Posted by: ritagone | September 6, 2017

Peter Marshall Prays For Us Still

Here’s yet another from my wonderful readings this year of Peter Marshall’s prayers as Chaplain for the Senate in the late 1940’s.  This is a prayer prayed and written 70 years ago.  And yet, when you read this prayer from seven decades past, it’s so appropriate to our situation today, isn’t it? 

People don’t change.  Situations don’t change.  Nations don’t often change in their relationships to one another.  Therefore what someone prayed many years ago is as necessary and vital as it is today.

So read it and pray it for our world today.  That’s what I’ve done.

 

Thursday, May 27, 1948

 

 

Lord Jesus, as Thou dost move among people and see what men are doing today, how sore must be Thy heart.

 

Thou whose head was cradled in straw must often reflect that straw was not as coarse as man’s selfishness.

 

Thou whose hands were spread upon a Cross and fastened with nails must often reflect that nails were never so sharp as man’s ingratitude.

Hear us as we pray for this poor blundering world, in which the nations never seem to learn how to live as brothers.  They resort again and again to methods that produce only more bitter tears, methods that only add to misery and subtract nothing from problems.

 

Heal them that need healing, make strong the wavering, guide the perplexed, befriend the lonely, give new faith and courage to those whose spirits are low.

 

Lift up our heads, put a new light in our eyes and a new song in our hearts, and we will do better and be better for the sake of Thy love.  Amen.

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Posted by: ritagone | August 30, 2017

JB Phillips’ “The Newborn Christian” devotional

 

One of my best devotional books right now is J.B. Phillips (“Your God is Too Small,” The New Testament in Modern English, “Letters to Young Churches”) book “The Newborn Christian,” which I am enjoying immensely and finding extremely satisfying very early in the morning as a kick-off to the day!!   Below is an excerpt in a section entitled False Gods, and this one is subtitled The Disappointer.  I loved it because it fit so well with my studying and research into the book of Job, but it’s appropriate to all of us at any time.  So read it and let its words sink into your soul today.

 

To some people the mental image of God is a kind of blur of disappointment.  “Here,” they say resentfully and usually with more than a trace of self-pity, “is One whom I trusted, but He let me down.”  The rest of their lives is consequently shadowed by this letdown.  Thenceforth there can be no mention of God, church, religion, or even parson without starting the whole process of association with its melancholy conclusion: God is a Disappointment.

 

Some, of course, rather enjoy this never-failing well of grievance.  The years by no means dim the tragic details of the Prayer that was Unanswered or the Disaster that was Undeserved.  To recall God’s unfaithfulness appears to give them the same ghoulish pleasure that others find in recounting the grisly details of their “operation.”  Others find, of course, that a God who has Himself failed is the best possible excuse for those who do not wish to be involved in any moral effort or moral responsibility.  Any suggestion of obeying or following God can be more than countered by another glance at the perennial Grievance…

 

The people who feel that God is a Disappointment have not understood the terms on which we inhabit this planet.  They are wanting a world in which good is rewarded and evil is punished – as in a well-run kindergarten.  They want to see the good man prosper invariably, and the evil man suffer invariably, here and now.  There is, of course, nothing wrong with their sense of justice.  But they misunderstand the conditions of this present temporary life in which God withholds His Hand, in order, so to speak, to allow room for His plan of free will to work itself out.  Justice will be fully vindicated when the curtain falls on the present stage, the houselights go on, and we go out into the Real World.

 

There will always be times when from our present limited point of view we cannot see the wood for the trees.  Glaring injustice and pointless tragedy will sometimes be quite beyond our control and our understanding.  We can, of course, postulate an imaginary God with less good sense, love, and justice than we have ourselves; and we may find a perverse pleasure in blaming Him.  But that road leads nowhere.  You cannot worship a Disappointment.

Posted by: ritagone | August 23, 2017

What’s Your Oikos?

 

Some time ago, I discovered Oikos yogurt, made by Dannon.  This is not a commercial; the only reason I tell you its name is because of the story to follow:

There were four flavors I preferred: Lemon Meringue, Key Lime, Banana Cream, and, most especially, Orange Cream.  Not the low fat yogurt, mind you, but the full flavored, full bodied one, with the red band around the carton (as told to me by the yogurt and dairy manager at one of the Ralph’s Markets near my home, with whom I got into quite a chat early, early one morning about, yes, yogurt).  The reason I got into this chat with Jason – and yes, I found out his name – was that for the longest time these flavors were easy to find at any and all of the markets we frequent in our neighboring areas.  Oh, the Orange Cream was a bit of a challenge, but Jason assured me that it had been “on hiatus” for a bit but was now back in stock on their shelves.  He was the one who told me about the red band around the top of the container, signifying that the yogurt inside was blended, not fruit on the bottom, which is not to my liking at all.

