Ever notice how easy it is to get sidetracked from what really matters? Seems like every so often I get in a rut and have to wake myself up. I am so focused on dispatching immediate goals; I lose sight of why I was working on that in the first place. Such irony; good things distract me from the best things. This semester is a good example. So many blessing have been pouring down on me constantly. One of my scholarships was doubled totally paying for fall tuition, even paying me over and above footing my college bill. I found a place to volunteer for the service hour’s requirement for said scholarship, and instead of doing menial work, the board voted for me to be a member and treasurer. One of my old bosses gave me a job paying about the same in one evening as I made in a week at my summer job, with the flexibility to work only one to two days a week. I am making so many friends from all different walks of life. I have been so busy with work, the board, friends, and school I have felt like I was drowning in a sea of good things all semester. It hasn’t all been good of course; accounting has been a living nightmare. The school assigned the two worst Profs. in the dept to “teach” the make it or break it account course. Teach is the operative, or perhaps I should say, un-operative word. They have not taught once. This is not my opinion; this is a statement of fact supported by my classmates as well. I have been pouring so much time and energy into this class, and yet it still stands a good chance of being the first class I fail, a big admission coming from someone who was routinely on the dean and vice president’s honor roll. I have been very relaxed (for me, anyway) about this class, but still the frustration does build up.
Today I was in such a lousy mood, a pretty rare occurrence. Nothing I did could shake it loose, and it was sapping my energy and casting a pall over things I normally enjoy. As a last resort I put on Third Day’s Christmas album and tried to sing along. Sometimes the only thing to break pain, sorrow, or discouragement is offering up praise to the one who made you and knows you, even if praise is the furthest thing from what you feel. Praise when you don’t feel it, when it’s by faith or just nerve, is I think, one of the purest forms of praise. It comes from a deeper place. I was just going through the motions of singing when the words sank into my consciousness.
Said the night wind to the little lamb
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star dancing in the night
With a tail as big as kite
Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song ringing through the trees
With a voice as big as the sea
Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king
Do you know what I know?
A child, a child shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold
Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say
A child, a child sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
Finals and the holidays are coming fast, with all the preparation and work inherent to them. But I was suddenly struck with an image of an icy crystal clear night so full of white fire stars the sky seemed touch earth, blazing forth glory, while a soft night breeze scented with evergreen, snow, and wood smoke weaves through tall firs and cedars announcing joy across the open prairies and towering mountains. All this spoken from the mouth of creation lifting voices to its Creator, celebrating the wonder, beauty, and timelessness of His handiwork. His grace and mercy all encompassing, redeeming and rescuing what he made. Everything beneath that diamond sky and touched by that breeze was, is His and will be evermore.
The world is always carping about living in the present, and it’s true, you have to be here and now, but it is not the final chapter. I once heard someone say one of evil’s favorite victories is to make you become so absorbed with good things, that you totally miss God’s best. He knows the plans he has for you and He is actively working them out, to prosper you, to give you a future, and a hope. Now I am laughing and singing along with the night wind. I am reminded, I am not temporary, the real part of me is eternal. The current frustrations are temporal and are not to be allowed to siphon away my joy and peace. I will enjoy the good things, but I am not going to miss God’s best.
It isn’t here yet, but I can feel it coming, as much as I can smell the promise of snow in the air.
I crave more, more joy, more peace, more laughter, more everything.
I work harder, fight stronger, stretch further, hold on longer.
I learn from the past and set it aside,
I toil, strive, and struggle in the present,
I walk toward, hope for, and keep my eye on the future.
My past can’t hurt me,
My present can’t hold me,
My future can’t escape me.
Never settle for anything less than the BEST,
A Modern Rahab