Sunday, June 3, 2012

Speedy shortcuts

4:52 Today's project was to enjoy the final half-day of our ladies' retreat, the last sweet drops of our overflowing cup of worship and fellowship. the drive down the hill to Riverside was swift, and fun, because I love to drive on mountain roads, since the Jeep handles the curves so well! I suppose it's a reminder of driving the amazing and treacherous switchbacks through the Colorado Rockies in the 1970's, before I-70 was built, cutting straight through to Denver from the Western Slope where I once lived. Today at age 60, I drove well within the speed limit, and was passed up by four or five cars. But I can't say the same for my younger--unsaved--days. Psalm 25:7 says,

Do not remember the sins of my
  youth, nor my transgressions
According to Your mercy
  remember me,
For Your goodness' sake, O LORD.

And I can confidently testify that the Lord did just that, saving me at age 28!

I-70 through Colorado has cut time off travel across the state, and undoubtedly saved many lives, a very worthwhile shortcut. But are shortcuts in life always beneficial? This afternoon, I was up against a frozen computer, so I just pushed the off button and turned on the laptop. I should have done the "Start-Shutdown" procedure, but with a stuck screen and a dead mouse, I had no choice.

When I pushed the "On" button, the computer screen came back. On came the tedious (to my hyper mind) start-up procedures, including the weekly warning about too little disk space, which I so dearly wanted to skip and just connect to the Internet and get on my way to my business website! But I disciplined myself to go through the 45 second process, even though I was itching to get other tasks done. Aren't some of us ridiculous in the 21st century, when less than a minute seems like an hour of wasted time? And I have at least 30 desktop shortcuts, so shouldn't that speed me on my way?

One area where there are no shortcuts is in loving and caring for one's family. Now that it's just Steve and me generally, and he needs such a great amount of help, I've had to slow down my pace considerably. There's no shortcut to putting his hands on a stair banister, or for performing the many steps required to sit in a chair at the kitchen table.  It's also very slow going for him to step down from his Special Transportation bus onto the sidewalk when it brings him home. Steve's bedtime routine is also step-by-step, to avoid both confusion and to effectively prevent accidents in the early morning.

Gardening, cooking from scratch, laundry--all must be done on the correct schedule and in proper order. I think the Lord has given us this world to live in, creating it in order, one day at a time (Genesis 1) and in the 24-hour time frame He has established.

Growth in Christian maturity is a work of years, even for those new believers who study to show themselves approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV), like I did, listening to radio Bible studies all day, attending every service, helping in children's church and reading the Bible straight through, however ignorantly! But the Holy Spirit was with me every step of the way, calling me and causing me to fulfill my Bible teaching ministry in not too long a time, a year, to be exact when I began teaching a Mormon neighbor lady in her home with our kids in attendance. The next years brought teaching opportunities at church, and at a large women's home study groups. It was the word of God, His eternal truths,  but when I listed to the cassette tapes made at Calvary chapel, my teaching was pretty basic! But the ladies kept attending faithfully, and that definitely had to be the work of the Holy Spirit!

We all want a shortcut now and then, and modern technology suits us well in many ways. But let's remember to have God's heart of patience and long suffering as we bow to God's perfect work in each of our lives, and He will not only cause us to grow in His timing, but use us to encourage others int their own walk of spiritual maturity! As Ecclesiastes 3:11 says,

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

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