And yes, before you suggest I have myself committed, I do realize several things: this is hardly worthy of lengthy conversation at any time of the day, much less 6:30 in the morning, and secondly, this is definitely a first-world problem: whether or not the yogurt shelves remain stocked with Oikos yogurt and the four flavors I prefer.

 

But there’s a bigger point coming out of this yogurt story that I want to make, so bear with me.  Actually, there are two points.

The first is this:  One must keep things in perspective.  By this I mean that the disappearance of my beloved Oikos yogurt – while a bit of a shock at first and a challenge that made me traipse all over the Conejo Valley in search of it, or, more accurately, sending Michael to search for it – has now settled where it belongs:  it’s just not that important in the scheme of things.  Given what is going on in the world around us, I can’t very well complain that my favorite brand of yogurt or my favorite flavor of that brand has become scarce.  If someone were sharing that with me during these troubled times, I would be sorely tempted to slap them.  So I really wouldn’t blame someone for slapping me.

So I remain silent.  Because it’s just not that big a deal, and I have to tell myself this over and over until the truth of it, the reality of it, sinks in.  If I never have another Oikos yogurt for the rest of my life, that is okay.  I can live, and I can live happily.  After the first shock of disappointment and realization that this might be the case, I came to see that it was fine.

The second point:  Life consists of ever-adapting change.  One day you have something, the next you do not.  I’m studying the book of Job to begin teaching it in a few weeks at our ladies Bible study, the Connection, at church.  If there’s one great big glaring lesson I’ve learned from reading and immersing myself in Job’s 42 chapters for the last six months, it’s that your life, your circumstances, your very existence can change from one day to the next, from one hour to the next, or even from one minute to the next.  Job had a home, a career, servants, standing in the community, and a family.  Then…he didn’t.  In one fell swoop they were gone.

Yogurt that I like not being available anymore?

Come on!!

Posted by: ritagone | August 16, 2017

A Seth Godin Post For You

This is a great Seth Godin blog from Tuesday, August 15.  Enjoy!

 

“But we needed the eggs”

Addiction to substances has been around ever since someone fermented grapes a million years ago. The opioid epidemic is the latest addiction tragedy, brought on by greed and disinformation.

It took longer for behavioral addictions to arrive, but they’re just as real.

The ASAM defines it: Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. 

The thing is that we treat behavioral addictions differently because sometimes they’re seen as a useful, profitable contribution.

We’ve gotten better, much better, at creating interactions and substances that are addictive. They get built and marketed because they’re profitable, but the creators of these systems don’t want to take responsibility for the impact they have on people. Behavior addiction is real, it’s chronic and you might be suffering from it.

Get addicted to the rush at work, or to the endless flow of the online world, and your life changes. Attention spans go down, patience decreases, essential tasks are left undone, and most of all, our humanity starts to fade away.

Just because it appears productive, just because you bought it in a store or got promoted for it at work doesn’t mean it’s not addictive and worth managing. Even if you need the eggs.*

 

 

*Entry from October 07, 2015 

“We need the eggs” (joke)

A popular joke has a man visit a psychiatrist, saying, “Doctor, my son thinks he’s a chicken.” The psychiatrist suggests that the boy be sent to an institution. “We’d like to do that,” says the man, “but we need the eggs.”

 

 

Posted by: ritagone | August 9, 2017

What I Now Know!!!

On my recent trip with Michael to New York (coming and going) and to Ireland, there were a few realizations that I had:

I won’t live in New York City ever again.

I may visit New York City, but I most likely won’t own my own residence again, like I have done in the past.  Those days are over.

And that’s okay.

When we were at Ashford Castle in County Mayo on the West Coast of Ireland, taking the boat cruise around the 377 islands in Lough Corrib, the largest lake in Ireland, I found myself fantasizing about living on one of those beautiful islands, although a law had been passed several hundred years ago that man couldn’t build there, which is why the lake water is so pristine and clear.  In fact, it’s one of the clearest lakes in the world, because it has been so untouched by human enterprise.  But still, a fantasy is a fantasy, and I saw my little cottage clearly, smoke coming out of the chimney, comfortable, cozy, welcoming, serene, peaceful: everything, in short, that a fantasy cottage on an island in a lake in Ireland could and should be.

