Sunday, September 7, 2014
Seasons of change
Here I go again. I'll start by mentioning what I hoped to write about, and then I'll see what I end up with. What I had in mind: something about the ALS ice bucket challenge and spending time on Labor Day working on a treasured homestead in Texas; quiet time with close family members; a simple anniversary celebration with my husband; weather that seems unseasonal to me; too many things to do at once; and so much tempting food. Will I choose one or go in some other direction? I am a creature of habit and am most comfortable when life is routine. Life hasn't seemed routine lately. And it's all good. That doesn't seem like a routine reaction for me. But it is a good reaction, and the more common it becomes, the better off I am. For instance: I think summer should be hot, winter can be a little cold, and spring and autumn are best experienced quite mildly. In the South Central U.S., spring is green and includes rainy days, and the end of summer starts to be dry, brown and yellow. This afternoon when I walked, everything was so beautifully green and growing, even though the neighborhood lake is still low. Yesterday, when I needed to be two places at once and another place not long after that, meaning lots of coming and going, the skies opened to pour out about eight-tenths inch of rain. Which was wonderful, until on one of those comings, as I was headed into the church, late (after spending a few moments at the other event that started at the same time), I dropped my iPhone and a bunch of brand-new choir music in a puddle! This was after I noticed, before leaving the house, that the belt on the exercise bike I ride faithfully every day had broken. The me I know best would get all frustrated and be thinking at that point that nothing is going right. But that's not what I thought yesterday. I knew it really all was good. Seriously? Thank You, God, because that reaction is not my own. Perhaps that attitude adjustment is a fruit of pretty much daily trying to spend time in prayerful focus on God, using Craig Denison's First 15 guide, among others. After reading Friday's devotional, I wrote: I want that! Sept. 5, First 15: "James 1:2-4 says, 'Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.' If we will allow the Lord to redeem the trials and testing we endure in this life, we will begin to bear the fruit of joy in the midst of any circumstance. Unshakable joy is our portion." Today, I thank God for the taste of that Joy I received this weekend.