“It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.”~~Amelia Barr
Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is autodidact. An autodidact is “a person who has learned a subject without the benefit of a teacher or formal education; a self-taught person.” The Edge taught himself how to play guitar, which makes him an autodidact.
Today is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Whoa. I wish I had seen that before I made my breakfast sandwich!
Today is the official beginning of Spring Training for baseball. While a lot of players have already been on site at the various Spring Training locations, today is the official day for pitchers and catchers to report. It’s officially baseball time! Opening Day is 46 days, 6 hours, and 3 minutes away. I’m not sure which game that particular web site is counting down to, but it really doesn’t matter.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.
Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.
Do not drag me off with the wicked, with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors while evil is in their hearts.
Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds; give to them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward.
Because they do not regard the works of the LORD or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and build them up no more.
Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
The LORD is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever.
Eugene Peterson say that this psalm has a “cardiac rhythm.” It constricts in need in verses 1-5, and then expands in blessing in verse 6-9. “The heart sucks in God’s grace and then pumps praise.”
“Father in heaven, let your Holy Spirit so live in me that I may happily share your love in praising acts and festive speech, in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.”
(From My Utmost For His Highest)
Today’s reading is “The Initiative against Despair.”
Rise, let us be going. Matthew 26:46
This continues the thread that was begun a couple days ago. In this passage from Matthew, the disciples have don an unthinkable, unforgivable thing. They have fallen asleep while they were supposed to be watching with Jesus. Chambers says that, when they realized what had happened, it produced despair. I’m not sure that this is explicitly stated in Scripture, but I believe it to be a fair assessment. Had I been in their shoes, I certainly would have been ashamed that I could not stay awake for my Lord. But what happens when we fall into this kind of despair, is that we tend to say, “It is all up now, it is no use trying any more.”
“Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a magnificent opportunity of doing, then we are apt to sink into despair; and Jesus Christ comes and says–‘Sleep on now, that opportunity is lost forever, you cannot alter it, but arise and go to the next thing.’ Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.” (Emphasis mine)
Just like yesterday, the solution is to go on to the next thing. The past cannot be altered. We have failed to do what we could have done. But the future still waits, and Jesus is still Lord. What is the next thing? “To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption.”
Father, heal the despair that still resides within me over a missed opportunity from decades ago. There is no use in saying, “I wish I had . . .; if only I had . . .” No use whatsoever. Help me to “rise, let us be going.” May your Spirit inspire me with the initiative against despair. Your grace is sufficient, and your future waits for me. Lead me on to the next thing!
Come, lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.