A Passing Shadow

Psalm 144:4
“4 Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow”

How  unexpectedly one might be reminded of this.  I’m wrapped up so tight in this life, I assume ‘tomorrow’ is just another promise to me from God. In fact, I’ve gone so far as to assume some extent of invincibility. Living like there’s all the time in the world. Living like this skin cannot tear,
these bones cannot break,
this heart won’t stop beating.
My dream in life is not so unlike that of those around me; to live a long, happy life with my husband, to have kids and grandkids and great-grandkids; to love and laugh, and not pass on until I am well advanced in years…

Confession time.
Death scares the bejeebies out of me. It overwhelms me, sends my head spinning and my heart somersaulting. Family in the hospital, a car accident that almost happened ( or could have been much worse), an unexpected phone call, etc. Diseases, trials, accidents, murder…
As Gandalf once said, ” It’s a dangerous business, walking out one’s front door.”
How easily I forget that the Lord has promised us so much more than this fleeting life!
John 14:1-7 ~ 14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;[a] believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”[c] 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.[d] From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

I hang on to my dreams and plans more fiercely then I hang on to Christ. Even when we’ve been promised so much more!
We need Christ.
What pulls us up from rock-bottom? What gives us purpose when all our personal endeavors have led us nowhere? When our dreams have been shattered? Who else shows us the way when we’ve been running in circles for so long?
It occurred to me the other day that, if God revealed to me that certain desires of mine would never come to be, my first reaction would be anger.
Which then caused me to ask myself,
On what foundation have I been building my faith?
On the hope that I will someday get what I want?
I don’t want to live afraid of life. Or live life afraid of death. I don’t want to balance my life on frail hopes and dreams, only to have it come crashing down in a thunderous Boom!
I want to build life on Christ the solid rock.
I need to.


Clovers and Shooting Stars

I’m not really a superstitious person. Wasn’t in my younger years either. I didn’t feel threatened by black cats; ( Actually, in fact, I felt threatened by ALL cats) I had no problem walking under a ladder if I needed to fetch something, etc. But I did however, believe in wishes.
If I spotted a shooting star, I’d make
a wish. Find a four leaf clover,
make a wish. Perhaps it was the the rarity of these beautiful things, that had me convinced that they possessed the magic –  the   power to make  my  small dreams come true.
Isn’t that what most children want to believe? That the unexpected can come true?
That there is hope in dreaming their dreams, wishing their wishes?

I remember a sunny spring day. I was with my younger brother. I remember a large green field of freshly mowed grass and little white flowers.
And little green clovers.
Hundreds of them. Patches of them. Everywhere you looked.
As I was in the habit of doing at that age, I crouched down just to see if I could find that one 4-leaf clover.
And in time, there was revealed not one 4 leaf clover.
Not two.
Not a few.
But dozens of them! And there were 5- leafed clovers too! Oh, the excitement that swelled within me. I could make so many wishes! What would I wish for? Goodness, I didn’t even know what to wish for with one 4-leaf clover, nevermind dozens!

But my memory goes blank. I don’t recall what happened next. I don’t remember if I started collecting handfuls of these lucky clovers. I don’t remember if I eagerly started making wishes, or what I would have been wishing for. And such a lapse in my memory causes me to wonder…
Was it even real?
As a child, we might selfishly think, more is better. More toys, more ice-cream, more play time, more wishes. Sometimes what we have, we figure is just not quite enough.
Even as an adult, I struggle with wanting more. More sleep, more money, more purpose, more time. And though I have been provided with enough, I keep asking God. Somedays, he has been reduced to a shooting star, or a 4 leaf clover;
“God, could you grant me this?” ” God, could you give me more ____?”
I ask, and wish, and ask; but often out of my own selfishness. Today, as a Friday trend it seems, my energy was low. I was starting to feel a little irritable, and time just wasn’t going by fast enough.
I found myself thinking,  ‘God, I could really use a little more energy right now.’

Have I not provided you with enough already?

The thought threw me right off. Did I just think that last thought? Or did the spirit just whisper to me? I thought about the blessings of the day; the free lunch provided by my work, the generosity of a fellow employee in buying me some juice, etc. These are just a couple small blessings.
God provides, and he provides me with enough.
It’s time I stop hoarding my 4-leafed clovers. When blessed, go forth and bless others! It’s time to realize how much I already have.

Now, if I were to write an epilogue to the clover story…
In that same field, up on a hill, about a decade later, sat a girl and a boy; gazing up into the starry night sky, on a warm August evening. Blissfully hand in hand.
Two days later, he asked her out.
Two years later, he asked for her hand, and year after that, she said I do.
But I can’t help wonder…
Was God giving us a sign? A hint, when he showed us a splendid shooting star, bursting through the night sky? That my husband and I gazed upon, almost 4 years ago now?
And the thought just makes me smile.