I just rolled back into my place after a great weekend and after hours in the car on the way back to work. I had several hours in the car to think, and thus what follows is an assortment of observations, pictures, snippets, anecdotes, commentaries, curiousities, and maybe even some ruminations.
As background, this was the first time I’d slept in my own bed two consecutive nights in quite some time. I relearned the preciousness of lying upon one’s own sheets with his bride and waking up where the sun rises over the ridge I view from the bedroom window.
The weather was clear and sunny at home and the morning sun burst golden and brilliant over the ridge and washed the bedroom and back porch with gold. When the rays came through the oak leaves and tall pines, shadows played upon the ground with the wind, and if you paid attention, you might think God was speaking through his creation.
We took our son to Six Flags and rode the Great American Scream Machine, Goliath, Superman, Blue Hawk, Twisted Cyclone, and more. I paid way too much money for bottled water and a plastic bottle that can be used to get ‘free’ refills. O my! Of course. I have to laugh. I mean, I get it; it’s business. But good gracious, Six Flags. Upwards of $35 for a water bottle? Okay, enough of that. Hey, but my bottle of Dasani was just below $5.00. What a bargain, right?
Saturday before amusement park time, I was able to do enjoy perhaps my favorite relaxing time of labor, or what I was raised to call “piddlin’.” I piddled in the yard. I went across the property with my weedeater and tidied things up a bit, landscape-wise. I picked up limbs. I blew off the driveway and front walkway. I burned some debris from the woods. I played with the dogs. I watched the deer and birds that feed in the woods at our place.
We enjoyed some fajitas from one of our favorite Mexican eateries down the road. We people-watched at an outlet mall. I worked on my Sunday school lesson from Hebrews. We took in some time at the pool and met some more neighbors who were enjoying the long Memorial Day weekend.
We chatted with a neighbor who’d taken her girls to pick strawberries earlier in the day. She gave my wife and me a plastic bag of them to take, saying, “Please take them. We have so many, and they’re delicious.” So I accepted them, and my wife and I immediately ate one each, and tasted the sweetness as we bit into the deep red strawberries picked today.
The sun was perfect today for being at the pool. Families brought coolers out. Men, women, boys, and girls of all ages took to the water, some with floats or goggles. Others clung near the edges of the pool, their fingers making water stains on the concrete the sun dried moments later.
Lifeguards held whistles between their lips and every thirty minutes or so would say, “Adult swim.” And the kiddos would climb out and some older folks would enter the pool and swim a few laps or sometimes clutch a foam noodle and mill about.
When we came back home, I saw deer in the backyard and took some pictures with my iPhone from the upper deck. Finally, when my wife came back from walking the dogs, the deer wandered into the thicker brush until the dogs went inside.
I drove down this afternoon and thought about how excited I am for next Sunday. Our Sunday school class is doing breakfast and my wife has already told me what we are bringing. And one of our members, currently off at seminary in VA, will be home, too, and we’ll get to see him again and love on him and hear how he is doing in his studies.
And a precious brother in the Lord sent me some pictures of the birds he so enjoys.
And I was reading tonight, when I arrived down here, this line from the Psalter and it seemed to encapsulate what I am driving towards: ” . . . for all things are your servants” (Psalm 119:91b). The first part of that verse says of God, “By your appointment they [all created things] stand this day” (Psalm 119:91a).
There is so much theology therein, folks. That word—appointment—is huge. Purposefulness, intentionality, governance. All things are servants under the sovereignty of God.
For the secularist, he has nowhere to go. Why pray if you’re a secularist? There’s no one to whom to pray. There’s no objective reason to hope. There’s just the void. And you’re part of the void–no rhyme or reason. Boy, what a philosophy. “Nowhere man in his nowhere land and making all his nowhere plans for nobody.”
But the truth is that all things are God’s servants and that they are appointed. Because that is true, prayer makes perfect sense. And there is reason to hope. Because the heavens are not matter in motion with no conductor. On the contrary, all the heavens declare the glory of God. And God has entered his creation in time and space. Light has come into the world.
When I watched the sun pour through my bedroom window, and I reflected on the birds, and I watched the deer feed from the forest, and I watched my dogs play in the yard, and when I tasted the sweetness of the strawberries, it all cohered; it made sense because all things are God’s servants, just like the Psalm says.
So if you’ve a chance to unplug and just look around and taste and see that the Lord is good, creation calls to you. Why? Because it’s not haphazard or random or accidental. But it serves its master so that men and women would look to the God of redemption who does all things well.