Yesterday was a very long day. Very.
Doctor appointment for Wife early. Rheumatologist, office along the southern portion of the county south of us. A trip made far worse by quite a lot of poorly-organized road construction along several of the legs of our route. And made dangerous by some of the other drivers. The ones allocating more of their attention to their cell phones and text messages than to the road and road conditions around them. The ones who seemed intent on 70+ mph in construction zones marked a MAX of 55 or less. That to include several large trucks, including a FedEx Freight tandem unit who nearly killed us. And then when getting off the interstates, having to deal with traffic signal arrangements evidently intended to PREVENT the smooth and efficient flow of traffic. The state dept of transportation here has chronically been staffed and mis-managed by some incredibly incompetent people, many of whom seem to have been hired out of family and political connections. Fortunately, we left in enough time that we were on time, but it was a near thing, and even that was possible only because I knew some short cuts from long ago.
Took alternate route going home, and managed it in about half the time.
And then , a funeral. Those are always tough. This was tough in no small part, because the deceased's half-brother was Dear Wife's ex-husband. (she'd come home early from work to find him in bed with her best friend). But the deceased was for a long time married to a dear cousin of Wife's, I think he was her third husband and she his second wife. But I could be off a bit. She's been through quite a lot, truly. So some serious family tensions there, all too common with some of the "serial monogamy" that seems to have become part of the local "culture".
Funeral was in a "store front church", and I still haven't figured the link between them and the family. None seemed to be part of it, but some of the extended family were, so perhaps the message that was presented there will, like a seed, sprout and grow. It's happened before.
Then a very quick stop at a WallyMart to get a few things that we needed Right Now, and home. Then to make dinner and all that. We got up from table at 10:40, and I still had to do dishes and get stuff ready for bed. LONG day, as I said.
So the sun was already up when we rose. I'd had to kick the cats, actually the little one, out of the bedroom around 03:00 when she decided to do her "I'm starving, feed me NOW" dance and chant on top of us. It did NOT move me to obedience. More like thoughts of "felineocide", or the like.
And yet ...
During the night and in that period of the morning, when you're not quite asleep and not quite awake, the "song of the day" came into my heart and it is still there;
We need the Lord, desperately and at every moment and hour. We are blessed to be in communion with Him, and it is something that we, certainly including me, need desperately and enjoy the time we spend with Him. Too easily we let that go by the wayside as we turn our attention to other things. And, yes, I realize that the "stone in the shoe" things will always come about, walking with the Lord fully still requires us to not walk out in front of a bus.
But what we sometimes lose sight of, is that, miraculously, He enjoys the time we are in communion with Him. I don't understand that, but I believe it. It's as big a miracle as any other. But it is He who sought us out, and only that makes it possible.
So our song is "I Come To The Garden Alone". There are many good recordings of this, some more intent on being "performances" than anything else, but some being from the heart, even from those we might not expect. This is one such. I just can't let go of this. Can't. Don't want to try either.
Our Old Testament reading today is Psalms 31, 32, and 33.
Psalm 32 in particular resonates with me today. Confession to the Lord is good for us. Better yet, not repeating our sins afterwards. Yes, confession is hard. It should be, perhaps: our sins are not trivial matters as they distance us from perfect communion with the Lord. If we're not interested in that in this life, why should He welcome us into full communion with Him in the next?
Our New Testament reading is verses 15-40 of chapter 21 in the Acts of the Apostles. Most of us in the church today have little or no experience with Jewish believers. Yes, they certainly exist. But not equally found in all parts of the country or of the world. At the time of the early Church, many expected that all Christian would either be Jews or Jewish acolytes first, and Christians afterward. So followers of the stricter of the Jewish beliefs and customs had reactions. When that expectation was violated, there was considerable backlash, both within the Church and also among traditional Jews. The path of the evangelist and apostle was seldom a smooth and easy one, opposition, including physically violent opposition, was more often the case. We don't know how easy we have things in the Western church. Try preaching the Gospel in Iran or Chechnya or central China, or even in Mexico! They did, and we've been blessed thereby.