We all love saturdays… well, most of us anyway; there seems to be a little bit more freedom in what we do and how we do it. And for some of us, depending on the time of season or the month or whatever, even our Saturdays are pretty much laid out.
This morning, I expected to wake at 5:15am, look out the window and see an accumulation of snow that would permit me the infrequent pleasure of climbing back into the warmth of a comfortable bed. But, surprise surprise, no snow. Well, I still enjoyed the idea of slipping back into the warmth of our bed and so I did… hitting the snooze button more than once. Finally, it was up and out, into the few flurries that drifted down and off to church for our men’s study group. After we met, working our way through a great chapter on the doctrine of Election, I opted to hang around a bit as our Upward Basketball season is in full swing and one of my friends was going to be sharing her testimony during half time. I don’t think she expected it, but in the moment as she spoke to those in the stands, her recalling of God’s choice to take her precious 16 month old son from this life caught in her throat and the emotion rushed in quickly… just as quickly she recovered and shared many wonderful scriptures that pointed us all to the good news of Jesus Christ. I’m glad I had the freedom to enjoy that moment and the Word.
And then it was off again, back home to my awakening family and my daughter’s friends who had spent the night in the family room. First stop (which I had missed earlier) was the coffee pot!.. got the brown gold drip dripping and then to the basement to my desk. I find myself here often… too often, but its my desk and where I work, think, read and write… and its quiet. Usually. The tv the kids use for Wii is just 15 feet away… as is the coal boiler; nonetheless, its still pretty peaceful. As I did some reading, the wafting smells of breakfast captured my attention and I headed upstairs. (my family is NOT an early-rising group 😉 Since noone seemed interested in sitting at the table this morning, I enjoyed a moment or two with my wife in the kitchen and then grabbed my plate and coffee and headed back to my desk. It wasn’t long until I had to bring the kids up to church for the 11am game where Mark and Michael were part of a half-time drama exposing the reality of man’s foolish darkened thinking in the face of Christ. After playing the role of ATM machine I left them where they love to be on Saturdays and headed back home (I really wish church wasn’t 20 minutes away!). More relaxed time with my wife, chit-chatting before she got ready to head for her 1pm game… of course, she found out later that the one game of the season that got scheduled for 12noon… was today ;). Later, we will all meet up for a 3pm and 4pm game and then home for the evening.
Of course, in the meantime, here I sit at my desk, reading, listening, enjoying my favorite blogs. This is why I love unhurried Saturdays. So, as I meander through this saturday, I stop off at a friend’s blog who has this neat feature that plays music from a personally chosen playlist… well, her playlist is actually pretty cool and as I listen I hear a familiar voice from the past… James Taylor. Nostalgia steps in and off I go to YouTube… to find some more JT.
As I begin to listen to the music… it comes to the forefront of my thoughts that this is good music… the lyrics are good artistry… the created is blessed to create, but do they see it? I listen and my enjoyment of good music turns to a sense of sadness… do these artists not understand where their gift is from? My Bible tells me “For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” God doesn’t just keep His good gifts for His children… He displays his goodness and creativity all over the place. Go to a museum, an art exhibit, a symphony, a soccer game… God’s creativity is on display! But does the created see the wonder of the Creator?
One YouTube clip that caught my attention was one below I posted below (but you’ll need to go to YouTube to enjoy it). Here James Taylor and the Dixie Chicks join together to sing a JT song. Mind you… the Dixie Chicks were a favorite sound to me until they started doing more than singing. Their views on life and politics give me heartburn ;)… and I can’t abide them anymore. BUT… God gave them great voices and talent. God gave James Taylor good things. But do they see? Will they see that they are not the author but rather the recipient of God’s goodness. And having seen that, will they worship and follow or will they walk away?
This thought took me back to this morning as we discussed the doctrine of Election. In the gospel according to John, in chapter 6 he records some words of Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
And as Jesus continues to speak and teach, the response recorded by John in ch6 v66 is this… “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.”
How sad, how tragic… that there are those who having seen and experienced the grace and goodness of God, choose to ignore Him… to disbelieve. Those who have experienced the wonder and creativity of God… the miraculous power of God… the blessing of God… will turn to themselves once again and walk away from the One True God.
If you choose to play this YouTube video… consider and appreciate the goodness of God as Creator and look with care and appreciation… gratefulness.. at the wonder and glory of God demonstrated to you.