Last week I wrote my newsletter article from home. Our entire family was tested last Monday, and gratefully everyone tested negative for the virus. When the results came in on Wednesday, there was a collective sigh of relief and hugs all around. Honestly, the whole episode was a severe shock to our sensibilities.
Leigh Ann Guest went above and beyond, helping us navigate the complexities of preparing to address the testing. She called with our test results, answered all of our questions, and told us when we could break out. Penny and I were allowed out of isolation on Saturday, and grocery shopping never felt so good.
Let me tell you that a week at home, trying to work virtually and give close instruction to two active kiddos, is very overrated. When I dropped Penny and Samantha off this morning, I groveled appropriately at the feet of both of Sam’s classroom teachers. My hat’s off to all educators that show up day in and day out to instruct our children. Neither of my kids is suited to a virtual classroom, and Donovan has the grades to prove it.
Penny and I found ourselves needing frequent breaks as we worked hard to make sure that all the work was completed and assignments accounted for. One teacher even delivered some classwork, which in my book that is going above and beyond. The headmaster frequently called to check on us. Donovan returns to the classroom tomorrow, just in time, to get ready for nine-weeks testing. May the force be with you, son.
Our family checked in several times, and so did our church family. I have a deep appreciation for Nina and her ability to keep the train on the rails, especially when it is on the verge of becoming a runaway train. Bill Heidelberger graciously agreed to preach an additional Sunday when I made the request on Tuesday. Great job, Bill!
Thursday morning coffee on the patio turned into quite a fiasco. When I went inside to refill my coffee, I promised the puppies a dog treat. When I started down the steps, my girl dog darted under my feet, causing a crazy chain of events. I overbalanced, careened off the steps, eventually piling up near the AC unit. Not before almost impaling myself on an aging tiki torch and gashing my foot on who knows what.
I was quite shaken up. It took a moment to collect myself. The pain in my foot alerted me to the fact that I was standing in a mud puddle. There were bruises, contusions, abrasions, and a 1-1/2 “ furrow on the ball of my right foot. The wound took a bit to clean all of the mud out of, but thanks to a daily application of gauze, antibiotic ointment, and duct tape, it’s healing well.
That seemingly harmless collection of clutter between the patio and the AC unit became an unexpected hazard in the blink of an eye. There was a time when would have hopped over that dog and onto the concrete without a second thought. Before reentering the house to clean up, I got rid of all of the junk. A tiki torch, and old piece of pipe, a broken solar light seemed harmless enough. I walked past them a hundred times. All it took was adding an eager puppy and an aging preacher added to the mix, and it proved to be detrimental to my health.
Our spiritual lives can be like that if we are not careful. Innocuous habits and lax practices may seem harmless on the surface. Still, they can quickly prove harmful to our soul if we ignore them too long. From time to time, it is good to do a bit of spiritual housekeeping and avert a pending catastrophe before it happens. Take a moment and assess what needs to happen. What do you need to get rid of, and what can you take up in its place. There is no end to what might pile up when we fail to take the time to notice and clean up the junk lying around. The oft-ignored clutter can go from harmless to harmful in the blink of an eye.
awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:13