Viewing entries tagged
Repentance

'Laying by'

'Laying by'

All of us, all the time are planting seeds. We seed our minds with ideas and our hearts with hope. We seed our kids with love, character, and common sense. We seed relationships with truth and grace. We seed our 401K so to sustain and enjoy retirement. Yet, for all the seeding we do, none it make us less impatient!!  Immediate results are always preferred!

An old farmer once told me they had a sayin’, “Laying by”. It was the time on a farm between busy seasons. It meant rest and waiting but NOT inactivity. It was a time when you made long-term improvements on the property like digging a new well or re-roofing the barn. If there were no big projects then you did maintenance on equipment in preparation for the coming season. 

Faith is often ignited when something overwhelming happens – a death, a health scare, job loss, or the birth of a child. But once we get familiar or acclimated, we lose a sense of urgency. It is so easy to put off faith and community and living with any sense of mission.  St. Peter wrote to Christians, under persecution and false teachers, about God’s timing…“But you must not forget this one thing: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 2 Pet.3:8-9 

Your life is a harvest but any growth requires fertile soil. Renewal means tilling the soil of your heart and mind as each of us yield to God’s Spirit – either a nudge to turn from or turn toward something or someone. Simply put, a renewed heart is a sensitive heart. And, we can actually grow more familiar with God’s voice but only to the extend we respond! This IS the process of spiritual transformation. We might not even be aware of what the Spirit is doing. But we start with doing what we know to do THEN God begins to direct our lives in increasing ways.

“Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.” (Jas.5:7-8)

Ordinary Miracle.

Ordinary Miracle.

I heard that when you spook an Armadillo, they jump straight up. Since these critters are good at digging up our lawn, I thought I could have a lil' fun at one's expense on my next encounter. So, on an early morning run, still mostly dark and no streetlights, it had rained during the night. A mile into my run (which happened to be a steep hill aptly named, Hillbilly), I see my opportunity ahead in the middle of a road. THIS…was my chance.

Without breaking stride on my run, I come up on it and start clapping and whopping. Except, it wasn’t an armadillo. That dark mass in the middle of the hill was a SKUNK!!

The wet hill was slick as I tried to stop but all I could do is helplessly slide toward the creature I just scared. Skidding up within a few feet of it before I stop, I clearly see the white stripe. Trying to avoid the aim of a raised tail, I turn to sprint up the hill – my feet grasping for traction like a cartoon character - barely escaping its spray like my life depended on it!

Do feel like you’re in a downward slide and can’t stop?  Ever find yourself face-to-face with a problem that you created but didn’t intend?  Do you find yourself trying to move but can’t get traction?

Of course we do. We run our course but it’s only when we realize – we can’t live the life we were called to on our own – that we are saved. I can’t save myself. I have a predisposition to slide into struggle and stupidity. St. Paul tells a group of Christians to “…work out their salvation”. It implies there’s BOTH a beginning AND a process. God makes us alive in Christ with each day, each blessing and each struggle. Perhaps the “ordinary miracle” of our salvation is that over time – almost without notice – God re-shapes the desires of our hearts. What’s more, we can find ourselves in a community of faith SO THAT God’s wisdom and care, inspiration and strength become tangible.

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  II Corinthians 3:18