Today is Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Ten days until Texas Rangers Spring Training games begin!
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
Antithalian – opposed to fun or festivity.
Today is Gumdrop Day. “If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops . . .” Cute song, but have you ever stopped to think about how much that would hurt??
Last night, I made our Italian Mac and Cheese for dinner, but I made it in the Instant Pot instead of in a frying pan. Perhaps it was my imagination, but I think it might have been even better! It definitely was no more trouble to make, and much easier to dish out after it was done.
Yesterday was a much better day, over all. My stomach felt weird all morning, but it got better. I’m still not sure what was up with that. There has been a lot of illness going around. Several families in our church have had flu or flu-like symptoms. I was wondering how we had managed to stay mostly well, so far, and then I remembered. Most of the families in our church have school-aged children. We are well past that era of our lives. So we don’t have kids bringing home germs from school every day. So, you see. Getting old has benefits. Haha!
But I call to God, and the LORD will save me.
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.
He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me. Psalm 55:16-18
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah. Psalm 67:1
In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! Psalm 31:1
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. Psalm 118:22
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” Luke 17:5-6
(From Living the Message)
In a tough, but rewarding reading, Eugene H. Peterson says, “The self cannot be itself if it does not grow, and for a creature made in the image of God to grow is to love.” We cannot be static. “The self cannot be preserved in amber.” As we grow, we find that we must detach ourselves from what has already been. If we are to grow into ourselves, into what God intends for us to be, we must “find a larger house to dwell in than the house where everyone coddles us and responds to our whims.” One of the best examples of this is the passage from leaving our parents’ homes to entering into the partnership of marriage.
The problem with “self-love” is that it attempts to hold on to what has been, even adding a bit more of the same. It becomes boring, because there is never anything new, no new discoveries. Self-love panics at the thought of losing what it has. “Forced into new relationships, into new situations, its first consideration is not of the new fields for love but of the appalling prospects of loss. So it clings. It holds. And it whines.”
To become mature in marriage, we must become detached to what was before. “We outlive our past over and over again.” But these periods of life will change, as well. There will become times when we are not longer spouses, no longer parents, no longer employed, no longer healthy. “There are periods of my life that are immensely valuable and enjoyable and useful but which by their very nature cannot be perpetuated.” If we try to perpetuate them, we will ruin them, and we will ruin love.
“Detachment is not disloyalty.” It is necessary for the next phase of love and growth, a “movement into a more perfect love.” Yes, we will feel loss, but the love that will come will be much better.
“Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.
“If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.” Matthew 10:36-39 (The Message)
Father, help me to always be willing to move on to the next phase of love and life, always clinging only to you in Jesus Christ.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.