When Bob and I were engaged to be married, I decided to register for stoneware and stainless rather than fine china and silver. Some may have called that “common”; I prefer to call it practical. Even so, for years I would store my special dishes in the corner hutch and bring them out only for special occasions; c’mon, ladies, you know how we do.
Finally, after about 35+ years of collecting dust, I decided this was actually kinda dumb. Why not use the good stuff on a daily basis?! Are we not worth it? Good grief, it’s dishwasher safe anyway! (Unlike the fine china of the 70’s, I might add.)
For those of us who have had the privilege to be exposed to the Bible most of our lives, we’ve probably memorized John’s verse that still shows up at football games (John 3:16), and highlighted passages like Paul’s definition of love (1 Corinthians 13). After bravely skimming over Leviticus’ regulations on infectious skin diseases, we may have even ventured into the Old Testament faves like David and Goliath, and Isaiah’s “unto us a Child is born”.
(NOT!) Obviously, there was some needed work that didn’t happen prior to winter. No problem, though. The compost pile is doing its thing, and my tools (and back muscles) are getting ready to do theirs in the coming spring season. As even an inexperienced gardener like me can surmise, the ground needs some serious work unless I want to cultivate weeds.
Actually, I’m not even sure that these are…
No matter; they gotta go, and I have the gear to get it done. My expert-gardener sister-in-law even bought me a kneeling pad to protect my knees, bless her little heart! (I also invested in some volleyball knee pads from the garage sale next door—R-E-A-L-L-Y helps, especially on rocky soil.)
So, why haven’t I accomplished this yet?
Excuse #1: I have a full time job.
Excuse #2: I have volunteer activities.
Excuse #3: I’m a homemaker (ie, I cook real food, do the laundry, etc.)
Excuse #4: I also have other interests, (like blogging, for instance!)
I know, I know, I’m beginning to sound like this~~
But that’s not what God sounds like when He says this:
“For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: Break up your ground left uncultivated for a season, so that you may not sow among thorns.”
And then again…
“…Break up your uncultivated ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, to inquire for and of Him, and to require His favor, till He comes and teaches you righteousness and rains His righteous gift of salvation upon you.”
Same thought from two different prophets; I’m thinking God is trying to get a point across to His people. Which, of course, applies to me, since I’m now one of “His people”. It’s just so easy to allow issues and situations to remain buried in our hearts and souls, supposedly hidden, sometimes even hidden from our own internal vision.
I can see this being (yet another) reason why we need each other—bumping up against others in life has a way of revealing myself…to myself. Then there’s quantity time alone with God on my own, learning His mind on things, my things. It can sometimes be an uncomfortable process, breaking up clods of offense and wrong thinking and pride, but to put it off is eternally unproductive.
So, when the Lord comes to pick some fruit, what will be your excuse?
Cultural differences aside, Old Testament prophets were, um…a little weird. I say that respectfully, but I can only imagine they may not have been at the top of an invitation list to any aspiring social event. Things like walking around naked, burying underwear in the dirt (and retrieving it some time later!), marrying a prostitute, and a list of the bizarre continues—it certainly caught the people’s attention.