received.
– yes, for health.
– yes, for a beautiful place which also had a good bed
and that is a beginning
My wife maintains my reputation for being the best brewer of coffee in the whole house – at this point out of 4 persons and a dog… This morning’s cup was particularly good. I will let you eavesdrop on a conversation in my kitchen:
“Mmmmmm, that is GREAT coffee, thank you Jesus. – Well, you didnt make this coffee…. well actually you did. Thank you!”
John 1:3 (ESV) All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
That reminded me of something attributed to Carl Sagan:
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
Thanks! Great coffee. And a really nice job on the universe. – There is so much for which to be grateful – this day and every day.
Writing during Lent, I will write forty words a day, but these are not Lent words, but may be writing “redemptively”
Today I am grateful for:
- nearly twenty crows in a leafless maple
- blue sky, sunshine and cirrus clouds (mares’ tails)
- an old brown dog
- friends in Malawi
- children learning to read and write
- spring flowers and bees
and to God, the maker – his handiwork is anywhere I look, if I take the time to see