Wednesday, January 28, 2015
By Micky Wolf
Glancing out the window, next to my writing desk.
Snow, lots of it on the ground, and more continuing to fall. Kids are happy, no school. Moms and Dads, not so much. Albeit lovely to look at, this wintery wonderland event sends many of them scrambling to find childcare for the day.
And then I hear it. Whatever is coming down the street is interrupting the early morning quiet with a fair amount of crunching and clunking. The instigator? A moderate size pickup truck with front mounted blade struggling to shove through the snow to clear the way for other vehicles.
This scene is not all that odd, except for the fact the plow is usually a large, dump-truck size monster moving fast and flinging stuff aside as if child’s play. The likely explanation for the presence of the littler one means all the big guys are attending to the main thoroughfares.
An interesting metaphor begins to unfold. How many times have I felt woefully under-equipped for the task at hand? And yet, as he continues to work, there is little doubt the driver and his little truck are clearing the street.
When not so much is more than enough…
Human beings tend to label and quantify anything and everything based on the extent of our knowledge or what we have learned from experience. All well and good—until we realize we are in a situation where we need to accomplish something and, for all intent and purpose, we believe we don’t have the necessary resources based on our calculations and deductions. Which, sadly, can just be another way of saying, “I don’t have A or B so I can’t do it.”
I’m sure the driver of the small truck would have much rather have had something bigger and stronger. Nevertheless, he preceded to do what he had been sent to do.
It became obvious he knew the way he approached the snow was key. Rather than try to move it all with a couple of passes, it took him four from either direction, at least twice as many as it would have been for the larger truck.
There were a couple of moments when I wondered if the blade, leaning over itself, would collapse onto the street, but just about the time it seemed it could not handle a bit more pressure, he carefully adjusted his alignment and speed. No damaged or broken equipment at the hand of this attentive worker.
You and I may be tempted to believe we are lacking the proper tools for whatever God might be calling us to do, but God sees the bigger picture. It may take us longer, we may need to be get creative with what we do have, but in the end, as we persevere, He will supply all that is necessary. Choosing to believe that truth is the hard part.
When attitude and presence make the difference…
If the driver was upset with the fact he had to use the small vehicle, it was not apparent from the way he went about the task.
Each time he drove up and down the street, his pace was slow and steady. Maybe it was because he had plenty of experience using a larger vehicle—or maybe it was that he has spent hours and hours with the kind of equipment he was using this particular morning.
Either way, it seemed he had turned the job of plowing snow into an art form. No four-wheeled theatrics or flashy moves with the blade. He simply kept at it, one section at a time, leaving behind a cleaner, safer street.
So it is with us as we go about our Father’s work. Our attitude and the way we are present with people, whatever the circumstances, will make all the difference to those we encounter along the way. It’s not about us, our perceived resources, or whether or not we are the center of attention.
It’s about taking one step, then the next, listening to the Spirit for guidance and direction, and then treating others with care and compassion. It’s about things being better when we leave, than when we first arrived.
How do I feel about the resources I have to do God’s work?
Do I trust Him to supply all that is needed?
Does my (loving) attitude hinge on whether or not I believe I have the right tools?
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
By Micky Wolf
I never cease to be amazed at the “suddenlies” God allows us to experience, usually for reasons beyond any human comprehension, at least at the time they occur. Such was the case Tuesday morning as I learned of the death of a dear friend. His passing came as a shock to many of us. Seventy-five years are a precious gift, yet all the more that his departure from this life to the next will leave a huge hole in the hearts of many people, especially his beloved wife of fifty years, adult married daughter (only child), and special granddaughter.
God truly does work in mysterious ways. In praying for the family and thinking about the years we have been blessed with their friendship, I stared at the post which I had already written for this week, and which follows.
Something to ponder. And remember, there is NO right or wrong answer.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
A sense of duty? Your job? Responsibilities in the home, with extended family, or friends? In ministry?
All of the above?
As you think about the question, try to name the emotions you are feeling. Here’s a list of the primary ones to help you.
Anger, Courage, Desire, Despair, Fear, Hate, Hope, Love, Joy, Sadness
Be honest. That may be the hardest part of this exercise.
It’s important to know there’s nothing wrong with feeling sadness, anger, hate, fear or despair when it comes to acknowledging the truth about the way we feel about anything.
At the same time, if we discover we feel these darker emotions more often than courage, desire, hope, love and joy, then it might be time to allow God to show us there are other choices, other options, other ways to live out the purpose and meaning of our life.
By first tapping into the emotion of courage and embracing the feelings associated with our “what”, we just might be surprised to discover God’s “what” for our life.
Getting to the (emotional) heart of what we are thinking and feeling and how our thoughts and emotions impact the choices we make (or don’t make) every morning may be one of the toughest challenges we ever face. And yet, the greatest invitation we will ever receive to wake up and get moving in a manner which truly gives honor and praise to the One who has breathed us into being.