But I will never live there.

That’s also okay.

When you’re young(er), you think about places you’d like to live in, cities, countries that grab your attention for whatever reason, where you see yourself residing for weeks, months, even years.  I had always imagined myself in England because of my love for British literature.  I remember when I was in college, having had a major in British literature, I knew for certain that when I finally got to London, everyone would be walking around with a great work of British literature in his or her hands.  That turned out to not be the case.  Far from it.  But still I pictured myself eventually living in London, in Cornwall, in the Lake District.  That also never happened.  Oh, I visited those places on vacation.  But never more than a few days at a time, never actually residing there, because my real life was far, far away.

And that was okay.  There was still plenty of time for that to happen, I kept telling myself.

So I dreamed on and fantasized on, and life went on, years and decades went by, and here we are today.

The realization has come to me boldly and definitely that these places that I have dreamed about will never be my home.  Instead, I will live out my days – if I’m fortunate – in my wonderful home in beautiful Westlake Village, near my children and grandchildren.  And that’s not half bad.  It’s not what I thought about 40 years ago, but it’s not bad.

Like many of the dreams and fantasies we had when we were younger, most of them won’t come true.  What did you dream about that you are just now realizing will never come to fruition?  Maybe it’s a career you thought you would have time for.  Maybe that book or novel you envisioned writing when you retired.  That hobby that was going to make retirement so fulfilling.  The love of your life walking into your life…finally.  Whatever it is, it just may not be happening.

So what?

What does it mean when your dreams and fantasies don’t come true?  Does it mean your life is a waste?  Unfulfilled?  Or does it mean that you switch gears and find other things to make you happy and feel satisfied?  Well, it had better be the latter, because if it’s the former, most of us are in for loads of disappointment and sadness.  And what a waste that would be: to spend the last years of our lives regretting that what we thought was going to happen didn’t, for one reason or another.

I didn’t get to live permanently in New York City for any length of time, but I did own an apartment there for three years with two other couples, and that was a fantastic experience.  I didn’t live in Ireland, but I’ve visited half a dozen times and loved each experience.  And England is one of those places where I feel right at home, no matter how long I stay or where I go on that island.

And then I’m fortunate to come home to a place that I love too, with people who care about me and family nearby.

And fortunately that’s not fantasy: that’s reality!!!  So I consider myself pretty darned lucky, when all is said and done.

 

 

Posted by: ritagone | August 2, 2017

“The Search” (Guest Blog)

While I was away I meant to share this post with you, but I couldn’t make it work.  So now check out this blog post from my friend Amy Downing, whose writing is wonderful and so creative.

http://thecreativefarmgirl.com/2017/06/01/the-search-is-on-sort-of/

 

 

Love, Rita

Posted by: ritagone | July 26, 2017

I’m Baacckkk!!!

If you’re like me, you think that when you go on a memorable trip, you will never forget any aspect of it because it is indelibly etched into your brain, a part of your life forever.

Then a few years pass and you realize that many of the details of that particular trip – where you stayed, who you visited with, what you saw, what you ate and where – are lost to you, unless someone points them out, and even then those fragments may not come back.  Several years ago Michael and I were checking into a hotel in Budapest and were welcomed “back” by the front desk clerk.  We said no, we had never been there before, she must be mistaken, but she insisted we had been, in 2009; we were right there in her computer.  It was scary.  We laughed and were embarrassed, and we’re still laughing about it today, with a little edge of fright.  An entire hotel stay, hey, an entire city visit was gone for both of us, as if we had never been there. Wow!!

That’s why I’ve decided that close on the heels of returning from my two weeks in Ireland, sandwiched in between two short stays in New York City coming and going, I’m going to sit down at my computer and create a travel journal for posterity – mine!!!  I probably should have been doing this on my laptop all along during this current trip, because already details are getting sketchy: did we take the carriage ride in Killarney or at Ashford Castle…or both?  (It was Killarney.)  But better late than never.  While I don’t think I can reconstruct each and every day’s activity in Dublin, Killarney, Ashford Castle and New York, I think I can capture enough of the details to keep the trip fresh and the highlights available for myself and for anyone who might want to know about my travels in years to come.

