Some things never seem to get old in life. Chocolate, for one. Different qualities of the substance exist, of course, but the pleasure gained from a tasty treat containing it — or from eating a small block of 70% dark stuff — remains constant. My morning almondshake with papaya is another regular pleasure. Such perfect things don’t get old.
You can broaden that to eating in general, of course. Other things that never seen to get old include a good shower after a hot day or dirty work, a good physical workout (in my case, an hour of swimming), a gorgeous fall day with the turning of the leaves. You can add to this list of course. (Try the comments area.)
Some things do get old. Flying, for one. Ever smaller seating, greater security hassles, airport congestion, and flight delays take most of the fun out of the experience. (Though it’s still probably better than a sailing ship or a horse and buggy.)
And it seems like there is more air turbulence than before. I’ve no theories for global warming or climate change, but it seems almost certain that the air currents are choppier than when I started flying some decades ago. Or maybe these old bones are more sensitive to it, reckon?
Another thing that gets old: the hassle of travel in the US. I guess the older I get, the more I like my own little bed and the more I feel the rigors of being out of my routine. An evangelical article is making the rounds, “10 Things Missionaries Won’t Tell You.” The going-home part resonates with me. (Though I quit calling America home a long time ago.) I love being with family and Christian friends. Living out of a suitcase, not so much. Raising funds, not much fun.
¶ Another evangelical missionary wrote “14 Things Your Missionaries Might Like to Tell You, But Feel Inhibited. Are people being more real now? Perhaps. You can glean good things from both these articles. Somehow, though, I have a hard time imagining that the apostle Paul would write like this. Or like I did above. Or did he?
¶ Are we today more groaners and complainers than people were in the past? Are we more self-absorbed than, say, the pioneers of old who settled America? Or the early church? Or Israel in the desert? Or Jeremiah or Habakkuk? It seems like we are, but then we’re hearing it all around us, we’re in the middle of it, if we’re attuned to hear it. Just maybe we’re in the middle of participating in it.
¶ How do we become less of the groaner and murmurer and more of the grateful? There’s an old secret that nobody talks about any more. It’s summed up in the word repentance. We like strategies and suggestions, lists and lip-service. It’s much simpler than that. We need to repent, change our self-centeredness in order to put the Lord God of Heaven in the center of our lives. Live for him. Please him. Do his will.
I know, but … There is no “but.”
Do you know of one?
¶ On to more mundane things. After our kind webmaster Matt gets our sites transferred from the old hosting service to the new, we’ll consider transferring TFR there. We may lose a bit by leaving the WP hosting, but our gain will be considerable, both financial and functional: no ads, more theme options, plugins allowed, etc. Some images aren’t materializing into the transporter room, that’s the worst downside.
¶ Speaking of turbulence above, yesterday I rode in a tow truck as our rental car was returned for a newer (but not larger) model. The driver was nice and polite. We chatted and I mentioned living overseas and flying in and out of the country. He said he flew once when he was young. (He was probably in his 30s.) But he wanted to avoid flying again because it was too dangerous. This from a guy who daily tows car wrecks and auto failures. Go figure.
Can a spiritual application be made from that?
¶ Well, today we’re off for Alabama, then next day for Mississippi (with no Internet access at the mother-in-law’s). I’ll speak and report Sunday morning at the Iuka congregation. We arrived from Arkansas Monday, and checked in with some of the kids here in Tennessee. Texas, Florida, and Illinois, next time around, Lord permitting. Two more weeks, and I’m back home in Brazil. Turbulence and all.