Saturday, February 20, 2010

Update 2/20/10 Day 104

Dear friends,

Helping David with his homework today, we took a good look at Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 from the Book of Life:

"Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him-for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart."

I absolutely love these verses. They were written by the most materially blessed man in the world at his time, King Solomon, and the whole book of Ecclesiastes documents his wrestling with the meaning of life, and the wild unpredictability of it all. This is an honest book, written by a man of great wealth and power, who frankly exposes his feeling of "I don't get it". But in the end, he sort of does. When I read the verse above, I make it really practical for my life. The best days I've had through all of this messy business have been the ones I've accepted and determined to enjoy. The worst have been when I've stomped my inner foot and balked about my lot, and complained that it's not the life I wanted. But that was true before November 8 too.
When I recognize the Great One beside me, and attend to the service He ordained for me that day, it is all sweetness and light. Even when the thing is difficult and mundane. God himself is the joy of the day, and all his gifts are the icing on the cake. This theme of "satisfaction with God" seems to be repeating itself with me. I'm terribly thick at times, but like Solomon, over time, I "sort of get it". Thanks to the grace of the Great One.

So part of the work of my day today was to shop for smaller clothes for Hercules. He can wear jeans some of the time now, but the trouble is he has lost 30 pounds. Everything is huge on him. Well, I got some great sale pants for him at Boscov's. Trouble is everything I bought is a bit too snug. Believe it or not, even getting the bottom of the pants over his lower legs is difficult because of the swelling. I think we just need a different brand. But I couldn't resist those door buster's at $9.99. We gave them a try. Back to the drawing board. I think back to when Stephen first came home from Sunnyview and dressing was such a burden. Now the main problem is bending that right knee. We've come a long way. A very long way.

Whenever I hear about a tragedy these days I feel the pain much more acutely. A 21 year old relative of some dear families who have helped us so much was struck by a hit-and-run driver yesterday and killed. Please send many prayers for the Comforter to be very near to all of those affected by this terrible thing. Once again we are reminded of Solomon's words "the few days of life God has given him..." I am so sensitive to this brevity of life thing. That's why I long to make mine count. And not in some phony way that impresses others, but in the unseen things like the way I treat my family and the secret works of love and kindness. This is where the real walk of faith abides. I can't walk it out without the strength the Holy One provides. And for all my stumbling, it's still my heartfelt desire. From the way you have all walked with us, I know it's yours too. Outstanding.

To lighten up the evening, we're watching "Keeping Up Appearances" tonite on PBS. Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced "Bouquet" by her) is hilarious in her efforts to be something she's not (and to drag her poor husband with her)! This is perfect stuff for Saturday nite entertainment, but not real life. Accepting who we are, being satisfied with our life (while striving for all God wants for us!), these are the building blocks of peace. They sit on top of the foundation of the redemption and forgiveness provided by Jesus in the hothouse of everyday living. But it's loads of fun in fantasy land to watch Hyacinth work out her next harebrained scheme. (I wonder if God laughs when He sees some of mine!)

I know some of you have questions about the criminal aspect of all of this. Answers are coming, and as it is appropriate we will let all you dear people know the next step. For now we are all sad about this part of it, and look for a just and peaceable resolution to it all. Sometimes we have to look in the rear view mirror even when we are keeping our eyes on the road ahead.

Tomorrow is Sunday, such a happy day of the week. I was supposed to start back at AMC tomorrow, but for reasons far to dull too bore you with, I won't be going back until March 28. At that point I'll return to my old schedule all at once. I so appreciate the folks at Albany Med who have really gone the extra mile to help us through all of this in so many ways!

I love walking the pilgrim road with you, you know that. I pray you will find great satisfaction in whatever the Great One has for you to do today. Whether it's emptying the trash or building a tower. "To accept your lot and be happy in your work, this is a gift of God..."

Your satisfied (today!) friend on the pilgrim road,


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