Not every post has to be a theological masterpiece (not that I’ve ever written one – masterpiece, that is). Nor some nugget of revelation gleaned from examining a scripture for the umpteenth time or an in depth word study of the original Hebrew or Greek texts. Sometimes, I like to simply let my mind wander – well, a lot really, but then responsibility calls or I pick up on the frustration in Karen’s voice when she asks me a question for the 3rd time.
“Uh, sorry, honey. You married a ponderer and dreamer. Remember, it’s that ability of mine to shut out all else and lay hold of the creative Spirit of God that lets me write songs like the one I sang for our wedding. Remember that? Should I sing it for you? What? What salad dressing do I want? Um, oh, uh, blue cheese, of course. No, wait, how about Tuscan Italian for a change. Thanks, hon!”
What an amazing woman she is; a Proverbs 31 wife through and through.
“Huh? What? What do I want to drink? Hmmm … how ‘bout a small glass of milk. Thanks, babe!”
Retirement is still new to us after 3 years. No longer driven by a list of responsibilities, schedules and appointments, busyness still consumes us at times. As first born children we were both proxy parents since the moment we learned we’d have a little brother or sister. So with 60 years of helping others behind us, sometimes at the expense of helping ourselves, we’re learning to say “NO!”, slow down, enjoy life, cleave to one another and start doing what’s healthy to ensure a joyful retirement together.
Naturally, aging comes with built in speed bumps to help a body slow down. Aches and pains, arthritis, cataracts and floats, not to mention gastrointestinal strangeness or embarrassing bladder issues, which is why I found myself at the clinic last week instead of rebuilding my riding mower like I planned. Nothing like a sleepless night of tossing and turning where I was hotter’n a twice-baked potato and alternately shivering so violently my wife woke to the jackhammer sound of my teeth chattering.
Tests confirmed a UTI which I’m told happens to aging men with prostrate issues. Antibiotics were prescribed together with something to take the edge off the pain. With diagnosis and cure in hand, I was anxious to resume working on the mower, but another sleepless night and elevated fever sapped my energy. The UTI last winter wasn’t so stubborn and I was doing everything the doctor recommended: meds, plenty of fluids, even cranberry juice though I can think of ways I’d rather consume 130 calories.
I don’t have time for this; I have work to do!
Peering at the stubbled face in the mirror, I heard the Spirit tell me to “stop fighting it”. Too tired to resist, I crawled back into bed and slept until noon. A few bites of lunch, a kiss and a prayer from my wife and I napped in my recliner all afternoon. Chicken noodle soup for supper hit the spot and then I slept in the living room under a pile of blankets. When bedtime rolled around, the fever broke and I was beginning to feel normal again.
Thought provoking isn’t it? That which my body could not defeat in 2 nights (darkness) was routed on the 3rd day (light).
So what is it about surrender that brings victory?
That was the plan of a Jewish carpenter I know. In hind-sight, I don’t think the Lord was telling me not to fight the illness, rather, He was telling me to stop fighting to preserve my work agenda so my body could devote all its resources to defeat the illness. When I finally gave up, my body, in which the Spirit abides, brought fire to bear on the illness and defeated it. With regard to the cross, it occurs to me that our personal plans and human agendas are the first things to go, where we learn to rest in the Savior and cease all our vain religious works. It is finished; the work of salvation, that is. And so much for fixing the lawn mower.
The next morning I felt well again. My sister Becky wrote a thoughtful blog (LINK) about the effect noise and distraction have on her, where it sounds like the Lord is leading her to a more quiet life the same as He’s doing with me (LINK). We had a thoughtful exchange about God’s music in nature. It’s so cool when the Lord does that – leads a brother and sister in the same way and then laughs with joy as we figure it out! How I treasure such confirmations!
Earlier I mentioned tired old bodies; in the evening Karen and I reclined in the spa out on the deck under the stars, to relax muscles I probably worked too soon after the illness. But the mower is repaired now and the spa takes care of most aches and pains. Anyway, this habitual ponderer has been contemplating the end of the age for awhile now and so with that in mind and sitting under a canopy of a thousand stars, I recalled the passage from Isaiah and Revelation concerning the sky which one day will roll up like a scroll.
We wondered aloud about the hand of Yahweh simply pulling back the sky like a curtain to the utter shock of astronomers who have studied the stars for a lifetime. That which they could not cross in 100 lifetimes, let alone explore, God will peel back in an instant. His power and strength defies imagination! At that precise moment, we saw a shooting star pass directly over head! Indeed, God listens and He replies! I interpret God’s message in the shooting star to be “You got THAT right, kids! I’m all that and a bag of chips!” 😉 It was glorious!
So my beloved asked what my point is for this blog after I read a draft to her.
There is no point to it. Well, there’s one point I suppose. God listens. God replies. We obey. God acts. He’s in us. We’re in Him. And we’re spiritually connected to all who are in Him.