2016: Page 7

I was thankful for no frost to scrape off the windshield as I headed to work early.  When I arrived at work there were no water puddles on the floor.  While that is good in most ways, it still means I haven’t discovered the source of the earlier leak.  With the arrival of snow, and students playing outside during the day, the floors require more attention in my morning routine.  With each round I made through the hallways, the amount of floor with shine began to overtake the dull-looking tiles.  When I am finished, the floors look nice and shiny but I know they won’t  have the same appearance by the next morning.

Most days I am a lot like those floor tiles and I suspect that so are you.  The traffic of life wears me down and takes off some of the shine that God’s Spirit has put within me.  It’s not that the surface is ruined, nor has it lost its usefulness.  No, it just needs a little time spent being refreshed and restored to its original beauty.  I find that the more often I take care of that, the easier it is to end up with the look that it’s supposed to have.  That is true about the floor and about your life and mine.  The more frequently we spend time with God in prayer and His Word, the less the “dirtiness” of the world has a chance to settle into our being making it much more difficult to remove.  I pray that each of us on a daily basis can say along with David the psalmist, “He restores my soul”.

Much of the rest of the work day was spent up and down ladders, trying to figure out some glitches in the building’s heating systems.  I’m not sure I accomplished a whole lot short term, but I continue to learn more about a complex and finicky system.  We all know some complex and finicky people, right?  How much time do you spend simply trying to get to know them?  Perhaps if you have a better understanding of who they are and how they work, you would have a greater opportunity to be an agent of change in their life.  And perhaps your understanding of them will be the method of bringing change to your life.

Each day seems to bring both challenge and opportunity.  I’m discovering that life works best when I go to God for wisdom in using both of these elements together.  It seems that opportunity with no challenge leads to complacency and challenge with no opportunity leads to frustration.  However, with God’s help, facing the challenge within you opportunity leads to fruitfulness.

The clouds may come and seem to overtake your life but often the recipe for beauty requires both sun and clouds.

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The Game

I went to the church
     to hang out with the guys.
It was March Mayhem night
     and I wasn’t that wise.
I joined in a game
     of some quick three-on-three.
Where most of the guys
     were half the age of me!
I held my own,
     at least I do think.
It was the young guys
     who stopped for a drink. 

There is something about
     this desire to win.
When I play a game,
     I must be all in.
No half-hearted effort
     when it comes to ball.
I push through the pain
     and give it my all.
Nothing can stop me,
     at least ‘til I drop.
Out cold on the floor,
     I suppose I would stop. 

The game was intense
     and I had to run.
But the guys weren’t content
     to stop at just one.
So we kept on going
     and played two more games.
My sore, tired body
     was calling me names.
To get into shape,
     I know I should do.
But it isn’t easy
     for me or for you. 

There is a lesson
     that I want to tell.
I kept on playing,
     even after I fell.
I laid on the floor
     and laughed right out loud.
Then got up and played,
     I wasn’t too proud.
Through success and failure,
     I stayed the course.
And kept right on at it
     with all of my force. 

Am I that faithful
     in living for God?
Do I keep on going
     even when I do plod?
Do I give up too easy
     when God calls to me?
Keep your head in the game,
     and your eyes fixed on Me.
Sometimes I get tired
     of doing what’s right.
I want to lay down
     and give up the fight. 

But God helps me see,
     when I’m flat on the floor.
I look up to Him
     and He opens a door.
He picks me back up,
     puts me back on my feet.
Surrounds me with His love
     through the people I meet.
He gently restores me,
     puts me back in the game.
I live one more day,
     to honor His name! 

© 2014 by Tom Lemler

I came to the church for a men’s meeting with a March Mayhem focus.  The idea was that those that wanted to would play some three-on-three basketball while the rest of us played euchre.  I had no intention of letting this old out of shape body play basketball, but somehow I got talked into it.  They were some good games and I had fun, but when it was all over this poem filled my mind.  I pray that it encourages you to give your all in serving Jesus.

In prayer,
Tom

Warnings

I have a computer
      that’s trying to die.
I open a program
      and it asks me, “Why?”.
“This will cause problems,
      for my memory is low.”
“I warned you this time;
      so yes, I’ll be slow.”
“If you do not heed
      this helpful advice.”
“I’ll shut myself down,
      I won’t warn you twice.”

The brain can be like
      this computer of mine.
When it functions well,
      everything does just shine.
But let it fill up
      with unhealthy stuff.
And it isn’t long
      before it’s running rough.
Add to the problem
      some unrelenting stress.
And before very long,
      the whole things a mess.

Just like the computer,
      a warning we get.
The body calls out,
     “I’m here, don’t forget.”
But so very often,
      when we ache and much more.
The warnings God gives us,
      we simply ignore.
Ignore it for too long,
      I say with a frown.
It could be disaster,
      as your body shuts down.

So what do I do
      for my computer and me?
When things are not right
      and the warnings I see.
I look to the manual
      and seek to restore.
The purpose and function,
      I was created for.
I clear out all garbage
      and cleanse from within.
I restore a memory
      that is free from all sin.

I trim down my files
      to what’s needed most.
I only have room,
      for good things to host.
I empty my mind
      of things from the past.
And only hold on to,
      that which should last.
It’s an ongoing process,
      not done in a day.
It’s a daily surrender
      to God and His Way.

If you’ve not noticed,
      the subject is me.
It’s not really about
      the computer, you see.
The warnings God gives me,
      I need to observe.
So I function smoothly
      as His name I serve.
I pray that you notice,
      the warnings in you.
So you would be faithful
      as you serve Him too.
©

My computer has been giving me warning messages and randomly stopping off and on for a few days now.  In addition to that, I’ve had a headache for much of the day and the work going on in the building hasn’t helped much.  As I took some time to rest and listen to God prior to a meeting tonight, He put this poem in my mind.  I pray that it serves His purposes and brings Him glory.

In prayer,
Tom