A Couple of Passing Moments Under the Sun
By Gary Amirault
I woke the other day with a desire to receive a package with something very nice in it. (Who in da vorld doesn't vant sometink nice?) Would you believe Michelle just came in and put those words in parenthesis in my nice little article? Yes, she did and I am going to leave them there just because.
Back to my desire for a package with something nice in it. I receive a lot of letters and packages of tapes and material that people want me to read or listen to. Since we review books, software, and videos, sometimes a package contains something I really would enjoy reading or listening to. So when the UPS driver drove into the driveway, that little child-like excitement stirred in my heart.
I did receive a large package. It was a package of music quality audio tapes that I ordered. These were much more expensive than the tapes I usually get. The tapes were blanks, the bill was high, and my excitement over the arrival of a package sank into the sea of sorrows.
Since this was a new brand of tapes my mind began to reflect on various technical things that these tapes might solve. Almost everything I do in audio form is voice, as opposed to music, so I usually purchase the cheapest tapes that I can find. But the masters have to be a better quality. I decided to try these tapes for masters and for music. We have some precious friends who are producing some wonderful music that we would like to begin to learn how to record and add to the tape list. This will require some expensive duplicating equipment that we don't have yet. If we are to do this, then one day we will have it.
As I started thinking about some of the songs these precious people have written, I started thinking about some of the people on the mailing list who I want to send these tapes to. I could see them entering into precious places in the spirit as they listened to these wonderful worship songs. I thought about some of the elderly who spend much time alone; how this music would be a blessing to them. All of a sudden, I was full of joy. Those empty blanks were filled with the wonderful works my Father gave me to do from before the foundation of the world.
When I took my mind off the fact they were expensive empty blanks, then, and only then could I see beyond into the joy of my salvation. Looking beyond self was the key which unlocked the joy of that moment.
Now stop and reflect on that before going on. Remember, we children of the God of the ages and beyond, have all the time in the world. We have time to eat properly.
Another little thought I would like to share came about the other day while I was fishing. I wanted to catch a 4 or 5 pound catfish to put in the freezer for a nice meal this winter. Someone told me that kernels of corn would work so I opened a can of corn and spent about 3 hours fishing and editing Dew. I was getting absolutely no bites.
As it was approaching the time to stop fishing, still without a fish, I began to do the thing many Christians probably do. I prayed for the Lord to send a fish. In the middle of the prayer I wondered if I really wanted Him to send a fish. If He sent it then He would be the One who really caught it. But then again if He is Sovereign whether I pray or not, the decision whether he will give me a fish or not is already fixed. I reflected on this for several minutes. I remembered when we first moved into the community. We tried to reach out to some of the "street" kids in town. I brought two cars full of them to the lake to fish. It was a cold day and no one was catching anything. Just when it was time for me to leave, I threw up an audible prayer to catch a fish. One of these kids heard my prayer and immediately the pole bent like it was going to break. It took a long time to bring in that 12 to 15 pound catfish. When I see this kid, now a man, on the street from time to time, he reminds me that he still remembers that fish and he remembers that prayer.
As I continued thinking about prayer, my desire to catch a fish, and my wrestling with whether I wanted His help in the matter, I came to the conclusion that what I really wanted was to do this thing on my own. I don't want to be a robot that is completely programmed to do only what it is programmed to do. There is something in me that wants to do some things without anyone's help, not because of rebelliousness, not because I don't want God in my life, but because he made me in His image. He is the Creator and in a small way he put that creative aspect of Himself in me. He gave Adam a garden and was given the responsibility to tend it. Responsibility requires the ability to act independently.
If every time I went fishing God told me when He was going to put a fish on the end of the line for me, I would eventually lose the joy of fishing. A child who is not allowed to make decisions, or mistakes because his parents direct every moment of his life, will grow up hating those parents because he was never allowed to live for himself. He lived out their lives.
And so I stop praying and said, "I don't want you to put a fish on the end of the line. I would like to catch a fish, but I don't want you to intervene." Well, I didn't catch a fish and you know what? That's O.K. I felt I was growing up. My desired independence in this fishing thing wasn't an act of rebellion, it was a desire to grow up to be like my Father, free but responsible enough to handle that freedom.
Now why would I put two completely unrelated subjects like audio tapes and catfish in the same article? Well, you see they are really not unrelated at all. All the moments of my life are becoming learning experiences,-spiritual learning experiences. Experiences which I used to just race through never understanding anything about what really transpired, are now becoming precious moments which are conforming me into His image. I am learning to really live life, to eat it slowly, knowing there is something valuable in each circumstance if I just view it from the throne room, our heavenly view of this earthly existence. I am learning to bring heaven to earth in that part of the earth He has placed me. I am growing up. I am beginning to be able to see, and its nice. Blank tapes and catfish have much in common after all.
Father, I will ask Your help on this one. Would you please add some of your Spirit on these words so they sink in real well? I want to bless a part of your wonderful family with this article. Thank you, Father, for I know you do hear my prayers and delight in them, as I am learning to delight in You.