Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Setting the Table

One of the things that Sierra loves to do at our house is set the table. She takes each item, one by one, to the table and palces it where she thinks we should sit. First are the plates, then the silverware, then the cups. They all have their order, they all have their place.

Earlier this week, I was in a bit of a rush to get back to church for a meeting, and was going to set the table myself. But Sierra wouldn't hear of it. This was her job, and she wanted to do it as she had in the past. So I had to slow down and let her set the table.

When I look forward to a new school year at the church, I am reminded of how Sierra sets the table. Quite often we come to this table empty and hungry, and people are there to feed us, sometimes faster then we can handle it. But there is an order to setting the table. We cannot eat the steak until we have the plates, forks, and knives on the table. We cannot drink the milk until we have a cup to put it in. We need to start at the base of the table and build up. Sometimes it takes awhile to get to the steak, but the preparation is well worth the feast that is yet to come.

So this fall, I want to start back at an empty table. We will set it by laying out the plates of prayer, Bible study, and spiritual practices. We will add to it the silverware of blessings and worship, and we continue to drink of the fruit of the Spirit. Step by step, as we set the table, we will continue to grow in relationship with God and with others, always looking to see the face of Christ shining back at us.

May you take the time to set your spiritual table, and feast on the grace of God each day.

1 comment:

Betty Dygart said...

What a wonderful analogy for life you have written here Pastor E! The more you write, the better you get. Sierra truly is a blessing sent to you, and she daily reminds you how to slow down, consider the lilies of the field, and meditate on God's patience and love.

My 1000+ mile trip over, having moved Nathan back to WI from FL, I now have time to further consider how blessed we were on that trip.

Tropical storm Kay had her way with us, and we didn't know whether to start building the ark or load the truck. It rained practically non-stop last Friday, during the time we were loading Nathan's stuff into the truck. At first, we were waiting for the rain to stop, finally, we just prayed it would LET UP, and resigned ourselves to throwing Nathan's discarded, mildewed shower curtain over things like his mattress/box spring and overstuffed chair, in an effort to keep them dry. We very soon gave up trying to keep ourselves dry. It was no use.

But, we made it. Thankfully, after finally getting the apartment emptied and cleaned, we had a dry motel room with a soft bed to go to in Tallahassee. It rained all night and wasn't showing any signs of abating in the morning. The rain and winds didn't stop until we were crossing into Tennessee that afternoon.

It wasn't easy by any means, but God put in our path countless good people, who magically appeared to help us.

There was the second year law student, who lived above Nathan in his FL apartment complex who happened by just in time to help lug an overweight hide-a-bed to the waiting truck.(He had worked for a moving company one summer, and knew just how to twist that couch to get it around corners.)

There was the former cross-country semi driver, standing outside his motel room's door having a cigarette, who jumped into our 16’ Penske truck and faced it toward the road after it was hopelessly boxed in at a motel. (Hopeless truly was how I was feeling until that saint appeared.)

There were the countless polite drivers I met along the way, who let me and the truck into lanes, gave us extra room, (maybe they noticed a woman was driving that yellow truck, and decided MORE ROOM was necessary! ha,ha).

Although the trip was tiring, the Lord provided wonderful non-chain restaurants along the way, like "The Golden Lariat" in Alabama and "Dolly's Home Cooking" in Kentucky, where we found not only local color, but friendly people eager to serve. I asked the sole waitress if she was Dolly.

"No," she said with a smile and a shake of her head.

"Well, tell her for me that she serves up a really great Western omelet," I told her.

I will end with one of my favorite Bible verses:

Romans 8:28
“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”