On one hand, I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to tell you this week. It seems like, between Covid-curfew and distance education, each week feels very much like the others… everything runs together to some extent.
Still, it seems like there are habits that are good to maintain even though we don’t necessarily feel great difference. Isn’t that what we emphasize in the church after all? Not every day, nor every service, are ‘blow-out’ days/services… but there is value in consistency: continuing to maintain the daily habits that nourish our faith in the good days, in preparation for the not-so-good days when we’ll need all that’s been put aside.
(hmmm… seems like I’m getting to the point of the sermon before even giving the illustration.) 🙂
Back on the Road
Monday saw me back on the road to Angers. I won’t go into too much detail here, because I talked about it here already. Suffice it to say, it was with mixed emotions: Good to get back on the road and out of Châtellerault just for a change of scenery. Still, less than 1/2 of students were present on campus so it felt like a bit of a waste. It did reveal, however, yet another wheel-bearing problem (we had one fixed last week… the noise from that one was obviously masking this one)… so that’s another #GoodThing.
Winter in our part of France means rain, not snow. Personally, we’re getting to the point where several cm of water are sitting in the lowest parts of the backyard. Ugh. It’s nothing, though, compared to this vineyard that I passed on my way home from Angers. That’s not snow you’re seeing, but sitting water, reflecting the evening sky. Beautiful. Fortunately, since the plants are all dormant, and there’s at least a month or two before they’ll break dormancy, the water will have time to seep down into the water table without damaging the roots too much. Still… we’re not shoveling snow, so I won’t complain.
There is talk, in France, of a third confinement and one more akin to the severe lockdown we had last Spring, as opposed to the rather relaxed one that we had in the Fall. As rumors seeped out this week and news sites began discussing it in earnest, the waters of unrest began to become agitated. Small businesses have suffered greatly, people do. not. feel capable of homeschooling their kids (really, for many, it’s not as bad as they think… but it’s so rare here, that it’s just unfathomable). Yesterday in town, I saw the first protest… mostly teachers, upset at protective measures & other things. Oh dear… here we go!
Did something rather new this week… Zoom prayer meeting. It wasn’t entirely new as I’d done it once before. It sure is different… gracious! However, it was indeed encouraging. The pastors from across the French churches gathered for an hour to pray corporately since it’s been since November 2019 since we’ve seen each other (2019 youth convention, prior to Covid).
You know that feeling that you get when you look at the sunset at the end of a long day, maybe even a tough day? You kind of get the feeling that, at least for a moment, all of the worry… all of the care… all of the distraction can sort of get put on the back burner for a bit. You can hit ‘pause’ on all of the nasty and bask in the warmth of the setting sun… enjoying the beauty… getting lost in it.
We live in troubled times and the bulk of the trouble isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. However, when we fix our eyes on the Lord and his faithfulness, all the rest kind of gets put on pause. Not because it’s no longer there, but because something else has captured our attention and dominated our thoughts.
The Lord wants to strengthen you today. In the midst of the crazy… he wants to help you hit pause.
Oh Lord help us to trust you after the sunset, the way we trust you when the warmth of the setting sun is masking the nasty.