On days like today, I had to go through my check list. It’s not a complicated list. It’s just something I do when I feel immensely insignificant and almost forgotten by God. I know that I’m not forgotten by our Loving Triune God, but those damnable feelings…
What is my check list? It’s easy. It starts like this:
- You have been blessed with another day to live. This is supported by the verse somewhere that this is the day that the LORD has made… and I will rejoice and be glad in it.
- You woke up in your own bed. Well, not really my own bed. It belongs to my father, but he is letting me use it until I can some how get to a place where I can afford my own place and use my own bed.
- You ate breakfast! This one is important, given that there are those who are starving around the world and would just love to sit down with me and eat some fried bacon and eggs with two pieces of toast and Smucker’s Blackberry Jam. We need to rejoice that He is taken care of us. Simply eating is a part of that reality.
- I have a job. Actually, I have three jobs. One is working at Texas A&M in their turf field lab, doing all manner of things including muckraking (see below). Another is at the country club, which doesn’t pay much, but allows me to play golf for free. The third is substitute teaching. I only do that so I will have access to insurance. God has and is providing for me through all three jobs.
- No one tried to kill me today because I’m a Christian. This one fact has ended more pity parties than you will ever know. We see weekly how our dear brothers and sisters in the LORD are being martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ. The day may come when I too will be martyred, but it’s not this day. For that, I rejoice.
I have to go through this quick checklist quite often. This morning I did so because I had to clean out the water-meter boxes again so I could take meter readings. The boxes are filled with the most vile mud and goop known to man. The water that sits there, until I pump it out, is rancid as well. It’s muck, the worst kind, and I have to clean it out so that hopefully the water will quit filling up in the boxes and drain as they were designed to do. I think the design worked for the first 10 years of the project. But the boxes are not draining now and that leads me to raking the muck up, putting it in a 2 gallon bucket and hauling it off to an empty field. It stinks, and no matter how careful I am, I get the stuff on me. Even as I write this, the horrible smell is still embedded in my nasal membranes. That won’t change for a while.
But I don’t complain. Raking up that muck is part of God’s provision for my life right now. While most people would head for a McDonald’s for gainful employment, I press on for God’s glory. I also realize that in a metaphorical sense, raking up muck like I do on a weekly basis is very similar to full-time ministry. There are always situations where the metaphor works. And just as I get the real muck on me from time to time, in full-time ministry, the muck is always flying. So maybe God is preparing me for ministry again. For Moses, he had to take care of smelly sheep. For me, my task is cleaning out the meter boxes and raking up the muck. To God be the glory.