I cleaned three houses on Friday, and when I got home the girls had left for their annual fall break trip. I went to bed at a decent hour because I was to be at a local meat and three in Old Hickory for an appreciation breakfast.
I came back home until I went out to Brentwood to pitch my business, and one already rejected my proposal. The other prospect is similar, so I suspect they will reject my proposal as well. It’s a numbers game as sales always is. You keep doing it even when rejections come. I had a tv dinner that evening, and my phone distracted me till late in the evening, but if I’m being honest it was a bout of depression that drove me to a dark place. I was still able to get to bed, and I actually woke up this morning and went to church. I hadn’t stepped through the doors of our church since March 1st along with everyone else that was there. It was to say the least an encouraging experience. Pastor Kevin talked about joy, and he shared it in such a way that took on deeper meaning inside me. Pastor Chris talked about Psalm 23, and I truly appreciated his redirecting our attention to “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” He said we don’t tend to focus on those words in Psalm 23, and I agreed.
These times are dark, and darkness is always around us, but I marvel at the way our Father gives us joy even in the midst of suffering. Kevin talked about the joy Jesus had even hours before the worst experience of his life, and we have been given that same joy. His purpose is for all his children to know the love he has for each one of us, but the forces of darkness will use every ounce of negativity past, present and future to drag us away from that eternal security. Every word we allow into our minds must be weighed with caution as we captivate every thought and make it obedient to Christ. It’s a discipline that doesn’t automatically happen unless we are intentional about it. His ways could use force, but they don’t. Even in the midst of worshiping with Cross Point I’m baptized by the praise band with ballads that soothe my soul, and whether that’s on Cowan Street or in my living room the Holy Spirit never fails to convict and encourage.
Amazon and Hulu dramas are trained from the earliest days of Hollywood to pull their audiences in with magnetic pull. That doesn’t even compare to the way the Holy Spirit works through the Word and worship. That’s soul magnetic appeal that pierces graves however that works. Reading an engaging book can change a person’s life too, but when a person engages the Trinity mountains are moved, and what was once dead becomes alive. Test it. So much of what a human being is looking for isn’t found in the material. It never has been. I’ve looked over and over to find what I want in material possessions, but when the rubber meets the road the joy that comes from within outweighs anything I can possess.
That seems kind of funny coming from a man who is striving to make a name for himself in his business, but I assure you my name is not who I want people to know when I’m gone. I pray day after day in people’s homes for the residents of that home, not for them to see how great we clean, but that angels would surround that home, and that he would bless the work of their hands.
You can’t be one thing on Sunday, and another on Monday-Saturday, so when I read or hear that we must separate professional and personal I see how society has become so depraved. I’m depraved with it because it seems as I get older and older the sin becomes greater and greater, but I sincerely try to live right even in the brokenness. It’s hard. I don’t understand how his yoke is easy and his burden is light, but he did say it. And he continues to say it through COVID as he did during the Spanish Flu a hundred years ago. He allows suffering to produce perseverance and perseverance character and character hope, and I tell myself that all the time, but I’m longing for COVID to go away just as many longed for the Spanish Flu to go away, and like the Spanish Flu I think we will be set free from COVID, be it a vaccine, or it runs its course. Time will tell as it always does.