Monday, September 30, 2019

Get Out of the Car

(Lake Dillon)

Get out of the car.

While driving through the mountains this weekend, having the most fabulous time ever, we saw scenery that took our breath away. I took lots of pictures as we hiked, and as we drove along the highways. We soaked in a hot tub to relieve our weary legs from the over-the-top hike. Hiking isn’t for the elderly unless you keep in shape! We had a wonderful time and I don’t regret a minute of it. (We’ll just have to work on the staying in shape bit a little more seriously.)

On our way back home we took a shorter, less scenic route, but enjoyed plenty of breathtaking views. While driving, I played around with technology and became frustrated. Even in the midst of such phenomenal beauty, I let myself get caught up in the pull of the world. 

(On the hike up to Lily Pad Pond in Silverthorne.)
I reminded myself repeatedly, “We’re having a great time. Calm down. Step away from the technology.” 

I was going to waste my day of relaxation and our quality time together getting mad at my phone.

What was really whispering through my head, there in the background, where I had to really listen for it, was, “Get out of the car.”

Once the whisper was loud enough, I said it out loud. Dave raised an eyebrow, but I said it again. “We need to get out of the car.”

We were coming upon a small lake to the south of the road, so we stopped. Needless to say, it was beautiful. The weather was perfect, like it had been all weekend. It got so warm I was glad I was wearing a sleeveless top. Yet, standing on a small bridge, the winds whipped down through a pass to blow my hair and caused us to snuggle into our jackets.

(I took this picture from the breezy bridge.)

A train whistle sounded nearby. That made both of us smile. The sound of a train brings back childhood memories. Within minutes of getting out of the car to walk around the lake, the frustrations I let my cell phone burrow into my soul were completely gone. 

The next time you’re feeling anxious or even angry – get out of the car!

Whether that’s literal or not, break the process. Your mind and your body want to let it go, help it out. Get out of the car. Put down the frustration. Leave the room. Count to ten? Well, maybe it’ll take a breath of fresh air, too. If you can, step outside. Count to ten out there. Breathe deeply. Feel the anxiety subside…

(Sitting next to the lake in Georgetown.)
And if you know your Creator, whisper to Him with your thanks and praise. If you don’t, talk to me.

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

“…Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31 (NIV)

Friday, September 13, 2019

Marvel - ous!

There’s a story in the Bible that always catches my attention, one that sends my brain into a tizzy of ponderings.

When you’re in the presence of someone you perceive to have greatness, there’s a secret longing in your heart to capture their attention, if only for a moment.

While at a Reba McIntire concert a few years back, my youngest son screamed out to her from the crowd at the foot of the stage, “I love you Reba!” To his great pleasure, she looked right at him, pointed and said, “I love you, too, darlin’!” For an instant, he had Reba McIntire’s attention. He’ll cherish the memory forever. Reba? Maybe not. She just doesn’t know the greatness of my son!

The Bible story (here) is one that most of us will quickly recall. Jesus was talking with a crowd of people when an unnamed Centurion approached Him, asking for healing for his servant. Jesus made Himself immediately available and said that He’d come heal the servant. The Centurion stopped the whole incident in an instant when he stated simply that he wasn’t worthy of the Master’s presence in His home, but that because of Jesus’s authority, His Word would be enough to heal the servant. 

What happened next? 
What was the reaction on Jesus’s face? 
Where did the conversation go after such a statement?

We don’t get to see the faces in the crowd, or of the disciples, but we can conjure up imagery of what splashed across the face of Jesus. The Bible tells us that He marveled.

Ponder that.

Jesus marveled. 

Jesus marveled over the faith of a believer. Other versions of the Bible say that Jesus was amazed, or that He was astonished, or taken aback; surprised.

We don’t have any record of this Centurion ever interacting with Jesus again. 

The story is brief, but always commands my attention, every single time I read it. How could I make Jesus marvel? What about my faith would cause amazement to rise up on His face?

What was it about this Centurion’s faith that allowed him to take Jesus at His Word?

We don’t read that he sat at the feet of Jesus, listening intently to every teaching He shared. We don’t have any other account of how this guy chose to believe on Jesus, but he clearly demonstrates faith like few of us have, or have even seen.

If we could grasp ahold of this, and simply believe, like the Centurion, we might just cause Jesus to marvel. And we’ll definitely see what we ask for come to pass, because this is the kind of faith Jesus is looking for. 

Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being sure of what we do not see. - Hebrews 11:1 (NIRV)

Who believes like this?