It is a well known fact that I have abysmal directional skills. Every time I go somewhere that isn’t routine for me, I give thanks to God for inspiring someone and giving them the smarts to design the GPS system. How bad is it? I once got lost going back to my old high school…. A month or so after I graduated…. It’s only 2 turns.
Comparable to that is my understanding of time. Amy learned long ago never to ask me “when did that happen?” No matter what, my answer will be completely off. If it was 2 days ago, I will say it was at least a week ago. If it was a month ago, I might say it was a year ago. Facebook’s ability to show me my memories completely astounds me, because I will go “Really that was only a year ago?” I did that today when it came up that this was the one year anniversary of us pondering buying the board game Pandemic, a game we have played around…. A billion times (I slightly exaggerate) and have bought one of the expansions for and played that a billion times too. It was only a year ago, but also, alongside Ticket to Ride, came to better our relationship through having things to do together besides state at a TV screen and is one of the things people come to define me as, since friends will tend to ask what games to try or if I have played a particular game, and now on the blog boarddevotions.wordpress.com I know even discuss my views on various games….
Each week I wonder to myself “Where has the week gone? How is it Sunday again already?” and each night I ask “where did the day go? How am I putting Abby to bed already?” Even though time seems to fly away, I still give thanks for the time that I do have. Each moment is so precious, especially with as limited as it ultimately is. It can be so easy to let moments slip away, staring at our phones or fretting about the future or carrying a torch for the past. So take each moment, embrace it, take notice of all around you and enjoy it all.
1st Reading – Ezekiel 32:1-10 – Pharaoh, you consider yourself a mighty lion, but you are not. And now for 7 verses I will tell you all the horrible things I will do to you, in graphic form, and to your people. The other kings are going to be terrified when I crush you.
Well, isn’t that just a happy fun time for everyone… Going to be ripped apart by wild animals, have your blood fill the land and water, cause darkness over your people, and more. Oh happy days are here again. And this isn’t even the end of the prophecy against Egypt, it is the entire chapter, all 32 verses.
And why is all this going to happen? Because Egypt/the Pharaoh considers itself so powerful and mighty and greater than God, and the people of Israel have been going to Egypt for protection instead of God. Pharaoh has set himself up as a god, and God is going to show where true power lies. True power is, and always has been, God’s. Nothing can possibly compare. Our egos get in the way of that though. In many ways, we deem ourselves gods of our own lives, the kings of our own castles, where it is our wants and desire that need to be met, and not God’s. In that way we are guilty of some of the same sins as Pharaoh. Luckily for us we have Christ who forgives us, but that does not mean that we shouldn’t be aware of our failings, repent for them, and turn ourselves around to truly follow Christ in every moment of our lives.
2nd Reading – Luke 9:37-43a – After the Transfiguration, Jesus is met by a man and his son, who is constantly possessed by demons. The disciples have been unable to cure the boy, Jesus berates the generation then cures the boy. All are astounded.
Right before this, at the Transfiguration, Peter has asked if they could build three dwellings on the mountain for Jesus, Elijah, and Moses, and they could just stay there. Jesus refuses and they come back down the mountain, and Jesus promptly begins to question whether living on the mountain may have been a better idea. Ok, maybe not better, but definitely easier. But the reality is that God wants us to have these mountaintop experiences where God is made so clear to us, but at the same time we are always called out into this world, no matter how dirty and frustrating it may be. It is in the world that ministry is done, that people are healed, lives restored, and hope and peace are brought. If Jesus had not come off the mountain, the boy would have continued to suffer, there would have been no death on the cross and we would still be bearing our sins on our own. But Christ did come down and serve and suffer so that others may live. Christ is always found serving, as we are meant to always be found serving, giving light and hope to a people who are lost in the darkness with seemingly nowhere to turn. We come off the mountain, we refuse to keep to ourselves and let those who suffer do so alone. We go into the world, meeting everything head on, in love and sacrifice and hope.
3rd Reading – Psalm 64 – Lord, my enemies lie in secret and try to set traps for me and shoot me with arrows. But God will bring them to ruin and I will be vindicated!
One of the bigger problems that the psalmist addresses is that these enemies keep trying to do everything in secret to destroy the psalmist. Instead of coming to the psalmist and trying to work things out, they just try to destroy from the shadows. Here’s a hint – If you are speaking poorly about someone in secret, trying to poisons others against them or plotting against them, you are the one in the wrong. Go and speak to the person, work your problems out. Nothing is gained by such subterfuge. Instead let there be light and hope.
Lord, you given us days and nights, weeks, months, and years. Help us to treasure every moment, help us to show love to all and to give and receive forgiveness. Keep us humble and in service to you, that you may be glorified every day. Amen.