I recently was put into a deep anasthetic sleep, and, for three hours. For three beautiful quiet unaware hours, I was not affected at all by the wars raging all around us.
Then, and I guess they had to, they woke me up and sent me back to the world I had taken a brief rest from.
Yep, nothing had changed. Well, not for the better.
But, something is changing in me.
I have a very left leaning liberal aunt who is perfectly opposite me on the political spectrum. Just before I left the hospital, I read a post from her on facebook. A normal (for her) rant about the evils of the current leader and anyone who would support his actions.
And, you know what I did?
I scrolled right on by.
I didn’t even get mad!
A scripture jumped into my mind (some of you know how that happens) that I haven’t thought about in some time.
Psalms 131:2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.
I think I am!
This journey through life certainly has its ups and downs, its highs and lows, but every aspect of the life we live adds color and shading and depth to what others see in us as we discover the navigational tricks of finding our way.
I am fully aware as to “how bad things are getting”.
But, I am being shown, over, and over, and over, that I am who I am, where I am, and going through the things I am going through for a purpose.
Not the purpose of the “UNIVERSE” as those in the world, teetering on the edge of real life, like to say.
It’s kind of like, when a child is weaned from his mother, he begins a learning process that is slowly moving him toward who he was born to be as he becomes an adult.
There really is an order and a purpose to the events in my life,
and as I connect to the Father, and accept the plans that He has for me, I find myself held inside that cloud of contentment.
I know He is there because He changed me.
When He changed me, I found out how much He loves me. And, I did nothing to deserve that love.
But, in His love, He put that love in my heart.
A love that even reaches my enemies.
I hope my aunt can receive this love from the Father, too!
It feels really good to know that He is the One who is driving.
Wendy’s mom gave me an article written by a guy about my age.
It was about the time he met his first professional football player in 1960. He was nine. Me, too.
Eddie LeBaron, first quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, the guy who held down the fort in those formative days as they groomed Dandy Don Meredith for the role.
0-11-1 that first year.
But there was another team in Dallas at that time, the Dallas Texans of the American Football League. 8-6 in the first season of the fledgling league. They won the championship in 1962.
They had two running backs; Abner Haynes and Jack Spikes.
Sometime in those three years, my church, Monica Park Christian Church in Garland, Tx had a father/son banquet. Jack Spikes was the featured speaker.
My best friend was Earl Ray Shoemaker, preacher’s son.
We hadn’t yet developed into big football fans. Honestly, my earliest memory of football on tv was seeing the end of some important game at my grandparents’ house, when the losing quarterback removed his helmet, and he was bald! Seriously? A bald quarterback? Y.A. Tittle.
Anyway, I guess Jack Spikes gave a good talk. I was nine or ten, so I probably didn’t absorb too many details.
Earl punched me in the arm.
“Ask him how many times he’s shaved on tv,” He whispered.
“You ask him.”
“No, I can’t! Just ask him!”
I raised my hand. Jack Spikes saw me. Pointed to me.
“Uh, how many times have you shaved on tv?”
Everybody laughed. He hadn’t…yet.
That week, Casey’s Callum, the sports column in the local paper, The Garland Daily News, (Casey Cohlmia, who had twin daughters my age, and also went to our church) reported about the celebrity visit to our little church.
“One bright young lad even asked Jack Spikes how many times he had shaved on tv.”
That’s right! I was famous! Mentioned in the newspaper!
When I saw Earl, I said something about the column.
“I know,” he said, “I couldn’t believe he mentioned me in his article!”
I keep getting this phone call telling me my social security account has been hacked, and if I don’t respond, my account will be suspended.
And the one that says my car’s warranty has expired, and I need to quickly reestablish a warranty, so I won’t be saddled with expensive car repairs. This is your last notice. (That day) Two days later, I get the same exact call.
Then, the good one, (I can’t believe I didn’t respond to this one) I have won through Publisher’s Clearing House, one million dollars, a new car, and some thousands of dollars a week for life.
I remember, a long time ago, if I watched the news on tv, there was usually a pretty good chance that what I was hearing was true.
Now, it seems that there is a pretty good chance that it is not.
I find myself getting angry.
Just tell the truth.
Then, I realize that most can’t.
They cannot tell truth from lies.
They belong to their father, the devil, and they want to carry out their father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 NIV)
It still can get discouraging, when I try to point out the lies that I see.
I think, in my conversations, I will try to discern who is the father of the one I am talking to.
Maybe the children of light will be able to hear the truth.
There has to be a standard, doesn’t there.
“Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. In ALL your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Oh, one other thing. There is a standard, a plumb line to know the truth.
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
You can argue against this.
But, it is still the truth.
Mower dies three times in a row going through not so tall grass.
Wendy: What’s wrong with the mower?
Me: I hate this mower. It’s still not picking up the grass, and the old cuttings are stalling it out.
Wendy: Are you sure you have the grass catcher on right?
Me: Yeah, there’s only one way to put it on.
Wendy: Maybe you don’t have the right way.
Wendy: Maybe you have the blade on backwards.
Me: No, I put it on the way the original was on.
Wendy: Maybe a dude put it together in the first place. ( She didn’t actually say this. She would never say, “Dude.”)
Wendy: Seriously, maybe it is on backwards.
Me: Look at which way the blade turns when I pull the rope.
(I tilt the mower so she can see, pull the rope.)
Me: Which way?
Wendy: This way.( She shows me with her hands) Counterclockwise.
Me: Are you sure? ( I pulled the rope again)
Me : It is on backwards.
Wendy: I’m not my father’s daughter for nothing. (She walks into the house.)
So, I change the blade and start mowing again, but three times the grass catcher falls off.
Me: I hate this mower. WENDY! Would you take a look at this grass catcher?
Just to be clear, I am not inclined to seek thrills.
Comfort zones, good.
The thrill rides at the fair never had that much appeal.
The only reason I ever tried them was peer pressure.
If I record a football game to watch later, I don’t mind learning the outcome before I watch it, so I don’t have to feel that stress.
If my team lost, I don’t really need to see how.
Adrenaline, while necessary in certain situations, kinda makes me jumpy and nervous. I am not addicted to it.
I like people to like me.
Never have liked to make people around me uncomfortable.
I was always “decently athletic”, strong for my slight build, having pretty good hand-eye coordination, pretty fast runner.
But training was not my strong suit.
Laziness was my default position.
So mediocrity in athletics was the usual result.
School was easy for me, at least through high school.
I didn’t have to study. I just got it.
In college, that “lazy gene” got me.
College, not so easy.
I didn’t do well.
In love, well, don’t we all want what makes us happy?
In work, wanting to be liked, I always tried my best to please my bosses.
I usually did.
Sometimes, life would throw me a choice that was difficult to reconcile with my easy-going nature.
The stress of that type of decision made me jumpy and nervous.
I chose badly.
Once, I got fired for stealing.
Once, I got fired for lying about getting fired for stealing.
Not my comfort zone.
Generally, everything I ever did in any area of my life was for my own self-preservation, anything I could do to keep my life from being too hard.
Even line on a level slope.
“When I became a man, I put away childish things.”
May 8, 1978 everything changed.
The focus of my life that had always been inward, suddenly began to be upward.
The God that I had ignored most of my life, suddenly called me to come to Him.
I find myself being pushed to “step out of my comfort zone.”
My tendencies are still there, to hide, to put up walls.
But, there is a power that is not my power, that moves me, directs me, talks to me, teaches me, understands me.
“And when I run with Him, I feel His pleasure!”