Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Day 246- A Damp First

I had lunch with a close friend of mine today. While at lunch, my friend took the opportunity to ask our waitress if she had any prayer requests that he could pray for her this afternoon. She shared about how hard work had been and my friend prayed for her.  As we were paying for our lunch, she mentioned that she had to vacuum the dining area. I said something like we tried not to make a big mess.  Then, a "first" idea hit me. I asked her if I could vacuum around where we sat.  She said that was OK. I pressed it a bit and told her that I would like to vacuum around our area. She said that she would get in trouble if I did that. Rats, that would have been a fun "first."

My friend and I walked outside and I said that would have been a good opportunity for a "first."  It was raining softly and he asked me if I had ever driven home in the rain with my windows down.  I drove him in the rain with my window down for my "first."

You might notice a change from the plural to singular on the word window in the previous paragraph.  That is intentional.  I decided that if I drove home with all the windows down important things could get wet.  I drove home with the driver side window down only.  At first, this seemed like a bad idea.  I figured that I would get very wet and feel very silly.  I did not have a better idea at the moment for a "first" so I just went with it.

This turned out pretty good. First of all, it did not rain a lot. It was more of a sprinkle so I did not get very wet.  Depending on your theological persuasion, you might call this the favor of God, God's predestination for my day, or maybe you think I rebuked the rain. I just know there were scattered showers and it looked like I would get pretty wet and I only got mildly wet. That was a plus. Thank You, Lord.

The other plus to this was that I enjoyed hearing the outside sounds.  I hardly ever drive with the windows down in the summer. It is simply too hot around here.  With the light sprinkle and cloud cover (plus the A/C), it was very nice.  There is something refreshing about hearing tires on a wet pavement plus the other sounds of the real world.  I usually insulate myself in my car with radio, podcast, and Pandora sounds, but this was a refreshing change. Joel asked me what I did for my "first" and I told him.  He said, "Awesome."  I think he wanted in on this one.

The other thing I enjoyed about today's first was that I got to wave at people better.  I saw friends under their carports and could give a big wave with the window down.  We have road construction on our road and I had to slow way down at a bridge.  There were a couple of fellows taking a break and I could actually say hey to them and ask them how they were doing. That's a bit more personal that just the wave over the steering wheel.  I didn't even get very wet.

I asked Joel to turn off the TV and do homework. He did the "turn the TV off with the remote between the legs" move off the couch

 Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

As I was driving home with the my window down in the rain, I thought about how only my arm was getting wet. My hair did not get wet, my back did not get wet, and neither did my feet.  Only the part of me outside the car got wet. We often want God to "rain" down blessings on the various parts of our lives. We would like God to bless our families, money, emotions, relationships, churches, etc.  Only as we put those areas under God's authority can we expect Him to bless those areas.  If we keep them to ourselves (in the car, if you will) and are afraid to trust God enough to put them under His authority, we can't really expect God to bless very much.  If I want God's blessings on my emotions, I have to put my emotions and my mind under His authority- in a place where He can rain on them.  If I want God to bless my relationships, I have to place them under His authority. That would  mean practicing things like forgiveness, patience, and grace.  We can't hide from God and live in a self protective mode and live the abundant life.  We should trust God enough to roll down the window of self preservation and let God rain His love and grace on us.  Far too often I have tried to live safe.  Following Jesus is not always "safe" but it is abundant. 

I love the exchange in C.S. Lewis' book "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" where Lucy and Mr. Beaver are discussing Aslan the lion.  Aslan is a picture of Christ in this book.  Here's their conversation: ""Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion, the Lion, the great Lion."
"Ooh," said Susan, "I thought he was a man. Is he - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."
"That you will, dearie, and make no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver; "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."
"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the king I tell you."

Glad Jesus gives abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Sprinkles
2. Bit of a cool breeze in the summer
3. Ice

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