Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: Damaged Goods

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Damaged Goods

Hello All,

Last week I put my body through the most strenuous thing I’ve done up to this point in life. A couple of good friends and I hiked 'The Trail Between the Lakes' outside of Pineland, Texas. This is the second year we’ve done it but last year I did about 18 miles and they’d done about 22. This year, I did 26.2(a full marathon) and they did the full 28 mile trail. One thing to remember is I do half of mine alone. We all start off together covering the most distance in the shortest time possible before I turn back to get the car to meet them at the other end of the trail. Last year, I was out of shape and reached just under 9 miles in before I knew I needed as much time to get back to the car before sunset would make the trek substantially more difficult. As much as I enjoy the discussions about History, Politics, Theology and whatever else seems relevant (or funny) at any given time; I really do enjoy the part where we part ways and I “go it alone”. It becomes a self-revealing challenge to stay mentally focused, fighting physical discomfort and moving towards the trail-head. Last year, I believe I had such a revelation as to the trails and trials of life that I was excited about this part of the trip weeks in advance. I hadn’t told the guys about last year's revelations until we were headed toward the trail this year. The moral of last year’s "alone time" was the difference between faith and obedience; Obedience is continuing to put one foot in front of the other in the right direction, faith is knowing there’s an end to the trail.

So this year saw a marked improvement to our performance on the trail and even more so valuable to me, another message from The Lord. Just a few miles into my return hike alone, my anticipation for “what God would teach me” was so strong, I think I may have stopped just short of simply yelling it out “Okay God….whatchu got for me?” And (not long after) in appropriate fashion, here’s what happened: I was on a part of the trail where I basically didn’t see any of the three telltale indicators that keep you on the right track. The sad part of this trail is just as soon as you lose your navigation marks, a frightful feeling of disorientation starts imposing itself upon your sensibilities. Although you know there’s no reason to panic…..wait; you’re in the middle of nowhere in large unfamiliar (densely wooded) area with miles between you and recognizable safety and sunset is approaching…Oh! And two of your good friends are relying on you to be there when they finish….okay, yeah….so maybe there is reason to panic a little. But we trust God and keep it moving. So where was I? Oh yeah, no indicators. So I’m walking side to side, looking through the trees, and I notice a small glimmer on one of the thousands of trees before me. If you remember last year, there are two kinds of signs on the trees. Big yellow ones with arrows which give the most comfort, and then the smaller metallic ones that do about as well because there are more of them than the others. So after getting close to verify what I'm seeing, the “glimmer” is indeed one of the metallic signs. I head in that direction and then it hit me: This was a little metallic sign that had one corner bent. Not all of the signs have this bend. Even as I recall it now, my eyes are starting to tear. Most of the signs are flat, and serve their purpose well. This smaller sign, with its bent edge reflected the Sun, and that’s what kept me on the path when I could see nothing else.

I thought about my situation. I’m going through a divorce. Again. And in the midst of it all – trying and failing, my own sins and imperfections, feeling forsaken and the burden it will be for my children; it really is sad. With all that I know about theology and The Bible and trying to “do it right”, oftentimes, I feel…..just bent - and I've questioned my worth in regards to being used for good purposes. But when I saw that sign, I thought; It’s exactly that “bend” that’s reflecting the Sun to help me stay on the path. Then I thought about Paul who prayed three times that his “thorn in the flesh” be removed. The Lord’s reply to Paul – “My Grace is sufficient for thee”. As I'm walking through this wilderness, all these thoughts are flooding my heart and mind. I’m just shy of a full-fledged cry (Can’t imagine why I held back, wasn’t like there was anyone around to see). But I had surely gotten what I came for and with my heart touched from ‘on High’ I continued on, a little bit changed. If my bends can reflect The Son to help others stay on the path, then I really can’t complain. As Paul said in that same verse of Scripture; Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor 12:9) I realize and praise God that He can and does put damaged goods to good use.

In Him,
Cros

2 Comments:

Blogger Catie37 said...

Thanks, Cros. Boy, did I ever need to hear that!! Thankful to have bends of my own, and prayerful that they will enable me to be a guidepost for others. :)

11:35 AM  
Blogger bcreed said...

Thank you, Cros. For what it's worth, I think this is the best quality writing I have seen from you. You reached deep, and it shows! Thank you for the message too; after all, that's the most important part.

4:30 PM  

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