Wednesday, November 30, 2016


November 30, 2016

On the way home from granddaughter Izzi's basketball game tonight (her team won!), Nate asked their normal suppertime question: "What was your high today?" and later, "Did you have a low?" It is something he started years ago to get the girls to open up about the things going on in their lives, and to help them focus on the good things in their lives. The rules are simple; when someone is talking, the others listen, and you have to have a high, but not necessarily a low.

The question finally came to me. It was hard, not because there was nothing good in my life today, but because there were so many good things. I was able to help my friend Harry split and stack a load of wood, the part of my woodpile that was not yet undercover I got in the shed, listened to two different friends concerned with the direction their churches are going, got to see Izzi play basketball. That's just for starters. The only 'low' is my left wrist, which throbs almost continuously. It gets worse when I do heavy work, and limits my practice time on the bass, but all that is pretty small stuff compared to what many face on a daily basis.

It's quiet here tonight. The clock behind me is tick-tocking its way through the evening, the dog snoozes on the floor before the fireplace, while Linda checks recipes. In a few minutes, I'll write another chapter or two in this year's Advent story before turning in for the night. All of this happens within the context of the Scripture I read this morning. Paul's letter to the Galatians presses home his conviction that we live by grace, not by keeping rules. It is that grace that sets us free from worry and fear, the worrying about our past, and fear of the future. For this especially, I am thankful tonight.

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