Good morning. It is Monday, November 17, 2014.
Today is Unfriend Day. Well, that just doesn’t sound very nice, does it?
Yesterday was a great day! We had a very nice time with Christi’s Mom and Step-Dad at Chef Point restaurant. They have a different menu for Sundays, though, and I prefer the greater variety of their regular menu. They still had Italian Nachos for appetizers, though, and those things are amazing! I had Crab Cake Pasta, which was good, but didn’t quite have the “wow factor” that many of their dishes have. Christi had the “Hot Brown Sandwich,” which was very delicious.
After relaxing at home for a few hours, we headed back out to Cheddar’s for a gathering of friends from our old Huddle group. It was a blast! While we were there, this happened.
I certainly was not expecting that! It actually snowed a good bit, more than the “flurries” that the weather people were predicting. However, it is clear this morning. 26 degrees, but clear. This is the earliest I remember having snow in quite some time.
(From The Divine Hours)
Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!
For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me when I was in a besieged city.
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.
Today’s Gospel Reading
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
This parable is similar to the Parable of the Weeds. The net draws in many, but only some are “good fish.” But, again, it is the job of the angels at the end of the age to determine which is which. It is not our job, as imperfect humans.
Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Geography of Nowhere.”
If you consider the word “nowhere” to consist of the words “now” and “here,” to live there is “to live in the temple of the present moment. Paying attention to the gift that arrives right now, right here, is one of the premier skills of the spiritual life.” I must confess that this very thing is something that the Spirit has been convicting me of, as of late. We spend far too much time either living in the past or worrying about the future.
“To live in the present means to trust deeply that what is most important in life is the here and now.” We are far too distracted by what either might have happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. It is difficult to remain focused on the present. Our minds are terribly difficult to control and keep drawing us away “from engagement with the present.”
“When Jesus tells us to become like little children, he is inviting us to forget what lies behind and to forgo concern about the future. It is only now that we are in the presence of God.”
But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Father, how interesting that this reading should come up today. You have been working this very thought into my head and heart over the past week or so. I pray that you help me know you in the now, not thinking too much backward, about what happened yesterday or last week (not that there is anything wrong with remembering), nor worrying at all about what might happen tomorrow (not that there is anything wrong with planning). Help me focus on, as well as savor, the present moment of life, which is all we have, at least in this life. I do not know what our relationship with “time” will be when we are fully redeemed and living in whatever “Heaven” turns out to be. But all we have, in this present state, is the current moment. I do not have tomorrow, and I certainly do not have what has already passed. I pray for the strength of mind to live in the present and focus on what is happening right now.
I pray for this day, that we would have safe travel to and from work, especially praying that there is no residue of last night’s snow remaining on the roads out there. I pray for a good work day. I pray that Stephanie would know and understand your deep, deep love for her. Show her your path for her life. I pray that our family would be healthy through the Thanksgiving holiday in a couple of weeks. I also pray for our church’s Thanksgiving fellowship meal, this coming Saturday night. May it be a good time of breaking bread together as we give thanks to you for all the blessings that we have in you and in your Son.
May we truly know him “in the now.”
Grace and peace, friends.