Monday, December 5, 2011

The long and winding road

The USA government built interstate freeways to provide straightforward transportation for war supplies. If the country were attacked, how could resources quickly move from one coast to the other? I-90 and other such "civilian conveniences" would help, provided the interstates weren't bombed out. The government had the will, authority, and money to make it happen. Farmers were moved off their land, city dwellers relocated, and construction crews employed. The freeways are fabulous at whizzing us from point to point, but at what cost? No one remembers, driving along without a sidewards glance.

We often think that the war contingency routes, the straight-ahead A to B journeys, are possible in real life. But daily living demands stops for food, refueling, and visits with others. 

Our daughter came home this weekend to undergo another series of operations to repair the ravages of rheumatoid arthritis. The illness continues to affect her joints. Just as unwelcome are the medications' side effects. She's a trooper, and prayers are appreciated as she goes through her pre-op doctor visits, surgery, and recovery for the next few months.

I've had a short season of freeway running this fall. However, I've been shunted off the wide trail and onto side streets again. God, who knows our paths, allows us the freedom and pleasures of cranking full speed ahead with open lanes on either side. He's with us when we––in the sheer velocity of progress––think this may continue forever. Yay, the goal is in sight!

All too soon, we pull onto an off ramp, wondering, "is this my exit?" We dawdle. We wait for refueling in grocery lines, hopping back in the car with a full load. Yay, supplies! We're ready for anything as we drive off. After a quick rest, we're back in the car.

Sometimes, our trip takes us to a Park & Ride. We seek refuge at the blustery bullet-proof shelter. "Is the next bus is on time or on a revised schedule?" It's out of our control.

None of this takes God by surprise, though it may frustrate and discourage us. Life certainly tears up our freeway maps and tosses the pieces to the four winds!

Survival requires a fixation on the goal. For me, the next interim point of the journey seems clear. I don't know if I'll ever reach it or if it was a diversion along the way. But until I'm told differently by my Navigator, I'm programed like a heat-seeking missile, dodging obstacles, going up and down to find the hot trail until my mission is completed. (Yeah, I understand that a missile is destroyed in the process, so let's not take that metaphor too literally!)

The next week's ups and downs include sitting in a hospital waiting room, making meals off schedule, and listening carefully to instructions, scribbling them down furiously to revise my work. The moving target seems very far off this week.

"Rosemarie, life is not a series of distractions. The diversions ARE life," said my mentor about 15 years ago. I recall her counsel in the early hours, while my devotions prostrate me again at the feet of Jesus, who remains The Same yesterday, today, and forever. 

Read more:
*"See, I am sending an angel before you to protect you on your journey and lead you safely to the place I have prepared for you. Pay close attention to him, and obey his instructions. Do not rebel against him, for he is my representative, and he will not forgive your rebellion. But if you are careful to obey him, following all my instructions, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and I will oppose those who oppose you. … But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals would multiply and threaten you. I will drive them out a little at a time until your population has increased enough to take possession of the land." Exodus 23:20–22, 29–30 NLT

*Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD. Psalm 117 NIV

*[Jesus said,] "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.

"The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more." Matthew 25:14–17 NLT

4 comments:

  1. Pay close attention to him, and obey his instructions. Do not rebel against him, for he is my representative, and he will not forgive your rebellion........ wow.. never quite saw those heavy words. Father Help me to be willingly obedient-- promptly obedient!

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  2. I will be praying for your daughter

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  3. Praying that all of you be covered by His abundant comfort. I will be praying for Kirsten.

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  4. You all are in my prayers, too.

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