Today, the weather in Wichita Falls was nothing short of spectacular. Temps in the upper 60s, a breeze from the east, sun shining brightly down upon all of God's creatures...I can think of far worse places to spend my winters than here. In a perfect world, I'd live here in the three seasons of the year that are cool & kind (fall, winter, and spring); for the hotter than hell summers, I'd head to the mountains, or the lovely northeast where relatives reside. Those relatives tonight are experiencing single digit temperatures, but it sure is nice there in July.
We've had a good day, spending our morning hours in church, with beloved church friends & family. Our pastor gave an exceptional sermon dealing with the issues of creationism vs. science; the two are not necessarily diametrically opposed. As a scientist (biology degree, chemistry minor) I appreciate the Biblical story of creation; however, I believe in the scientific evidence of an evolution of sorts. What I most appreciate is my pastor understanding both, too. My first experience with these subjects came in high school, where my biology teacher gave us both sides, and illustrated them by physically jumping from one side of the classroom to the other, as he told of the two. He emphasized that one could either believe creationism, evolution, or some mixture of the two. That has always stuck with me, and I still believe that the story of creation is man's explanation and interpretation of what took place. And I know Who set it all in motion. God, who set the world in motion, is still handling things today, in 2012. I feel it. I am comforted by it. And I anticipate great things, as He has promised in His word.
This afternoon, I worked my stubborn 48 pound German Short hair in the backyard, as we practiced the new skills she must master in her obedience class. She's smart, almost too smart, in my opinion. It takes all the strength and focus I can muster to get her to go in the direction I want her to go. I have the leash, the collar that tightens whenever she pulls too far ahead, or when she decides to sit on her well-muscled hind quarters as I tug at her. We stare each other down, nose to nose, brown eyes to brown eyes. And in the end, I'm bigger than she is, stronger than she is, and I have the collar/leash combo. So she follows. As she trots beside me, doing what she needs to do, the leash is loose and the collar is resting on her neck. You'd think as smart as she is that she would figure out sooner or later to do what I ask of her, so that the tugging and tightness would stop.
I think at times in my life, this is analogous to how I've been with God. I know what I need to do. He has the implements to guide me--in Maggie's case it's a leash & collar, in my case, it's the Bible and Christian friends--but I am stubborn and think that my way is better. I tug to get my way, sometimes going down a path that I fully know will not turn out well. Sometimes I sit on my hindquarters, too stubborn to move whenever I know it's the only way to grow spiritually. And sometimes, it gets to the point of God getting down on my level, nose to nose, looking deep into my eyes, before I get it. He's got my best interests at heart. He knows what I need, well before I know what I need. He sees the road ahead, and plans for the bumps and curves that I will most likely encounter. He also walks beside me, and doesn't want me to get too far ahead of him, or fall too far behind. For it's when I'm beside Him that my yoke and troubles are at their easiest. Hmmm....maybe Maggie taught me something after all today :)
A friend forwarded me a devotion last month, during the tumultuous days before Christmas, from a blog called "A Widow's Might." I found the site to be very inspiring, it is good to see Christian women in circumstances somewhat like mine, with children, jobs, problems, all relying on God to be their strong foundation. Of course, the title is taken from Jesus' story about the widow who place two mites in the temple offerings. Others with more wealth gave more money, but in Jesus' eyes, she'd given the most because it was all she had.
I've kept that "widow's might" phrase in my subconscious since then. It seems to help me believe that I do have the "might" or strength to get through my circumstances. It reminds me that I am not alone. Imagine my surprise and delight to find, while thumbing through my favorite catalog, the James Avery collection, a new charm for spring, the widow's mite. It is sterling silver, and is beautifully reproduced to look like the coin from ancient times. You know I had to have one. This afternoon, I walked into the James Avery store and asked to see it. I explained to the salesperson why I wanted it, and what it meant to me. She smiled knowingly, helping me place it on my necklace with the 'Best Mom' charm. Whenever I got home, I called both boys over to see it, and explained why I was wearing it with the necklace & charm they gave me for Christmas. They approved.
I know a charm has no mystical power. I know that my power comes from prayer, from trusting in God, and from studying His word. But I like the feel of it against my neck, the way it looks. And I love what it represents to me and my boys. In my opinion, this is money well spent.
Hope I can say the same for the obedience class for Maggie Mae.