“April 28 and 30”
“If I were to try and give a metaphor to life, I think I would go with it being a journey. To me, this isn’t entirely worldly and unbiblical, there is A Pilgrims Progress, and, more importantly, Jesus talks of the narrow road to heaven as opposed to the wide road to hell.”
“I was planning to write about how I dealt with my wheel falling off last December – I saw all the ways in which God has protected me from it potentially being so much worse and even dangerous – but tonight God is convicting me about a lot of smaller tests I have been failing lately.
“He has been giving me opportunities to use talents and abilities and to choose whether or not to be proud of my actions. I’m sure He loves the fact that I know several hymns by heart and consider the words more than if I were reading them, but I’m also sure that He hates it when my mind wanders to whether anyone is noticing that I do. Also I wonder if tonight he prevented Joy Club from having a good turnout because I had worked so hard on everything, perhaps largely for recognition and praise which should all go to Him.”
“Everything belongs to God:
“Randy, Daniel, Mom, Dad, Ralph, Mary, etc.
“Ellen, Kevin, Sally, Suzy, etc.
“Our house, my car, our van, our furniture, our electronics,
“My dog walking, my household chores: the dishes, the laundry, the clutter – all are His.”
“The greatest matter with which God has entrusted me is the instruction and upbringing of Daniel into a man of integrity, upright behavior, and most importantly, love of the Lord.”
Dearest Rachel –
I know that you never meant for this to come out in public; I’m sure you’ll be mildly embarrassed at what I’m doing with your writings. I wish you knew how proud I was that you did not hold back on your shortcomings. Even when you could write of an example that would’ve made you look better, you find yourself convicted to write down something that does not necessarily cast you in the best of lights, but it’s an honest look at yourself. I think I remember your story about the wheel falling off the axle of your car just outside of Westgate School, but I know nothing about Joy Club. And yet this was the significant moment you decided to write about.
While I realize that heaven isn’t run on a brownie point system, I feel you need to be given some credit for admitting to a desire for recognition, even if nobody ever saw it. To your observation from two chapters ago, I can say confidently you were fooling no one; in this particular case, however, I don’t think anyone noticed your failings, but you decided to admit to them here.
And on the subject of desiring recognition, I suppose I should come clean, and admit to it a certain level of pride in that you list me first among those things you consider important that belong to God rather than to you. is it egotistical of me to take pride in my ranking in your heart? Whether it is or not, I am grateful to you for it.
And similarly, I need to recognize the same thing that you did. You were a gift to me from Him, and not a possession of mine. You belonged to Him – you still do, according to His annunciation to Moses at the burning bush – and He had every right to take you back whenever He saw fit. It still hurts, but I am in no position to curse the Almighty for it. If nothing else, I will return to you someday. And while I still do not look forward to the process, it does leave me much less anxious about the actual end of my sojourn here.
As for your responsibility with Daniel, well, I guess that’s no longer in your hands anymore. Why the Lord in His wisdom thought I would be able to handle him alone, I can’t begin to guess. He should’ve grown up by now; and, maybe he has. There are times when I wonder if I’m not the Martha to his Mary, but there are others when I worry about the rabbit holes he has dived down. I can’t deny that he loves the Lord, but I do find myself wondering when he claims to have directed a legion of angels to an area where he claims to sense spiritual conflict, based on something he heard about in the news.
I don’t know if – having crossed to the other side of the veil, and seeing the big picture from God’s perspective in a way that we here on earth cannot – you are willing or even able to interact with us still chained to this planet. If you are, I would appreciate it if one of the other of us were to get a nudge from you in the direction we need to go; I think one of the other of us must be slightly mistaken, and I’d like to know which one it is, and what we need to do to correct our course.
In which case, I look forward to hearing from you. I love and miss you.