As a follower of Jesus, there are many things you ought to do, and those you want to do. We are fortunate when the two align. A morning conversation about not having the time (for reading, gardening, tidying up, walking the dogs, and having better prayer and Bible study) lead to an honest reflection with my spouse about ways we waste time. In a relationship, e.g. marriage, when we allow each other Grace for our lapses, we find our way back to what we ought to be doing.
This morning was unusual, in that I got up after having enough rest, and with a plan in mind for this morning. Comet and Dexter got, not just a quick walk, but an hour at Mission Trails park. I took time to pray. Where yesterday I had a maintenance issue requiring a plumber, a graduation party to attend, and tidying up at home, it all got done. After the walk this morning, my wife and I went to church, and listened to a very relevant sermon about finding fulfillment in Christ. Part of this is understanding that stuff I or we do, routinely, is filling a human emotional need. We all have them. But like an example of a cup of water with a hole in the bottom, the water continuously leaks out; our emotional needs are never (ful)filled only through human effort or even human relationships.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, We do not know what we ought to pray for but the Spirit himself intercedes for us….”Romans 8:26 (NIV)
Taking the dogs for a walk this weekend in the park where I have walked hundreds of times over the years, was new and engaging. Talking with a man who was asking directions for a particular path (he and his family were taking the 5-peak challenge) was refreshing. Waiting for a jackrabbit to cross the trail ahead of the dogs and me (the rabbit did not seem overly concerned that I had two dogs looking at him) was not annoying. I turned around after a few moments standing on the little bridge downstream of the Old Mission Dam sluiceway (in this wet year, the water is still fairly high as it courses to the bay); I was enjoying the walk with my canine pals. After church, I had an appointment for a electrical work to complete the water heater installation. I was a few minutes late but the electrician and I shared a joke about it. Conversing while assisting him, encouraged us both. I shared my faith with him and learned that he also was a follower of Jesus.
After she accomplished a list of to-dos around the house, my spouse taught me a lesson in how often I need to express gratitude for what I have been given. I have a lot of stuff that met an emotional need but has little practical value now. Forgotten items in multiple boxes are collecting dust on shelves in the garage. I felt the urge to make excuses and feel discouraged with what I perceived I needed to do next. Instead, reflecting on Sunday morning’s lessons, I know where to find fulfilment. And that’s more comforting than any excuse I can muster.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant ..be removed..Isaiah 54:10 (NIV)