It’s time to get on with it.
It’s been more than a month since I finished at Capella. Still awaiting my diploma.
But I need to get back to a routine.
I’m starting to work out most days again. I need the exercise for mental health. I’m not obsessively making sure I do an hour of something. Clearing out the cobwebs and keeping a good attitude is the thing.
I’ve also given up sweets for awhile. No, I’m not looking to cut sugar out of everything I eat. I’m only letting go of desserts and sugary drinks. I found – and am still finding – I feel better without them. Sure, energy is steady, but also I wake up optimistic. That’s a thing. I was waking up grumpy before. And I’m a morning person. Geez!
I struggle to be in the moment, as you know if you’ve read the blog for any length of time. Summer helps. It’s my favorite season. I don’t understand all the hype over fall when summer – here – is like Mary Poppins: practically perfect in every way.
It’s warm enough for short and tank tops. The sun makes an appearance most days. The birds sing and flowers bloom. Kids are out of school. We have all kinds of delicious fresh fruit on hand, especially berries. The sky is a wonderful shade of blue, something we don’t see very much in our neck of the woods. We open all the windows and spend time on the decks and porches. It feels like our already enormous house doubles in size. The general mood is lighter everywhere you go. Spontaneous gatherings occur. Well, used to, pre-Covid.
Oh, and this…
And that’s my argument. Which leads to the next topic.
I’m sitting here in the study, Dakota at my feet. I’m thinking about the Bible reading I’ve been doing with the One Year Bible. In order to finish, I read a small section of the Bible every day. I’ve been in 2 Chronicles, which tells the story of the nation of Israel based on its kings. Let me tell you something, if you didn’t already know: the kings varied a great deal from one to the next. One king would do a good job of leading people according to God’s law. Then his son would basically reinstall high places, pagan shrines and sacrifices. Sigh. So the next king would come along and clean house, repenting and drawing people back to the Temple of Solomon and Yahweh worship. Then his son, wanting to do it *his* way, would wreck it all again. Over and over. Sometimes, the Israelites would get lucky and have two kings back-to-back who followed God. But not often. This pattern continued over and over until God got fed up and let other nations destroy them, carrying the best and brightest into exile.
As I’ve been reading, I’ve wondered how the Israelites felt about this. Did they get cynical? “Oh, here’s another king! Great. What’s he going to want? Do we have to move on to Ashtoreth, or will it be Baal?” I wonder if true Yahweh followers felt apprehension, perhaps going underground to worship and stay true to the covenant with God. How did the Levites and priests keep the faith? Maybe they simply didn’t bother. Just as an example, when Hezekiah became king, he reinstated the annual religious festivals as a part of worship. However, because of a lack of purified priests, the king scheduled the Passover celebration a month later than usual (2 Chronicles 30:3).
Whew! This all seems rather exhausting. How did the Israelites stay sane? Did they ever think to themselves, “Skip to the end!”
Keep in mind they had prophets all along the way warning them that an alien invasion (of other nations, not from outer space) was imminent if they didn’t change their ways. But it seems like every king thought it wouldn’t happen during his reign. Until one day it did.
Are we any different? Don’t we think we can do whatever we want and God will forgive us? “Oh, I’ll forgive that person later. They really hurt me. God knows. He’ll cover it.” Or “I’ll spend time with Jesus another day. I’m so busy!” Or even “What’s the big deal? It was a little lie. Doesn’t matter.”
We only have today. This is the only life we can be assured of, here and now. I don’t want to be a believer who puts on her Jesus-coat when it’s convenient and takes it off when it gets too hot. Because be assured, it will get hot at times. Just like summer. It’s time to get on with doing what we know is right.
The days of man are like grass. He grows like a flower of the field. When the wind blows over it, it is gone. Its place will remember it no more. – Psalm 103: 15-16