Thursday, July 31, 2008

Golden Days

I have been so busy. When I was in high school I mourned that these were supposed to be the golden days, the friend days of life. Then after high school I had brief moments at parties or Bible studies where I felt sufficiently surrounded by people living life to the fullest and loving God along the way that I thought the goldenness had come. This summer, however, has been purely golden. Friends everywhere have blessed me with lots of fellowship and reconnecting. I've played in the park, counselled at camp, held babies, visited bookstores, stayed up late at homes, gone to Bible studies and prayed outside abortion clinics, watched movies, had brunch, gone to the zoo and the museum, played with little kids and talked with real grown ups (whether we admit it or not). Life has been incredible.

In fact I found myself today, on the drive between one activity and another, buying ingredients for chocolate cheesecake, just marvelling in being me, now. And being perfectly content with that. Never mind tomorrow. I don't have to think about huge things today. Today is for living. Some days I have to give prayer and thought to decisions, but not today.

This is Jack's kind of happiness in the dramatization of CS Lewis' life, Shadowlands. While visiting the Golden Valley, a picture of which hanging in his nursery represented heaven to his childhood, he says "here and now" is his kind of happy. Joy, his bride, goes on to remind him that we live in the Shadowlands, and the pain then is part of the happiness now. I think both are valid kinds of happy, and I love how the movie contrasts the two. The Golden Valley even turns out to be a mistaken translation of a Welsh word, dwr, that means wet but sounds like the German for golden. So our golden happiness can sometimes be the flip side of grey rains.

Speaking of which, something especially wonderful happened this week. I finally purchased the soundtrack to this wonderful movie. The out of print cd has been on my birthday and Christmas wish list for almost a decade. And now I have it, have listened to it with my volume turned as high as I ever play anything, to let the powerful music surge and surround me: choirs and classical themes beautifully calling to mind the emotions and ideas of the movie.

This summer for my devotions I've been back and forth between Genesis and the Psalms. I just finished Genesis last night, and wondered why the stories have to end with people dying. I know they do die, but why do we have to hear about it? And why do we have to be ok that it happens to everyone we know? I like Jacob, spending half of Genesis with him, and then he just dies. In fact he dies with much more pomp and dignity than I can imagine of anyone today. He didn't really do anything that great, like rule a country or win a war, but he was a nobler man than our heroes today, by the time he died. And then Joseph dies. And everyone's story ends.

Psalms is wonderful, though. The ones I've been studying almost answer the question of death. I like Psalms 37, 84, 95, and 106 this summer. God gave each of them specially to me, and they've come in handy. Today I'm enjoying the verse in 84 that says, "When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains!" (NLT).

God has been so good to me this summer (obviously, since golden contentment cannot come in a fallen world to a rebellious person without grace). One thing I've noticed is how He's prepared me to enjoy this summer to the fullest. I've been convicted about things that distract me from Him and from the present, or which impair my sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, so He's actually had me on a minimal diet for TV, movies, novels, and Pepsi. Some moments feel empty without putting in a movie, but I'm much better off for having spent time reading, and sharing some parts of my books with my family, or with praying, or spending days with my friends - whole days without coming home. I thank God for my friends.

And I thank God for opportunities to get outside my office and my house and to be active, especially in ministry. Still looking for big options, but delighting in the little ones, these golden days.

To God be all glory.

3 comments:

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

So, tell me. What museum? ;-D

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Denver Museum of Nature and Science, which exists soley to propagandize the world, esp. children, toward evolution. But I like to see the taxydermied animals and the dinosaur bones and everything big, and learn about history. I just don't read the signs unless I'm in a mood to argue to myself.

Actually I went with a friend who has two little kids once this summer, and it was a whole new way of seeing the museum, because there's a kids section where they can play with bubbles and magnets and stuff like that.

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post... =)

simply beautiful...

The present is a present.

"Obviously, since golden contentment cannot come in a fallen world to a rebellious person without grace"

how true.

Thanks for the reminders...

Praise God for His goodness! =)

I really have to go to bed... -er... sleep.

=)

Goodnight!

-MAC <>< =)