Sunday, May 29, 2005

Time to Consider - Sunday Morning Thoughts From Oswald Chambers

Matthew 6:20-29 (New Living Translation)

20 “Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. 21Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.
22"Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. 23But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. If the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness will be!
24"No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
25"So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life--whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? 26Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. 27Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.
28"And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, 29yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.”

Yesterday Nancy and I spent some time working outside. For me, it was merely labor. For her it was a labor of love. I was doing some concrete work on a section of buckled sidewalk with a friend. A few hours of doing that sort of thing makes a fella’ really appreciate retirement and leisure.

Nancy worked in the garden, watering a whitebud tree we’d planted on Monday. It was looking rather pitiful yesterday morning, with its large, heart-shaped leaves drooping. I’m looking at it outside my window this morning and it has the appearance of being very grateful for the care she gave it. I think it will make it. I’m also noticing that our coreopsis are now blooming. They’re absolutely grand. And, some of our lilies along the south side of the house are also in bloom.

Nancy’s also guarding a baby bluejay who had fallen out of its nest a few days ago. She’s making sure that Maizey, the calico cat who has adopted our front porch swing for a home, steers clear of this crisis. What this all means for Maizey is pampering. About every hour or so, either Nancy or I dutifully brings more food out to her, hoping that in doing so it will keep Maizey behaving the “better angels of her nature.” Since the fall, all the birds who frequent our back yard have been protecting the wayward child with incredible vigor, squawking at and dive bombing any perceived enemy. The cacophony of sound speaks to a very unlikely back-yard alliance, a mother blue jay, a wren, two or three redbirds. Even the starlings have taken up the little one’s cause. They, along with Nancy, are giving the chick every chance to make it. Given that, I think the little one will advance into adulthood.

Right now, there’s a wonderful stillness emanating from outside my window. The flowers are in bloom. The little one has made it to a fairly high branch in our ash tree. It appears that his tail feathers are much more developed than they were yesterday. Its mother, the wren, the redbirds, and the starlings are all very quiet. I take it as a good sign, that the fell good about the state of our back yard affairs. Pretty soon now and he’ll be able to navigate with a full rudder, then take wing, all thanks to Nancy and some feathered allies.

I see all of this and realize that it’s a wonderful time of the year, a time, for me at least, to reflect on the goodness of life

Holy Writ recommends that we take time to “consider,” to reflect upon the natural world and draw lessons for our lives. In doing so, we are told, we will see that much of what we “toil and spin” for is quite illusory, and cannot compare with the life lived in the gentle grasp of God’s grace.

Oswald Chambers, in his “Devotions for Morning and Evening,” put it this way:

“Consider the lilies. (Matthew 6:28)”

“When Jesus said “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow,” He was referring to the new life in us. If we make His words apply to the natural life only, we make Him appear foolish. If we are born of God and are obeying Him, the unconscious life is forming in us just where we are. God knows exactly the kind of garden to put His lilies in, and they grow and take form unconsciously. What is it that deforms natural beauty? Overmuch cultivation; and overmuch denominational teaching will deform beauty in the spiritual world.”

“The new life must go on and take form unconsciously. God is looking after it; He knows exactly the kind of nourishment as well as the kind of disintegration that is necessary. Be careful that you do not bury the new life, or put it into circumstances where it cannot grow. A lily can only grow in the surroundings that suit it, and in the same way God engineers the circumstances that are best fitted for the development of the life of His Son in us.”

I’m reflecting on these things, especially the beauty of the grace I’ve been given. I hope you are too. Have a great Sunday!

1 comment:

Pikkel Weezel said...

Holy crap man,,, I just can't believe you named your blog 'another man's meat', do you have any idea how gay that sounds?