But today I just wanted to share with you, my friends, what was the highlight of each place we stayed so that you would know what was going on while I wasn’t writing this blog.  (I had intended to drop a friend’s wonderful blog in place of mine for the two weeks I was gone, but of course the technology goofed me up: without my desktop computer and only my laptop, I didn’t have the links I needed to make it happen.  And then I figured the world wouldn’t end if you didn’t hear from me, and most of you knew that I was gone, a lot of you followed me on Facebook, so it wasn’t earth-shattering to experience my absence for two Wednesdays.  If anyone has been traumatized, please let me know, and I’ll help pay for therapy!!!)  So, back to today:  I’d like to share a highlight of each place we stayed.  For example, on our outbound stay in New York, we saw a play called “The Play That Goes Wrong” that is best described as a Carol Burnett skit on steroids.  It is a British farce where everything goes wrong, everything breaks, the actors do pratfalls and get hit in the face with doors flying open and things falling apart and are asked to do physical comedy that has the audience laughing until it hurts, I swear.  One of the funniest evenings I’ve ever spent in the theater.  See it if you ever have the opportunity, and you won’t regret it.

In Dublin, for me one highlight was certainly the tour Michael and I took of Trinity College, founded in 1592 and still a revered learning site.  It’s always amazing to me when there is a beautiful center of learning in the midst of a bustling, busy city, a campus that is both busy and stately, a place where you think to yourself: “I could study and learn here.  I’d like to come back and be a student!”  I have a T-shirt from Trinity College that I will wear proudly and pretend that I’m a graduate.

In Killarney, Ireland, as we ventured westward from Dublin by train, we took a jaunting cart ride in Killarney Park, next door to where we were staying at the Killarney Park Hotel.  Beautiful scenery, a gorgeous day, stopping to walk around and savor what we were seeing: it made for a lovely and memorable afternoon.  And in Killarney Michael and I discovered lattés, which we drank for the rest of our stay in Ireland and our two days in New York.  (Ireland’s are better.)

At Ashford Castle, there is so much to remember.  It’s still my favorite place on earth for beauty, serenity, service, class, sheer luxury.  We took the riverboat cruise, one hour out amongst the 377 islands on Lough Corrib, the largest lake in Ireland, which Ashford Castle sits on the edge of, and we heard the history of the area and the castle building and saw the incredibly stunning creation around us that is untouched because man hasn’t been able to build houses on these islands by law for several hundred years.  As a result, it’s some of the best fishing in the world and one of the cleanest lakes on the planet.  Michael commented on the difference between Lake Corrib, pristine in its cleanliness because of these laws protecting its waters, and Lake Victoria in Africa, which he has also seen, one of the most polluted in the world because man has not bothered to protect it.  Yes, that sticks with you, for sure.

Back at the castle, just wandering around inside and discovering all over again since our last visit a few years ago the bar, the billiards room, the lobby with the two Irish wolfhounds who come to visit with their trainer every morning at 10 a.m., the tea room (where we had afternoon tea), the King George V dining hall, each place more luxurious and fascinating than the last, each experience more wonderful.

Back in New York before flying home, we got to spend a whole day with our dear friends Rita and Rich, staying in the city from their home in Rochester, a rare treat indeed to see them, and a great way to end our trip.

No mishaps, no illnesses, nothing lost or damaged, only good memories and great joy to be able to see these amazing places.  I am so thankful for the privilege of travel, for a husband who wants to go with me and, more importantly, wants to continue living with me after the trip is over!  He’s a trooper!!!

Now we settle back down to life at home, which ain’t half bad either!!!  We are truly blessed by God and thankful beyond measure for health and privilege and safety and all those things we so often take for granted.  When you travel and you return safe and sound, you realize you can’t take your health and safety for granted.

Thank you for waiting for me.  Now that you know where I’ve been and a bit about what I’ve been up to, let’s get back to the business of blogging!!!  See you again next week!!

 

(The three pictures I’m showing you: the tree on the left is a four hundred year old maple from Oregon planted in one of the squares of Trinity College for drainage and shelter from the (rare) sun appearances in Dublin, the top right is a beautiful shot of a creek in Killarney Park where boats are docked, and the bottom right is Ashford Castle as seen from the riverboat cruise on the lake.  All the photos are taken from my iPhone and by me, of course!)

Posted by: ritagone | July 5, 2017

More About New York

On my recent trip to New York City, among other adventures (and there were many), I got to hear Tim Keller preach at one of his Redeemer

 Presbyterian Church campuses on a Sunday morning.  As it turns out, it was his last sermon scheduled into the rotation; from now on, I assume he will be speaking occasionally but doing other ministry instead.  So that compounded the pleasure of hearing him, knowing that it was probably going to be a rarer phenomenon from then on.

