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Our days are just packed

by davesandel on February 28th, 2021

Sunday, February 28, 2021                 (today’s lectionary)

Our days are just packed

Melissa and I rode up and down the hills just behind our apartment, getting tacos for the family. In the car on the way to Torchy’s, just across the invisible Austin border called the “balcones (balcony)” of Texas Hill Country, she asked me what I was thinking about this new season in our lives. What do you think you’ve gained? What do you think you’ve lost? What is new, and what do you miss?

Coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus swore Peter, James and John to secrecy. “Don’t tell a soul what you saw, until after the Son of Man rises from the dead. Then you are free to talk.” And the three men puzzled over that, wondering. What on earth does he mean by “rising from the dead?” They had no idea.

Although my body and mind don’t feel it, I know we are in our 72nd year. Time flies. We either rise up out of our same-o, same-o seats now, or we never do. So we did, and now we gaze over the Hill Country at nearly endless vistas that stretch toward the wild, wild west. The scenery has changed, and the change is good.

I miss the security of having our own Illinois umbrella of essential services. Mark, and Frank, and Steve, Brent and Ron and Lyndall, Dr. Deem and Sherri don’t do house calls in Texas. I miss friends now that I didn’t spend enough time with then. I miss our chickens and I miss the flocks of sparrows that compete with squadrons of squirrels for the sunflower seed I put out every day.

But I DON’T miss them too. I don’t miss the work and the utterly predictable pell-mell running of our chickens to greet me and eat me whenever I walked outside. And I notice that people here in Texas are friendly and often hungry for spiritual companionship. I’m glad to have emotional space in my own busy-ness to be a better listener. In our New World, this space is easier to come by.

As far as seasons go, Illinois represents winter for me now, and Texas symbolizes spring. I am waiting for the bluebonnets, and it won’t be long now. But winter in Illinois is not about death, it’s always been about rest, recovery and then anticipation. Both here and there I look forward from the night into the dawn. Sunrise is stunning everywhere.

I think it’s easier, here, to fold my hands, half close my eyes and breathe, to set my Insight Timer for twenty minutes and be still. We don’t have a TV, and I read lots more. We have lunch outside often with Miles and Jasper, and we bought a new patio table this week for just that purpose. We take naps with them, and play all kinds of games with them, and watch them grow.

God put Abraham to the test. “Take your only son Isaac, whom you love, and offer him up as a holocaust where I will show you.” Abraham built an altar, arranged the wood and reached out to slaughter his son. But the angels called to him, “Do not lay your hand on the boy! Because you obeyed my command, I will bless you and your countless descendants, and all the nations of the earth.

We picked up all kinds of tacos at Torchy’s: Low Riders, Trashy Trailer Parks, Democrats and Republicans. Our day was just packed, and Margaret and I ended it playing Cranium with Jack and Aly while our own kids and spouses took off for a BBQ and ice cream date at the Domain. It was 68 degrees last night, and they sat outside under the dark sky.

On the way home Margaret said, “We have great kids and great grandkids. I’m so happy so many of us can be together.” Simple truthful words that quiet my soul. This is a good season. We look forward to tomorrow.

Brothers and sisters, if God is for us, who can be against us? It is God who acquits us, then who will condemn? Jesus himself intercedes for us. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

(Genesis 22, Psalm 116, Romans 8, Matthew 17, Mark 9)

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