James 4:13-17 Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. (NIV)
The ups and downs of life is the thread in my mind this week. My emotions have run a roller coaster in the past six months. My husband working so hard and finding his success as a reward; a son stationed in Afghanistan, then returning safely back to his family; the death of a dearly loved one and watching my husband struggle with the absence of his mother; retiring from a career that I have loved and wondering what is next; a new granddaughter born far away and not yet held in my arms; watching my oldest daughter work, study, keep her faith, and love well; stronger family ties with a son stationed nearby for a brief time; almost losing a dear daughter, son-in-law, and four dear grand children to a faraway place, then (sigh) changes kept them nearby; letting go of my youngest daughter as she returned to minister in South Africa to reach, teach, and be a loving hand of God; launching my youngest son into middle school; new relationships forged and old friendships renewed; a new awareness of injustices that I cannot ignore; more time to spend with family; a grandson going through surgery; and a new life style that demands restructuring and prioritizing.
Change is expected, but when changes stare us in the face, well, we have the opportunity to adjust, center ourselves, and look up for a hand from God with the road map. This week's entry to my blog is a poem full of some of these fleeting thoughts which I am sure that you can relate to.
Life is a whirlwind of events, people, and emotions to boot.
Which way shall I go, who shall I speak to, and how shall I react?
You never know when you wake up what will be what, do you?
I wander along familiar paths and then life takes a turn, oh no!
When I look to find my way I find out that all the rules have changed.
Well, life is also an adventure, a thrill, always new sights and smells.
Which new thing shall I venture into, where shall I head next?
Shall I snort and laugh hilariously? Or am I tempted to shrink away?
Only the day and the hour will tell... I cannot wait to find out.
Life is a destiny, for when you find that place you belong, that fits...
You sense a sudden warmth spreading like after a gulp of steaming tea.
It moves inside you then out again with the speed of a snail.
Massaging in such delightful contentment that will not be contained for long.
Life has its ups and downs, and at times is unexplainable in words.
Craziness both good and bad, shuddering and cold like an iceberg,
While other times so delight, that the warmth floods to refresh the soul.
Life is a whirlwind of the unknown and I am sure that it is best that way.
Fight the good fight. Change what you can. Pray for the rest and God who can do all things well, will work in your behalf. Keep the faith and look up. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We are his children, and that makes us joint heirs with Jesus. Do you even dare to think what that means to us? Let's begin to delight and rejoice in life. Let us be compassionate and lift the load of a neighbor, or of a needy one afar off. Let us be a light, the salt, and a breath of fresh air to a waiting world that needs the love of God in their midst.
(Begun in April and completed on September 30, 2011)