And (Jesus) said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?
- Luke 9:22-25 (personal edit in parenthesis)
The other day, I read over my notes to look for the next topic to write about. It was like I was drilling a dry hole. There were hundreds of ideas. Nothing was percolating to the surface. Nothing was saying “Write about me!”
My logical brain said, “That’s what you get for getting into a rut. You’d gone from a series on the Ten Commandments, then after a week of other posts, you followed that with two series, one on Jeremiah (odd bits here and there) and C. S. Lewis quotes (between the anniversaries of his death and birth). You had a set rhythm that you were using and everything was set as to what tomorrow might bring. You need to get out of that rut and into another one.”
My spiritual soul told a different story. “God told you to take up your cross daily, not just when you feel like it. Writing a themed series is a good thing, but you need to keep praying, studying and listening daily. You started getting sloppy.”
Oops. Sorry, Lord. I was getting sloppy. I hope my writing wasn’t sloppy, but my focus in my meditation was sloppy. God, was probably talking about what I was to write about next, but I was too busy with other stuff.
Of course, there was some important ‘other stuff’ with which to fiddle my time. My wife and I went on a long trip from Pennsylvania to Texas in October. On the way, we got to celebrate our youngest grandson’s third birthday, the one that has his own coonskin cap. They live in Tennessee now. The wedding in Texas was simple and elegant. My wife’s older brother got married for the first time. We visited with my wife’s extended family. It was nearly Halloween by the time we got home. Three weeks, and I didn’t miss a Monday through Saturday posting.
Along the way, several things happened. Our grandson was accused and then vindicated. That resulted in two posts (Attempted Murder and A Troubled Girl). On the way home, I saw a glowing water tower that I later attributed to my personal burning bush. (Although I drove past without stopping) I wrote about that too (Old Soldiers).
But what God wants me to write about tomorrow? Not a clue.
I wrote about praying, waiting, studying, listening, and praising yesterday.
Guess what I’m doing today. I’m praising God in advance. Tomorrow’s post might not be a candidate for an earthly award, but God will give me something. He always does.
If I am back to my tumbleweed self, bouncing from topic to topic, bear with me. The next series may weigh heavily on my heart for a while until my head finally notices. I figure it this way. If there is someone out there that is searching for something specific, we don’t know what it is, but God does. We might as well listen to Him, take up our cross, and, for me, write about that thing with which God has burdened me. To the common reader, it may look like I am a tumbleweed as the topics change as often as the wind, but I’m writing as God leads. I have no fear, for God will guide me.
Thinking of tumbleweeds, our first major introduction to them was in the high desert of Washington state. We lived in the Horse Heaven Hills, where the Pony Express ponies were released to the wild upon retirement. We had gone grocery shopping. When we got off the Interstate two exits from the grocery store, we immediately came to a stop. The exit ramp was filled with cars. There were no flashing lights. There didn’t seem to be any reason for the stop in traffic. Our frozen foods were melting. About ten minutes later, a road crew came driving past on the shoulder. My window was rolled down and one of the crew yelled, “Not to worry. We’ll have the tumbleweeds cleared in no time, you betcha.” After a five minute wait, we got to see the source of our delay. The wind had pushed one huge tumbleweed into the exit ramp, about three feet in diameter. Then, to keep it there, the wind added 20 or more basketball and medicine ball sized tumbleweeds, wedged all around. It was a small hill of nasty weeds and thorns that could puncture a radiator or tire. My wife had spent the 15 minutes of waiting redoing the menu in her head so that we could immediately tackle the melted frozen foods instead of what she had planned for the evening meal. No harm done. A few laughs. And found memories.
There is one big difference as we carry our cross and as Jesus carried His. Jesus was deserted by His disciples. He had the awful stench of our sins on His back, and His heavenly Father forsook Him for a moment, unable to gaze at so much sin in one place. Yet, when we carry our cross, Jesus walks beside us, our Father in heaven looks down on us with love, and the Holy Spirit guides us.
Tune in this time tomorrow to see what direction the wind of the Holy Spirit was blowing.