My Mom died about a year and a half ago, today was her birthday. I have quite a few letters from her from over the years, and so I looked through some of them just now, and thought I would pass along a couple of her thoughts to me. In this case, they are from 1995:
I believe that as you make plans, God is directing your steps. He delights in our coming to Him and asking for His help and guidance. In fact God says in Job 36:13 that the godless do not cry for help. The same thought is in Hosea 7:7 “none of them calls on Me.” It pleases the Lord when we call upon Him, & it brings peace to us…
What an exciting God we serve! Do wish I had known Him as a young person and dedicated my life to Him then. I am thankful that He brought me to Himself when He did, and did not leave me in darkness…if we could catch a glimpse of eternity how excited we would be to be all the Lord wants us to be, and not be focused on our little world in this “time” and space.
I try to like summer, but it is difficult to do it. It is only June 2nd and the grass is already burning up and dying. My allergies are going insane whenever I walk outside due to grass. My eyes burn and I have to pop a pill. The air conditioner runs most of the day and the only relief seems to be when a tornado-carrying storm sweeps through. My lawnmowers don’t work so I cut the entire yard with a weed eater that sends grass into every pore of my body.
I went to the pool and it was full of America at its worst. Loud music over the PA system because we have to have a soundtrack wherever we go. Women wearing absurd swimsuits that they have no business donning. Loud talkers trying to be noticed so that they can enter into a conversation with you. Young girls lip synching to the loud songs that they should not be listening to in the first place, but in our dark age, parents don’t care. Insanely hot concrete underfoot and the only relief is to (a) get in the pool full of screaming kids or (b) get under an umbrella, but they are all taken by the loud talkers.
The only good way to experience the summer in my opinion is at night or on the oceanfront. I do not have the means to do either of those things, so I suffer through it.
For my Scripture reading last year I read Deuteronomy over and over. This year I am attempting to dig into the Wisdom books. I have been reminded that the road to Christian maturity is one of meditation on God’s Word, a constant approach and re-approach to the same texts, seeing them through the lens of Jesus and His Church.
I don’t have the discipline right now to follow a lectionary style of reading every day and I don’t want to launch out on another read the entire Bible project. So in these overly busy years I want to try and focus in on something that I can benefit from by repetition. I also want to feel some freedom about where I read, because I tend to feel very rigid about starting in one place and proceeding on until the end, not hopping around. I am trying to break away from the feeling that I should constantly be reading the lectionary or doing Genesis to Revelation on a cycle.
Part of the problem with my Scripture reading is that I find myself addicted to reading news and social media throughout the day every day. I need to drive a stake through those habits so that I can spend more time reading quality material and less on passing fancies. Lent might be a good time to try and change those habits.
I had one of those experiences in reading the Scripture today where a verse jumps out as if you had never read it before. I was in Psalm 35 and David says:
I prayed with head bowed on my bosom, as though I grieved for my friend or my brother;
I went about as one who laments his mother, bowed down and in mourning.
Since I lost my mother about six months ago, this acknowledgement of the grief involved in mourning a mother struck me. David knew the feeling, as we all will eventually if we outlive our parents.
When I think about peak oil, the bankruptcy of Medicare and Social Security and the trend of this country I think that I will be like a pensioner in Russia following the Soviet collapse. All trends point towards implosion right around the time I want to retire: the 2040’s. So my future may involve collecting a meager check from the collapsed state in a future post-collapse America.