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.


Shovelin’ and servin’

 Growing up, I was the kid that mumbled and grumbled when my Ma called my brother and I outside to shovel the driveway, before Dad got home from work.   Perhaps  the  root  of  my frustration, was knowing  we  had a perfectly functional snow blower parked in the garage, waiting – silently begging – to be used. However, my Ma felt uncomfortable  using it, or letting any one of us kids use it, lest we manage to break something.
So instead, we reluctantly dressed in our winter gear; snowpants, jacket, boots, scarves, toques, gloves (sometimes 2 pairs); and trudged to the garage for the best shovel.
For a mid-sized family, we had quite a collection of shovels. Two heavy, metal shovels for chipping the ice; two small, plastic red shovels from when my brother and I were much younger ( My folks’ certainly weren’t against child labour – I intend to do the same!); A sturdy plastic shovel; and then, our personal favorite, the giant, red scoop shovel. So large, two kids could use it for a sled, if they so desired. ( I don’t recall if we ever did…)
So, because there was a favorite, we would take turns, swapping shovels every so often. Most of the time, my Mom was the ice chipper. But occasionally, we’d swap with her too.
I’m sure when evening rolled around, Dad was pleasantly surprised to pull into a cleared driveway. Really, it was the least we could do. That man has the best work ethic I’ve ever seen in my life. He just gets things done. He’ll work a 9, 10, 12 hour day, then come home and fix the vehicle, work on a project, fix something in the house or yard. Often in the winter, when the snow reached knee-deep or higher, he would use the snow blower and make his way across the field, creating for us a path to school. I’m sure lots of kids used this path. Heck, even deer used the path!
That’s how he showed Love; by doing, by serving.
Isn’t that what serving is all about? An act of Love and kindness? You don’t have to know somebody to demonstrate kindness either.
A couple of winters back, sometimes my roommates and I would be pleasantly surprised to come outside and find our driveway already shovelled. (That Christmas, we gave our neighbours a small gift basket, with a note of our appreciation.)
I want to learn to have a servant’s heart. I think it is safe to say, Jesus is the best example of how to do this.
How can we show love to our neighbours this season? To family? Friends? Co-workers, and strangers?