Well some say life, will beat you down
Break your heart, steal your crown
So I’ve started out for God knows where
I guess I’ll know, when I get there — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
This is partly dedicated to Jim, who requested a more upbeat article to break up the doom and gloom. Keep up the good fight Jim.
Monday, May 1 was Labor Day in the Philippines, but that didn’t mean a day off for me. As with most Mondays, there were files to download and review, some work to accomplish and deliver, and a Tuesday meeting to prepare for. I’m also in the middle of some wiring repairs to our 30 y.o. van. It was shaping up to be a “two-shower” day for sure, especially as we are coming into the heat of ‘summer’. It will range from about 27 to 35 degrees, i.e. something like mid-80s to high 90s, but you’d be amazed how acclimated you get to it -- as long as there is air moving.
Then the power went out, right at about 8:30am. The house feels stuffy the moment the fan stops blowing, so out on the porch I went with a second cup of coffee heated from a saucepan. And thus began one of the most peaceful days I’ve had in recent memory.
Without a computer to turn on, or even my soldering iron to plug in, I opted to extend my morning Bible study. What an amazing experience, to be unburdened by the clock or other duties, and just quietly sit there to soak it in. I am in the middle of studying the life of David, and carefully comparing both written accounts from the books of 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles. Even having read the Word for most of my life, not always faithfully mind you, I keep coming across new moments of discovery or epiphany.
For example, it somehow seemed to me all this time that David’s dalliance with Bathsheba was not only rebuked by Nathan the prophet; but punished by God in the canceling of David’s plan to build a temple for the Ark. Wrong. David’s adultery happened later. He was flush with gratitude for God giving him victories and establishing his throne. He had brought the Ark to Jerusalem with much pomp and circumstance, and decided it was improper for it to rest in a tent while he lived in a palace. Even Nathan endorsed the plan. Seemed like a good plan, right?
But God came to Nathan in a dream, telling him that He never asked David to build a temple for the Ark, and would ensure David’s house and kingdom endured forever. The task and honor of building the temple would go to Solomon. Chronicles records the reason; David was a warrior and had spilled blood. God’s plan was not David’s plan.
There is a close parallel it seems between Moses not getting to live in the Promised Land, and David not getting to build the temple. Both men fulfilled the roles that God had for them and lived for the promise of God’s covenant with them. Pride was not a factor, and neither man was dejected or stubborn about what we might consider as a ‘loss’. David’s reaction was a beautiful prayer of praise. He still planned out the temple later, and apparently wrote Psalm 30 in praise of it. He got on with God’s business, in other words, without complaint.
So here we go: What I find striking about David is his peaceful center. He was a warrior, a servant, a lover, a prophet, a musician, a poet, and a king. Half the time it seems he was hiding in caves, or trying to get his kingdom back, and then in the next breath praising God. Who among us, Readers, would not have plunged the sword into the Mad King (Saul) when given the chance…twice? But not David. David was a man full of passions, but also with uncanny faith in God and respect for His plan. From even before choosing those stones from the stream to slay Goliath, he was a man after God’s own heart -- though he was yet a boy. I’m in my mid-50’s, and I still want to be that boy.
When we can find that same peaceful center, as I was able to do yesterday Readers, all of the other noise of life just fades to the background. That is my great epiphany for you today, such as it is, because the rest of Monday was similarly outstanding. I didn’t check the news once, but had a great time helping my wife learn her Alto part on a song she is practicing. I didn’t think about Ukraine or what’s-his-name leaving Fox, but I did get some pen sketches figured out for how we will lay out the first stage of the house we will build. There were no neighbors playing loud karaoke, and I enjoyed a nice quiet nap with the Mrs. We read some of Michener’s The Covenant, which is taking forever to finish, but is a deeply moving book about the human condition. Can recommend.
She enjoyed a late-afternoon power walk with the ladies. A boy who is sweet on our 17yo stopped by on his motorcycle with fresh mangos for us. Well, the mangos were just a good excuse, but you get my point. I spent some time contemplating how the motorcycle really is the perfect conveyance for this part of the world, and it is a shame I don’t ride one (yet). Mrs. Outpost has something to say on that matter *ahem*.
A humorous epilog is that the power did eventually come back on. We had a lite dinner and decided to watch the latest episode of Rabbit Hole, a Keifer Sutherland series all about the Deep State and the psychological depths he wades through to get at the root of what is truly going on. Humorous, because I possess that same tendency, yet I never figure it all out either. I write about these things from a genuine desire to inform, while knowing it is all an enigma that we may never truly unravel. Poor Keifer, though… his character John Weir has no faith. Nothing firm to fall back on. No peaceful center to return to. He is much like the world around us, Lost.
You see, Governments are going to government. Liars are going to lie. Bankers are going to profit. Pharma is going to kill. As Rush Limbaugh would often say, A Lion is a Lion. As much as I would like to see them swinging from ropes, it helps immensely to be like David and have that inner peace. I don’t need to be the one who sees the final victory; it is enough to know that we were an influence. The more people who wake up, or who turn to Christ, that is the real bonus.
An old TV commercial I remember well is How Many Licks Does It Take to get to the center of a Tootsie-Pop? A kid wants to know, so he asks a wise old turtle. The turtle doesn’t know, and suggests he should ask the wise old owl. The owl doesn’t know either so starts licking the tootsie-pop to get the answer: 3 licks. No one can get to the center, it seems, without biting it. No one can tell you how deep your center is either, Reader; you’ll have to bite into it and find out.
Reaching out to wherever you are on planet Earth, across these miles, I feel confident that Victory is coming. Less confident that it will happen without some kind of conflagration on US soil. Such is the determination of the enemy, Readers; they are just itching for this if you can’t already tell. My family all lives there, and I pray for them daily. I will pray for you all. Pray for us too, with the Chinese Navy swarming around and harassing our fishermen and Coast Guard. An attack on us is supposed to trigger a US Navy response. Trust the Plan? I’ll just say Trust God’s Plan; don’t really need the details.
Peace be upon you In Christ,
Sunflower image source? Tineye couldn't find it.
As for the plan, good point.
Our work: trust in Him whom the Father has sent.
I enjoyed reading this, brother. (As in, brother in Christ!). Question, and perhaps you stated this early on and I missed it; why are you in the Philippines? Missionary work? Or, just out of Mystery Babylon (the US?).
Regarding those quite moments. Too often I allow myself to put in too much time at the PC, or other distractions, and I do not spend the time I should with The Father. Those are the times that I get that same inner peace you experienced yesterday.
Oh, and the show 'Rabbit Hole'. The wife and I have one episode to go (tonight) and then we will be caught up. It is really well done and, except for the first show where they had to introduce a lesbian character (the FBI agent), I'm not seeing any other 'wokeness'. It is interesting that just about everything going on in our real world is being discussed in the show. The deep state actions, surveillance, and many other topics that get thrown in. I ask myself is this for disinformation as in "it's all just Hollywood and this stuff really doesn't go on..." or, some other reason that they put it all out there for the viewers consumption. Any thoughts on this?