I just learnt a lesson I’d like to share, humiliating though it is, perhaps it may help someone else.
I should have known better than to get upset, I really should, but the pile of stinky sludge dumped at the side of my allotment plot had seeped through the netting and killed all my kale plants. I could guess what had happened, my “plot neighbour’s” well meaning, but erratic, son had cleaned out her well, so she didn’t have to carry water (she’s been sick).
My frustration boiled. He could so easily have dumped the sludge on the other side where it wouldn’t have been on anyone’s plot. A spark of anger kindled. Thoughts of how I’d just got the plants perfect to trim outer leaves for daily consumption, how I’d come specially to pick them etc. all added fuel to my frustration. I finally gave vent to it in a message to his mum, tactfully worded, but showing my inner indignation. It was in replying to her sad and abject apology that I realised…
Of course she didn’t need to pay me for the plants, replace the plants etc. I said, squirming a little. It was the after thought that brought home the lesson. I’d better warn her I thought…
You see I’d been bitten/stung by some unknown creature and it had been pretty bad, a throbbing swollen thumb and a patchy red line traveling up my arm – it got infected! It was as I wrote the words “it was something between my plot and yours” that it hit me. You see, like everyone, I get my share of afflictions, but they usually don’t take root as this one had. I pray and rebuke them, and they go, almost always. I had been wondering why this bite had become so bad. The penny dropped. No, God was not punishing me, but, because my heart wasn’t right, because it was full of anger and frustration, I lacked the power of the Lord. My defences were down.
It was such a simple parallel when I stopped to think about it. The sting of sin and the infection of myriad negative thoughts had spread. As it could have become life threatening had it not been treated (I’m having to take strong doses of antibiotics and antihistamine) even so, had it continued, it would have had consequences for my spiritual life, making it hard to live the joy of the spirit. Thankfully both are now healing fast and (Rom 8:28) I learnt a good lesson. No matter how frustrating something is my first reaction must be to forgive, Lord help me do better!
Just a gentle day with You, without the blaze of glaring sun.
Just a quiet day at home to meditate on all that’s done.
To rest within Your loving arms, while the world goes on its way.
A day of peace, and rest, and calm within Your Holy, shadowed bay.
Your voice heard not in fire and quake, but whispered bliss filled calm.
Let me revel in the silence, still my soul from all alarm.
Here I find You in soft shadow, here I find You in the rain.
Dwelling in the sweet communion, I’d render all of earth to gain.
While consoling my football fan daughter over England’s loss to Croasia a thought came to me. Up staging even the world cup has been the drama of the football team stranded in the Tia cave.
Sometimes we can get confused about what’s important and who the real heroes are. While I don’t begrudge the England team their moment of glory and appreciation for their efforts. To call them heroes is a gross injustice to those who daily rick ytheir lives, police, firemen, soldiers, and yes, rescue teams. Let’s leave this terminology for those to whom it truely belongs. There are other words we can use to describe the youngsters who cracked the penalty curse and brough us to the quarter finals.
The men who risked their lives to bring food, oxygen, light etc. who stayed in the cave with them, who got them out. These are the true heroes, and the most wonderful thing of all about the Tai football news is how everyone worked together, pooling talents and resources with a common goal. Those that couldn’t dive cooked, ferried supplies, did laundry etc. So many nations working and praying together – the result? the world won!
A woman after my own heart! lol!
As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to, and less critical of, myself. I’ve become my own friend.
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read, or play on the computer until 4am? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60s, 70s & 80s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.
I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, or deemed inappropriate for my age and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But then again, some of life is just as well forgotten…
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Great C S Lewis quote!
The world’s idea of joy is but a reflection. And we cannot live in a reflection. We have to flip it over to see the Source, the place where Joy lives, continually calling for us to come home.
“This people’s heart has become calloused; they can hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”