Not to draw any real comparison with a concentration camp as that would be...well, terrible and foolish at best, but the"WORK MAKES FREE"
on the gate is pretty close. It seems the words are branded on my psyche, because though I've left and headed in the other direction, I see them in front of my vision always...I still catalogue my day by all the things accomplished. Even things that don't matter one whit. However.... if you sat me down and asked me, I would say that accomplishing STUFF isn't important. People are important. Family is important. Watching the stars come out of a midnight-blue sky is important (if not essential), right up there with rose-smelling and baking cookies for the fun of it.
So where is the disconnect? What's my problem? Honestly -- when I figure it out I'll tell. What I DO know is that even though lots of life things, busy things, have come up to take my time away, I feel so much different.
Not so panicked, not wishing everyone would go far away and leave me alone, not like the funky card I saw the other day on the card rack with the silver glitter writing and pink heart on a blue background that boldly swirled, "I hate everyone but YOU" ...but that's funny you have to admit...
Writing is great. I think of ideas all the time and never get them down. How very inefficient of me!!One idea is writing devotions, based on scripture I've been reading. As a high school teacher responsible to do devotions and pray with students every morning I found that there is not much out there. A virtual desert. Too many feel-good, one-verse-taken-out-of-context, moralizing devotions and not much that really helps a person meet with God, which is kinda the POINT. So, on the advice of someone I have respect for, I'm going to post the devotions for people to read and comment on, and if any readers (which I am quite aware at this point there really aren't any, ha ha, better work on that) have ideas or criticisms, witticisms, comments, and so on, then that could be very helpful. And so. I will now attach one.
What is the last thing you would do before going away on a long trip? Perhaps you’ve been on a missions trip, or traveled far from home, or been a camp counsellor for the summer. Or maybe you’re dying to take a trip away from home and you can imagine it in your mind’s eye… What would you say or do just before leaving? Not a quick “Bye, Mom!” as you rush out the door for school; rather, a hug, an “I love you and I’m gonna miss you like crazy, and please don’t forget to feed my fish, and PLEASE don’t let my little sister play in my room! And I promise I’ll let you know as soon as I arrive, yes, and I love you mom, you’re the best mom in the world and don’t you forget it”. Okay, perhaps I’m fantasizing a little as a mom here, but you get it. Luke writes about Jesus being taken up to Heaven, leaving earth for a good long while.
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.”
The last thing Jesus did before leaving was give the disciples important instructions THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT! Did you catch that? The Holy Spirit was going to be with them! He was the new instruction giver. Just a little while before, while they were sitting around a table eating, Jesus had given them a last command, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.” What is this essential command about? Yep, the Holy Spirit. He is the promised gift. And what better gift could there be? A bit like if your dad was going away on a month long business trip, and as he’s leaving he hands you a portable screen and says, “Here, look at this. I will have a camera on me the whole time, linked to this screen. If you want to know what I am doing or what I’m thinking at any time, just look at this screen and I will be there, in real time, and we can talk.” Well!! It would almost be like he was still there with you!
Just before Jesus was taken up into the air in front of them, those bewildered and blinking disciples, he said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you”. So don’t worry, don’t panic, God is still here. God the Holy Spirit is with you, you are not alone. Over and over Jesus reminds them. He could tell what they were thinking. He knew their hearts as he knows your heart today.
Are you feeling overwhelmed and alone? The Holy Spirit is with you. Do you not know what to do next? The Holy Spirit will instruct you. Are you feeling weak in your faith? You will receive power from the Holy Spirit. This was a significant moment for the disciples, seeing their beloved Saviour and friend leave. What did He say as He left them? The Holy Spirit is coming. He is with you. Just as he is with his disciples today. Here and now, today, listen to the Spirit. Get your instructions from Him. Know the power of his presence to give you the boldness to do all he is asking you to do.
Pray. Come Holy Spirit, God with us, lead and guide us in this hour and this day. May we not feel alone or discouraged, but know that You are with us and You are all we need. Let your presence fill us and empower us with strength and courage to go on, to do the will of God and live for Him, until the day Jesus comes again. Amen