God of the Tuesday afternoons

January is always a refreshing month. The month of new beginnings, resolutions, and new date books. It is time to breathe in the clean and refreshing air of making a new start and feeling free. Times of taking stock and enjoying the scenery are necessary before setting off again with a new confidence and a spring in your step.
This year is no different. Perspective is essential since it is always a temptation to believe that life as a friend of Jesus will be (and should be) a daily thrill. It is easy to forget the fact that every day will not be New Years Day or your birthday, or the day you become Mother Teresa. That there are a lot of regular days, boring days, even (horrors) dry days. And yet, as Eugene Peterson has quipped, God desires a "long obedience in the same direction." There will be days tucked away in the year where everything seems to be wrong, and God is busy blessing someone else, and it's times like that on those insane Tuesday afternoons, that we show our true heart. We hold on instead of going off half-cocked. We don't let go. Some days go slowly, some go so fast, but it's all a journey from lost to found and sometimes instead of grandiose plans, the best we can do is not to lose ground. Thomas H. Green put it well when he said; one sure mark of genuine spiritual growth, is a growing preference for the ordinary days of our life with God. We gradually begin to realize that it is when nothing seems to be happening that the most important things are really taking place. The clay is molded into a thing of beauty quietly and imperceptibly and our "work" at this time--we who now become the clay in the hands of the divine Potter--is really to learn to "do nothing gracefully, perhaps the hardest and most demanding thing we ever learn to do.
Some things last and some things fade away. Some days like sunshine and some days like rain. Some days bring life and some days tear you down. Some days are laughter and some days are outrage, and others still are quiet. 2006 is here and it's a fresh start, a clean and free feeling, but let's not lose God in the ordinary or frustrating days. And no matter what, do not lose your ground.

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