SO glad to be nearing the end of February!! No, it's not springtime and happy birdies and flowers and all of that. Not yet. Wish it was, but it isn't. But we are much closer to it than we were back in November. Yesterday morning, I came outside to head of to church services, and found some snow on the aged vehicle. Some, not a mass covering as we've had on occasion, but some. What bothered me was that two days' prior, we had a temperature of over 70°. Yesterday, snow on the vehicle. Supposedly getting some more of that awful stuff this week, we shall see. Weather prognosticators are predicting a high in the low 60's on Wednesday, and a "high" of 33° on Friday!! Half the town seems to suffering from flu-like symptoms, sinus problems (me included), and wide spread cases of "seasonal affective disorder", a fancy way of saying "cabin fever and we're weary of lousy weather". I do know that we are at all of +34° right now. Friends in our most recent home are at 54, going to 62°; friends in home before that are at 46°, going to 59°; and friends in home before that are at 59 going to 70°. All of which sounds much much better. Oh well.
Wife was able to move around a little bit yesterday, a very hopeful sign. She's not going to be "watching" the Little One at all this week which is probably good, we don't want her and a 4-year-old to be swapping sicknesses. We have enough going on.
The Old Testament reading is chapters 18, 19, and 20 of Numbers.
I pay particular attention to chapter 20. After everything that the Lord had done and was doing, daily, for His people, still they grumble and complain and, some wished they were still slaves in Egypt. "As a dog returns to his vomit", perhaps. Yes, we all wish for things to be different than they are. I'm no different, I complain all the time about the weather in this area, having been in regions that were more in keeping with my own preferences. I hate and despise the horrid roads, the dreadfully mis-managed traffic signalizations, the wholesale and open public corruption, all of it, that are the local "culture". It's a trade-off, and it comes with the territory. Once we covenant to following the Lord, "to do his will whatever it is", there will be moments of discomfort. Sometimes that's part of the process. Sometimes, it just comes with the territory and doesn't really have a deeper purpose. Sometimes it does. Is there really a deep spiritual significance to the mosquito or flea pestering you? I don't know, but perhaps there is one to our reactions. These people, understandably, were looking back at some creature comforts and life certainties that they no longer had. Sometimes, we just can't have both.
Our reading from the New Testament is verses 1-13 of chapter 7 in the Gospel of Mark.
"Traditions". Not necessarily a bad thing in themselves, developing good life patterns is, or can be, a worthy thing. Worshiping those traditions is another matter. Can't argue with, say, the 10 Commandments. I have with me always a listing of the 613 "Mitzvot", the rules of life that grew out of that. Not much to argue with there, either, many of them are simply explanatory. But the volumes and volumes of writings and amplifications and teachings and .....and more and more, they get to be a bit much. Not just the Jewish ones either, though I've chanced to hear arguments based on old argument from long-dead rebbes, some quite devout and learned, that seemed much ado about nothing. But I have, myself, family ties into various sub-groups within the Amish and related groups. Have had occasion to hear earnest disputes about whether one may have a horse-drawn buggy with a closed top, or whether it must be open. Arguments about whether that buggy should have black canvas on it, obviously "plain", or whether the un-treated canvas, yellow/orange as it is supplied by the fabric maker and thus "plain", is appropriate. I have friends who are certain that any Bible version other than the 1611 King James is wicked. Had at one time (mostly my dad's friends) some contacts within a sub-set of the Society of Friends, a.k.a. "Quakers", who still require the use of words like "thee" and "thou", rather than the more common equivalents in American English. Some friends who reject any church music that doesn't use a pipe organ (much argument about other sorts of organ), while others reject any use of musical instruments whatever, and some (the Orthodox Presbyterians notably) who reject ANY other than the Psalms themselves. All because "that's our tradition and belief". So don't mock the Pharisees, they have some descendants all over the place.