While the Storm Rages

“Concerning this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.


…And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

“Never regret anything that has happened in your life. It cannot be changed, undone, or forgotten. Take it as a lesson learned, and move on.”

The straw that throws a glitch in my mind doesn’t need to be a huge mountain of a problem it can be just something unexpected. No matter what a day may bring when we have those moments time moves forward and so must we.

Twenty-five years ago the guys liked to watch a science-fiction show. It may have been Star Trek or some such show. Nevertheless, the story got to the pivotal point and the crew were all standing in shock and horror saying, “Oh, no, what will we do now.” I always knew it was coming, and after that discovery, I found it lost its charm for me.

Not so with Louis L’Amour. Even when I would goad my boys with “You know the storyline. The main character rides into town, shoots twenty bad guys, rescues the town from the local big bully, and rides out with the girl.” And we would laugh but we continued reading his books. At least the names of the characters and of the towns changed.

Why does it seem as if life is more about the struggle than the victory? Stories spend two-thirds of their production building toward the crisis. Once the climax is reached the story has a quick resolution and it’s over.

Why doesn’t the story spend more time sitting on the porch? The porch could be interesting—Quite a few years ago I was teaching my children writing. One of the first lessons in writing is you need to begin with action. In order to emphasize this fact I began a story with no action. At least I tried.

“It was a hot summer’s day on Priney’s Mountain. It was so hot even Rufus, the golden retriever, just lay in the corner too overcome with heat to even pant. Jack Scott, the president of the Priney Mountain Exclusive Boys Club called the group to order and read off the roster of all seven members, including Rufus who barely whined when his name was called. It was just too hot…”

The problem was as a writer I couldn’t not put in action. The members of the club decided to steal one of “Old Grandpa MacDonald’s watermelons and of course, it went awry. Old man MacDonald was sitting on the porch, waiting for the miscreants. When they appeared he fired a load of rock salt as the scoundrels made off with a prize watermelon. The seven shysters crossed the creek with Fatty McBride bringing up the rear. All the activity raised the ire of Treacle, the notorious old snapping turtle, who caught Fatty by the back pocket, and took a ride hanging on the backside of Fatty’s britches…

So much for sitting on the porch. Even Grandpa MacDonald got in the action. And as a Christian writer, there has to be a moral learned and glory given to God… but I never finished that story and life is sometimes like that as well.

Life is not a straight line. On the headstone in the cemetery, there is a dash between the dates, but that isn’t the way it works in reality. Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. If a person practices wrong they will not come out perfect. And perhaps that’s why our line in life is so wavy.

Our communities and families are only as good as the principles of morality that the members live. We read about churches losing members. This isn’t good. It signifies a moral decay in our society.

Through the ages church attendance has waxed and waned. The society in which I was raised had enough religious training left that most people still believed in “following the ten commandments.” As children we were taught to be good and do good, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” and many other of Jesus’ teachings.

Years ago one of our children told of an offhand comment he made to some young people he had just met about his “Needing the patience of Job.” Since he came from a Bible background he didn’t realize not everyone would understand the reference, but they didn’t and that was twenty-five years ago. Since then the number of people who understand Biblical phrases has diminished. Future generations will fall much shorter at this rate. If current church attendance and worshipping God is any indication that is.

The winds are blowing both ways. Even those who aren’t strong in the Christian faith don’t like where countries—not just America—are going. However, much of the problem is people want to be secular moral. The term secular means “without God” and what those people miss is that without God there is no foundation for principled morality.

Two years ago my Adorable cousin’s husband forbade her to go to a school board meeting. One must remember we live in a sleepy, small-town, Midwest community. Adorable and I are well past sixty years old. Why would her hubby be adamantly against such a harmless activity?

That was the year the FBI was harassing people at school board meetings. Even old women who on occasion made public comments were targeted. And of all things it is in our family a major trait to speak up and speak out… A trait that Adorable and I share. We are not the only family members known for not always going along with the crowd.

And apparently, her hubby—who served with distinction in Viet Nam didn’t want the FBI breaking down their door in an early morning raid.

Yet, we must not lose sight of several things. The two most important points are, every century, every decade, indeed, every year has its storm. There will always be enough challenges for everyone to go around. I would like to believe it helps weed out the tares from the wheat, but it doesn’t. Being sincere is important, but like perfect practice not only should we be sincere we need to be right. It isn’t only worshipping God in Spirit, but also in Truth.

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)

And, again, as the saying goes, “We may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.”

“And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God.” (Exodus 29:45-46)