If my body had its way, I would still be in bed right now. The alarm, however, announced my previous decision, which was to get up at 4:45AM. Regardless of how much I wanted to stay under the flannel sheets next to my warm husband, embraced by quiet and darkness, and regardless of the fact that I didn’t need to be at work until 7:30AM, (which means leaving my home at 7:25AM—gotta love small towns…), yes, regardless of what most of my fellow humans would consider common sense, I am up at 4:45 in the morning and sitting on my patio in 40 degree weather. And, oh! It is so beautiful!
My old wool sweater and my brother-in-law’s army jacket keep me toasty warm. The heated “corn pad” sits in my lap, and my steaming hot tea sits in my belly. The Mighty Wonder Buck, our recently rescued 100% mutt, is happily content out here; with his thick black coat, this is his kind of weather. Of course, the birds are singing, and somewhere off in the distance I hear the truckers moving their wares down the highway.
It’s a free country, as they say, and I could have changed my mind even after the alarm went off. There are plenty of good reasons to stay in bed, even beyond the ones mentioned earlier. Some of them are even arguably valid ones! I need my sleep, especially at my age. (That phrase, “at my age”, is becoming a great rationalization, by the way.) It’s only Tuesday, and a long way until the weekend. The Buck needs me to be more energetic when I get home from work. Blah, blah, blah.
My brain wins the battle over my body as I stick to my original plan, pulling myself out of bed, rousing the dog, but usually not my husband, in the process. I fire up the teapot and nuke the corn pad. Within a few minutes, I’m wrapped up snugly in my patio chair.
There’s definitely something to be said for making a plan prior to the obstacles showing themselves. It can be more than a little difficult to make qualitative decisions (especially moral ones) in the face of tempting circumstances, even when some of those circumstances are accurately anticipated. The word is “commitment”, and it seems to have fallen out of favor these past several decades.
That’s just another reason why I love a good, old-fashioned church wedding ceremony. I don’t just come for the cake with butter cream frosting, Aunt Sally’s butchering rendition of Paul Stookey’s Wedding Song (again), and the little ring bearer announcing loudly to his mom’s chagrin that he has to “go pee” just as the bride is ready to march down the aisle. No, amid all the tumult and relative comedy that takes place in even the most formal nuptials, there are transactions far deeper, far more mystical, that take place. One of those is commitment. That is, prior commitment: making the decision to love and nurture prior to the financial fiascos, prior to the devastating accident or illness, prior to the disagreements over where to spend holidays. Granted, some relationships are dangerous, and therefore not workable–most of us get that. But in general, if commitment is just so dang hard, why even bother?
I suppose that’s one of the reasons why God chose weddings, and marriage, and family to represent so much of what He wants with us. He tells us that, before God even created us, He knew that His Son, Jesus, would have to come and rescue us out of this messy, sinful separation from Him. He knew we were going to tank the whole project even before the second generation came on the scene, and they didn’t exactly hit it off too well themselves either. But, regardless of all that—all of that destruction, all of that disappointment, all of that pain—God stuck to His original plan. He went ahead and made man in His own image, “in the image of God, He made him.” The rest that followed is, well, history.
Right now, the owl is crooning, there is a faint lingering fragrance of someone’s wood smoke, and I can hear Buckley chewing on his bone—at least I think that’s what he’s chewing on… All things considered, I guess it’s okay, at least sometimes, to be counted with those whom others would question their common sense by sticking to a crazy plan. I’m sure glad God stuck with His.