What a gifted communicator he is!  And what a privilege to sit there and listen to him expound about God’s Word! There’s still a smile on my face when I think about it.

Another “adventure” was with my second oldest granddaughter, Olivia, on the last night of our time together in the city.  We had tickets to the fascinatingly titled musical “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812,” starring Josh Groban, who was making his Broadway debut.  Now, I’ve been a Josh Groban fan for a long time and have heard him in concert, own several CD’s of his musical history, and particularly love him in the concert version of “Chess,” which is perhaps also my all-time favorite musical theater show.  So I had been looking forward to seeing him – wearing his fat suit and all – in this lavish production based on 70 pages out of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace,” of all things.  As a special treat, I had gotten tickets which placed Olivia and myself on the stage, where the orchestra pit would normally be, in a clever arrangement of seats that made you feel like you were in a nightclub and put you within literal spitting distance of the performers themselves.  (In the picture here, Olivia and I would be sitting in the two seats across from the piano player, facing him.)

In fact, Josh Groban did spit on us while he was singing.

It was an honor.

Performers would pull out stools hidden from sight and sit next to audience members who were at tables and chairs instead of theater seats.  Food was handed out, as were plastic eggs with beads inside for noisemakers, so we were in effect part of the orchestra for one or two songs. (We got to keep the percussion instrument, so that’s sitting on my desk right now as I write this.)  It was the most immersive, interactive theater experience I’ve ever known, and a wonderful evening, a great way to end our time in New York City before flying home the next day.

All in all, New York did not disappoint.  It never does.  Spending time with my granddaughter was also a joy.

Now Michael and I are ready to embark on our next adventure: we’re off to Ireland!!!  One of our favorite countries, we’re landing in Dublin, spending a few days exploring there, taking a train to Killarney, then driving a rental car (on the wrong side of the road, which means Michael drives and I constantly remind that we’re on the wrong side of the road) to Ashford Castle, where we spent a few days a few years ago and realized that we needed – yes, needed! – to go back.  A place of serenity and luxury and beauty unmatched by anything I’ve known in my lifetime, I had to spend a few days there again before I die.  This is a dream and a wish come true.

So my bag is almost packed (carry on, because I hate waiting for luggage at the carousel), my to do lists are almost all checked off, and I’m ready to go.  The dogs know something is up, but they’ll be fine, because May is staying with them, and she takes them for walks, which we don’t.  So when we leave them in her care, I think they prefer her to us and turn their canine noses up at us when we return.  If they could speak, I think they’d say, “You came back!  Why?”

I’ve got replacement blogs for the next two weeks, so watch for those and pray that the technology doesn’t get the better of me, that they drop into place the way they’re supposed to, as I think I’ve set them up to.

And meanwhile, you take care of yourself, dear reader.

I hope your life is an adventure too, wherever you are and whatever you’re up to.

And when I come back in a few weeks, what stories I will have to share with you!!

Posted by: ritagone | June 14, 2017

What’s In a Name?

 

This past week we attended our youngest granddaughter’s graduation ceremony from her 5th grade elementary school in the San Fernando Valley before she moves on to middle school. (Yikes, how did that happen so fast??  But that’s another story!!)  There were four 5th grade classes represented, with lots of singing and skits and awards and plenty of hooting and clapping by friends and family.  In short, everything a 5th grade graduation ceremony should be.

One of the things that struck me was the diversity of her classmates.  Because of the location of the school, white kids are in the minority, and that’s a lovely thing.  Kids who grow up with kids of other races and ethnic backgrounds have many advantages over kids who grow up in a bubble.

 

There were lists of the names of the graduates on the program which was handed out.  One name in particular made me smile:  Hillel McDonald.  Now, there’s no way Hillel McDonald would be reading my blog, but if he were, I would ask his indulgence, because I’m not making fun of him at all.  I’m just smiling at the merging of two such dissimilar sounding cultures: Hillel, which is a Hebrew name found in the Old Testament and referring to one of the greatest sages in the history of Judaism, who died in 10 A.D.  It’s a name you see often in religious Jewish circles even today, a revered name. McDonald is a Scottish clan name, a derivative of the surname MacDonald, meaning “son of Domhnall,” about as Gaelic as you can get, one of the largest of the clans, Clan Donald.

