Monday, January 4, 2016

“If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” ― T.S. Eliot

Now that we have opened the present and found it to be a brand new unused year, let's all see what we can do with it beginning here on this Monday, January 4, 2016. Last year at this time we were returning from our vacation out in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We had encountered an ice storm on the way out there and discovered why maybe that was not the best choice for a destination. We live and learn. Right? I also remember that on our way back we came by to see mom and dad. Coming through a tiny town in Louisiana I increased my speed before I became even with the sign that gave the increased speed limit. I received a ticket. I was furious. I checked into the background of the fellow who wrote that ticket. He was a jailer who was moonlighting as a traffic cop. I called the town office and they pleaded ignorant to everything except the collection of the money. In the end I sent the funds. I could see the sign. It was right there. Life is unfair. As you can tell I no longer even consider it to be an issue. I sent a money order because I knew and you know returning to fight it would be a wasted effort. I still remember his explanation. "You can't increase your speed until you reach the point where the grass changes color in the medium." Thank you very much officer!

Love birds, 1962.
Thinking about last year we had a great challenge involving some surgery for the wife. It occurred last March and it was supposed to have been somewhat of a routine procedure but it became more or less a month long nightmare before getting through it all. She ended up having three surgical procedures before getting things corrected. I stayed with her around the clock. We prayed a lot. Others did as well. God heard our prayers. The gastrointestinal issue has been pretty much taken care of. The experience itself reminded us that we do live in a fallen world and our bodies are certainly fragile. Even more so as we age. The entire situation also called to our minds the words Bro. Milton asked us to repeat our vows back in 1964: "In sickness or health..." Let's face it. Our program can pretty well take care of itself if I am down but when Mamma is incapacitated, it can go South in a heartbeat. Looking through my calendar book from last year with my notations about her and the things she was involved in, well, she is truly a servant of the living God and it shows up in the many ministry efforts she is involved in. I am so blessed to have her as my wife, companion, and Mrs. Claus. Amen.

I noticed also that I had posted many entries about troubles and trials in the lives of family, brothers and sisters in Christ, and friends. Some were emotional. Others were illness related. A few involved the death of a loved one. Birthdays. Weddings to attend. Graduations to recognize. In our family we had fender benders and car troubles and unexpected costs for this, that, or the other. There were issues to be addressed in a number of areas. Hey, it's called the fabric of life folks. That's pretty much how it works. I heard my granddaughter Tiffany talking about the challenges of providing Christmas for the children. I remember having those same thoughts when I was much younger. She said, "You look back and don't even know how you were able to do it. But, somehow you did get it done." I told her that pretty much sums it up. And, it does. While we believe we know something about some things coming in the near future, we can't envision all that we will face in this brand new year. We can be sure we will be facing challenges. It comes with the territory and all I can say is that I'm glad that God is going to be with us each step of the journey. We have His promise to help us face tomorrow: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) Or, as Gloria Gaither's lyrics put it, "Because He lives I can face tomorrow." Amen.   ....More later.

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