Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sandwich families

Mondays at noon you’ll find me parked at Subway for lunch. It probably seems boring to a lot of people, but I find it reassuring. Why change when you’ve got a good thing--real food and good relationships? (Our sandwiches are started when we walk through the door, before we get to the counter.) Today another couple had their very audible, animated preschooler with them. Been there, done that four times and scrapbooked the pictures, but I miss those busy days of our young family. I’m thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had in life, but I believe my most significant contribution has been my kids. I don’t know what has eluded me, but I do know what a marvelous experience I’ve enjoyed. Lots of people legitimately bemoan the painful dysfunctionality of their families, but I revel in the close connections of our tribe. I know we love each other. We’re committed to each other without reserve. We relish the moments we carve out to be together from the four states which now separate us. When I was a very young child visiting my grandmother’s home far away, she kept special towels in the bathroom artfully embroidered with the words "For Our Special Guests."  When she diverted my wet hands to an older towel, as I washed up for lunch, I complained. “Aren’t I a special guest?” In our home we’re pricelessly valued by one another, but never guests. We’re family. It’s never boring. That’s a good thing.

"If you respect the Lord, you and your children have a strong fortress and a life-giving fountain..."
The Contemporary English Version : With Apocrypha. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.) (Pr 14:26-27). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Peace and security

Life is a moment by moment gift that completely depends on the Giver. Recent threats to our economic prosperity are but the latest concern on a trail that reaches all the way back to the exodus from Eden. Growing up in the 50s I remember many sermons warning about the threat of world domination by communism. I thought then that I might not live to see my 50th year. I am sorry to say I have spent too many days since then being anxious about my well being. I'm not doing that so much lately. Whether it's because of age, or health concerns, or resignation--even while politics polarize and my retirement funds plunge with the Dow--I'm enjoying more peace. I pray it's because of growth spiritually. I've been trying to memorize and meditate on Romans 8. Just the other day I read about the martyrdom of the apostle Paul. There is a tradition that says when he was condemned to death by the Roman Emperor someone cried out, "There will come a time when Christians will name their sons Paul and their dogs Nero!" I don't have a dog, but that's a good name for one. It's always too early to worry and it's never too late to trust God.

, you will give perfect peace
to anyone who commits himself to be faithful to you."
New International Reader's Version. 1998 (1st ed.) (Is 26:3). Zondervan.