Last week I posted that I was on vacation, but what I didn’t say was that it was my and my wife’s anniversary. Some of you already knew that. Anyway on June 1 1991 I married my soul mate, Vicki King. She agreed to take my name and join me on my life’s journey. I had no idea at the time how much that decision would change that journey. At times it made it more difficult, but most of the time it is the only reason I have made it through. She has been a constant source of encouragement and I don’t know how I could have ever made it without her. Yes, she has her hang-ups, I am not blind to them but in that respect she is no different from anyone else. We all have our issues. There isn’t a single one of us that is perfect. I just wanted to say how much I love and appreciate her for all that she does. She may not be perfect, but she is close enough for me.
I have watched my wife struggle through different hardships. I have watched her triumph and I have watched her fail. I have seen the love she has in her heart for everyone, and I cannot help but stand in awe of her. She tirelessly helps her aunt, mother and father setting up doctor appointments, getting meds refilled, and making sure they get what they need when they need it. During all that she homeschools the boys, and takes care of the day to day stuff that is required to run a household, and all the while she maintains a positive attitude. She always has a smile for a friend or a hanky if one is needed, and she rarely meets a stranger. She gives so much of herself, and all I do is bring home the paycheck. This post is to say thank you to my wife for all that she does, and to say Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers out there who do these things with no expectations of repayment or thanks. Your work does not go unnoticed, and it has its own rewards I am sure. I just wanted to point the spotlight on you all for a bit.
I want you to try a little experiment. Take your pulse. Check it looking at your watch, or use one of those little machines with the little flashing heart that tells you your blood pressure too, however you like as long as you can monitor it for about two minutes. After two minutes (barring someone scaring you or such) you should have a pretty good idea of how it beats. It is almost as steady as a metronome. It is the same in all of us, beating out the rhythm of our life. At times it beats faster, and we quicken our pace to dance with it. Sometimes it beats slowly and life seems to drift by in lazy swirls. There have been a wide variety of songs comparing life to music and dancing. It is the same in every culture, if you look. We do it almost unconsciously. We walk by a piece of equipment that bangs or clicks in a rhythmic pattern and we hear music in it. Some musicians even make music using everyday items and things. Music is around us all the time. My point in bringing this up is this. In every instance of man-made music there is a composer. Someone who directs the music, making it flow in such a way as to affect all around him/her. Directing the highs and lows of the notes. All of life is the same way. So listen to the rhythm of your heart again. Check the tempo and the measure of the beats and know that there is also a composer directing the majestic orchestra of Life. Directing the flows and measuring the path the music takes, down to the smallest beat. So the next time things seem uncertain, take a moment to listen to your heartbeat. All the answers to the universe are right there in the miraculous beat of that one little instrument that sustains you.
The message yesterday was on Acts3. While I sat and listened to the preacher talk, the scene began to play out before my eyes. Those of you that have read and are familiar with the New Testament know the story I am talking about. The story of Peter and John as they came upon the lame man begging for money outside the temple gate, where Peter spoke those famous words; “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give to you also. In the name of Jesus Christ stand and walk.” Immediately the beggar’s legs were healed and he ran shouting the praises of God. As the story was played out on the screen in my head, I began to empathize with one of the players. This is one of the many ways God has spoken to me through the scriptures, so I waited with eager ears to hear what He was about to say. I wasn’t disappointed. I was surprised, and astounded by the vastness of my ignorance, tho. I expected to see something of me in Peter, or for something to resonate between me and John. I did NOT expect to empathize with the lame beggar. You see when Peter spoke to him, the beggar paid attention. He turned to Peter and John expecting money, something to live on for the next day, or if he was lucky, the next two or three days. These men of God had taken pity on him, and were going to give him something. This is the way I feel when God speaks to me. He has had pity on me and is going to give me something to help me through the trying times of this life. So when Peter said his famous words, it confused the beggar for a moment, and then he reached and took him by the hand. That is when God worked through Peter. Not just giving the beggar money, but giving him something worth sooo much more! The ability to walk! No more did he have to rely on the generousness of others to live. No more sitting and hoping that some man would take pity and help him. He turned to Peter expecting money, and received his Life instead. If we count on men, at best we can only get enough to get by for a few days. If we count on God, we need never worry about it again. After the service I was in awe of how I could miss such a message in all the times I had heard and read that story. Then I had to laugh. I realized that I was going to have to go home and tell my wife that God told me I was lame.
There have been times in my life when I have gotten into arguments. No, really, I have. I know you find it hard to believe, but it is true. Nine times out of ten (or maybe eight, at least seven, I know) times it is because of miscommunication. More specifically on the definition of a certain word or phrase that I thought was a “given” meant something different to somebody else. I recall one time my wife and I got in a serious disagreement over the Bible. She said it was an ‘Instruction Manual’, and I corrected her (yep, mistake no.1) and said it was a ‘Guide Line’. When someone says ‘Instruction Manual’ I think of “place screw 15786509 into hole 344476349 and tighten until snug” or some such. You see it names the screw and the hole and tells you what to do with them. A Guide Line is more of “a good way to take connect these two boards with a screw. You may also use a nail or some twine, but the screw is the best way.” Do you see the difference there? It may only be a subtle difference, but there it is. It was enough that the Devil could stick his foot in the door and cause stress and dissention in the ranks. We argued over that particular subject for quite some time, and I had no idea why until much later. We were both saying the same thing, but using different words to accomplish it. The Bible tells you how to handle situations without getting bogged down with the specifics (like names of screws and pegs and what-nots). Now-a-days, with the advent of texting and social media we have to be extremely careful of how we phrase things, lest we give the enemy an opening. We as partakers in social media need to also keep this in mind and not take offense at the first perceived insult. It is really hard to apply the right ‘tone’ to some messages, and sarcasm often doesn’t translate well either (imagine that!) So when you read something you may find offensive, before you fly off the handle and start a three page rant about someone, and then unfriend them, you might stop a moment and try to figure out if what they ‘said’ was actually what they ‘meant’. (And to finish the story about me and my wife arguing, all was well as soon as I admitted I was wrong. There see how easy that was?)
Sometimes you find out that you are in the wrong in some situations. Maybe not fully in the wrong, but still in the wrong never-the-less. At those times you stop and contemplate where your life is headed, what your goals are and why you find yourself in the wrong. If you don’t, then you should. These are lessons in disguise and sometimes they hurt more than just yourself. Unfortunately I tend to have an amazing ability to find myself in the student’s desk with fresh ruler marks on the back of my hands. That being said, I still try not be too proud to admit when I am wrong. I may not always see it at the time, but when hindsight kicks in I do try and make amends. I can be more successful on some occasions than others. Still I will make the attempt. Sometimes the only way to move forward is to step back, evaluate the circumstances and make a better informed decision. It is a whole lot easier to turn around and find a better path than to try to continue wading through the thorns you find blocking you. If you find yourself in these situations, don’t be afraid to admit it. I don’t believe there has ever been a case of someone choking to death from swallowing their pride. It’s never pleasant, but it almost always turns out to be more beneficial than nurturing the bitterness it causes in your spirit
Grace was not cheap, and we should do all within our power to keep from making it cheap. This blog really spoke to me, so I thought I’d pass it along to you all.