After Tuesday night’s ninth inning debacle the Tigers woke up Wednesday morning in the cellar of the American League Central Division.  Their play thus far has been disappointing to me.  Meadows was a nice last-minute addition, Javy is back in the lineup, and Miguel is hitting more in April than I can ever remember, but after that …?  The good news is that we are only 2.5 games out of first place while playing with about a half dozen key players on the Injured List.  In other words, this still could be a very good year.
I, too, am a bit of a cellar-dweller as I write this.  And, like the Tigers, I have my list of excuses.  I tested positive for Covid earlier this week.  I was in the office by myself Monday and Tuesday (this, fortunately, had already been planned weeks earlier).  Today I am virtually symptom free but working from home (in our “cellar”) to comply with current guidelines.  There is a problem, though.  My laptop is needed at church this evening.  I need run it over in the afternoon and leave it there overnight.  This means that I have to have this Thursday’s Thirst written and programmed into Mail Chimp by mid-Wednesday.
However, this does not mean that all is lost for me, either.  My original plan was to be making home visits all day today (Wednesday), but I spent Tuesday cancelling them.  This opened the day – actually most of the week – to be working ahead on a variety of projects … like writing a Thursday’s Thirst on a Wednesday morning and planning a Pentecost service for June.
That’s the good news.  The bad news is that I can now see that my schedule for May is a potential disaster!  This week’s home visits have all been cancelled.  Next week I attend a two-day conference.  And I am still trying to catch up from Lent/Holy Week/Easter.  It will take some kind of juggling act to put the pieces together.
There have been times in my life when circumstances like this would have made me a mental cellar-dweller.  The pressure of trying to fit everything in and together would have affected my mind.  My mood would not have been the most pleasant and my productivity would have declined when it needed to be optimal.  However, somewhere along the way I discovered that neither putting square pegs into round holes nor trying to control the uncontrollable works … no matter how hard one tries!
In the end, the sun will still rise tomorrow. Things that need to get done will rise to the top and be resolved.  All the expectations may not be met, but God’s work will get done.  And a little prayer like, “Thy will be done, Lord.  Please help me to trust you and focus upon your priorities,” moves my mind from that pressure-filled cellar to a much better place … most of the time.
Thus, today, while my body is in the cellar (actually basement) of our condo, my mind is flowing free and easy.  This “Wednesday morning” version of Thursday’s Thirst will get written.  Current Covid protocols will allow me to facilitate gatherings on Thursday and Saturday with only slight adjustments.  And a plan for making all those home visits is coming together.  To top it all off, enrollment for the Faith Connection Experience I talked about last week is at the optimum number.
All of this took place after, while working on Sunday’s sermon, the Lord kept driving me back to some familiar words of Jesus.  “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11.28-30)
The Tigers still have a chance to win their division.  The weather will get warm – someday.  And God’s will does get done, even without our prayers (remember your Small Catechism: How is this done?  “When God curbs and destroys every evil counsel and purpose of the evil, of the world, and of our flesh which would hinder us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom, and when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith even to the end.” Luther’s explanation to the Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer) … for “we were buried (made cellar-dwellers) with Christ by baptism into death, in that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in the newness of life.” (Romans 6.4)

Cellar Dwellers