Many years ago, a wise old gentleman said to me, “Faithfulness is a long journey in the same direction.” My, how I have been thinking about that over these last few months. I was all geared up to handle the pandemic through June – even July, but now it is getting tough – and the end doesn’t even seem to be in sight! What is a person to do?
I laugh every time I read Jeremiah 29.11 – “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” This promise was originally given to God’s Old Testament people as they were being hauled off to exile in Babylon, assuring them that after 70 years God would bring them back to the promised land. However over the years, I have found them to be speaking clearly to me in many ways – especially when coupled with some words from the major prophet right before Jeremiah: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 55.8)
It gives me so much joy having the Detroit Tigers live on TV once again (finally) that I really want to write about them. In fact, I wanted to last week, just in anticipation of the season opener. Then, on Monday afternoon as I drove home, the owner of Harry’s (next to the LCA) was being interviewed on the radio, and I almost suggested to Monica that we drive downtown for the home opener. The only thing about the empty stadium that bothers me is that I will not be able to get into Comerica for any games this year. I truly have the itch.
After two of what felt like the laziest weeks ever in my life, things are now accelerating at breakneck speed. I wake up Monday morning, and before I know it, I look at my watch and it is Wednesday afternoon – and I still haven’t completed what I hoped to finish before Tuesday! Thankfully, quiet evenings and sleep filled nights continue to be the norm, though there is a tugging each evening to get one more item checked off the list.
It was 4:00 a.m. and a gentle breeze was flowing in through the window next to our bed. The rhythmic sound of the leaves stirring in the treetops accompanied the breeze. I lay without covers for a few minutes, savoring the early morning refreshment, with no intent to rise for a few more hours. When I became chilled, I snuggled under the warm blankets, leaving one leg uncovered under the window as I slowly drifted back asleep. When I awoke the sound and the breeze were gone, and I was refreshed.
This past Sunday afternoon our 2.5-year-old granddaughter burned her hands. In a situation like that, what is the very first thing a person should do? If your answer is “attend to the wound” … “comfort the child” … “pray” … my reply would be a definite “YES”. If your answer is “find out how it happened” … “get angry” … “find someone to blame” … my reply would be an even more definite “NO”. In fact, most of that second list should not even be included on later things lists.
A few years ago, Monica was riding one of those huge scary roller coasters with a friend of ours (I am the type who volunteers to sit with the backpacks on the bench). Just as they hit the apex prior to the big drop, she turned and asked him, “Did you remember to buckle your seatbelt?” It had no seatbelts – but the horrified look on his face as he franticly fumbled for it while their car passed the apex was priceless. Thankfully, Monica lived to tell the story. Our friend, however, may have had his life shortened by a year or two through the experience.
In our family last year, we received a notification that Father’s Day was being cancelled because a certain family member was turning 60 on that day … and priorities are priorities! This year I was told it would be delayed because of a death in the family. I am sort of wondering if next year it will be on the calendar at all (LOL).
One day we were celebrating Monica’s birthday, the next morning we got a call that her mother was on her deathbed. I was already at work when Monica’s sister contacted her, so my wife picked me up at church on our way to Livonia. Fifteen minutes into our journey together Monica’s sister called again. Mom was gone. We would meet at the nursing home to gather around the lifeless body.
I have no explanation for it – I am hoping you do. My Thursday’s Thirst is never opened by more than 35% of the people it is sent to. Often the number is under 30%. But last week’s message about “Trust”was opened by 42.7% – at least 50 more people than any week before! I want to know what is happening!