And there they are, in one 11 year old boy: Hillel, a strong Jewish name, and McDonald, an equally vivid Gaelic Irish or Scottish derivative, together in one person. The metaphor, the imagery, struck me profoundly, and I couldn’t help but smile.

In a world that’s torn apart by differences of color, of race, of opinion, of politics, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could just attach two disparate names to something or someone and suddenly bring peace and reconciliation to them and everything around them?

I know, I know, it doesn’t work that way; it’s not that easy.

But for just a moment, I imagine young Hillel growing to be a man who knows what it’s like to bring together two different communities, two distinct groups of people, because the two heritages he was given at birth meant something to him and to his parents, enough that they would give him a name that embraces two cultures, two people groups so different from his one another.

I’m going to keep that image in my head and heart and pray that somehow the Hillel McDonalds around us can use their combined names to mean something to the world in which they are growing up.

 

Posted by: ritagone | June 7, 2017

“I Didn’t Know That!”

 

We’ve been married 47 years, or it will be 47 years on October 3, close enough to call it 47 years, I’d say.

You’d think I’d know everything there was to know about the man.

And yet, when he preached at a wonderful Hollywood church two weeks ago, he mentioned in passing, so briefly that I thought maybe I hadn’t heard right, that he had held various jobs on the periphery of the entertainment industry that I never knew he had held.  He cleaned film?  Really?  How could I not have known that?

Our son posted on Instagram that Michael’s talk revealed some things that he as his son also didn’t know about his dad.  Well, that’s pretty normal, isn’t it?  I think there’s a lot about our parents that we don’t know, mainly because we don’t bother to ask, or we assume

 

that their lives only started when we came along, that before we were born, their lives were blank slates.  Who hasn’t had that attitude about their parents, if we’re being honest.  Their lives were shaped by our existence, for the most part.  We were shocked to find out that anything interesting or substantive went on before we came along.

But for me, as his wife, to not know things about him after knowing him for 48 + years is amazing, impossible, weird.  How can that be?  Haven’t we talked and talked and talked over the years about our stories, both about what was happening to us before we met and what has been going on since we have known one another?  Haven’t we shared and shared the deepest thoughts and recesses of our hearts and minds?  Doesn’t he know everything there is to know about me?

No!

When I stop to think about it – really think – I realize that there’s no way, even sharing for as many years as we have, even trying to keep as few secrets as you can, that one human being can ever truly know another from the time they were born until the present.  Why not?  Because we’re just too complex, there is just too much history, too much has happened, too many conversations and events and stimuli and actions that can just never be shared or told.  If we were really going to reveal or unveil everything about ourselves to someone else, I think it would literally be a full-time endeavor, a constant sharing and talking, and that would wear us down, exhaust us, be both frustrating and ultimately useless.

 

 

Where’s the mystery?  Where’s the allure of being able to find out something new a year from now?  Five years from now?  That would be over and done with.

Besides, different personalities react differently to sharing, don’t they?  I’m pretty much an open book.  My daughter’s the same way.  You don’t even have to ask us; we’ll tell all.  Probably more than you wanted to know.  You might not ask another question the next time we have a conversation, for fear that you’ll get too much information again.  Michael, on the other hand, releases information like gold nuggets.  Like the proverbial pulling of teeth.  He figures you really don’t need to know, don’t want to hear about every minute detail of his life, so why bother?  So it’s truly like dental extraction to find out anything, especially anything that happened more than a few years ago.  It’s the past; why dig it up?  That’s his philosophy, and he’s sticking to it.  Which makes unearthing information really, really difficult, if not impossible.  And so the mystery of the man remains hidden behind a very thick veil.

Why is this human trait so surprising?  On a much grander scale, the realization finally hit Job thousands of years ago that he was kidding himself to think that he knew God as well as he first thought he did.  After losing everything that he held dear, after much action and introspection, after being harangued and beleaguered by his “miserable comforters” and so-called friends, Job gets to the end of the book named after him and says, with great insight and a symbolic shaking of the head that you can almost see as he speaks: “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know…I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.  Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes” (42:3;5-6).

In other words: “God, I didn’t know so much about You that I am ashamed to think of how arrogant my thinking was.”  I thought I knew You when I hadn’t even skimmed the surface of who You are.  And that’s both frightening and awesome and exciting.

I didn’t know a few things about my husband when I heard his talk at the church.

What fun!

It means I still have more to learn about him in the years left to our marriage!!!

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