Mundane Matters

Ruts…or a path?

For many years I’ve tried to practice the presence of God. I don’t always do well. Some days I fall into an all-too-familiar pattern of 
seeing only the

RUTS

But this past weekend I had two back-to-back meetings some 4+ hours away, and I stayed with a friend who lives on this little slice of heaven. And I was reminded, again, of the choices that face us daily—our focus, if you will. 

The above picture is that of ruts—indeed. Ruts made from the same everyday routine. 

Yet, when I was able to turn, just one-quarter of a turn, and feast on the destination of those everyday ruts, they took on a whole new meaning. 

STILL WATERS

Oh, that I might see the ‘ruts’ of my life only as a well-worn path to the still waters whereby HE leads me…daily. And may those same ruts represent my obedience to follow. 

He ALWAYS goes before me. And—

That Matters!! 

Tuesday’s Tale From the Tailboard

FIREHOUSE BROTHERHOOD

There is a certain type of relationship that grows among the men in a firehouse, not unlike the military. Personalities either blend, or not, but the bottom line–when the alarm rings, or a fellow firefighter is in need, they work as one. 

Christmas 1983: Bob and our sons went to Michigan to bring our youngest daughter home for Christmas and on the way home they were stopping in Chicago to pick up Bob’s niece. Simple enough–if things hadn’t gotten so complicated.  

It was the day before Christmas Eve, early evening traffic around Chicago, already dark, and they got headed the wrong direction on the toll road. Finally were able to get turned around, and then the fuel pump gave out. It was so cold the windows frosted over on the inside of the car. Fortunately, they hadn’t been stopped long before a Highway Patrol came along and loaded them all into his car and took them to a service station, and had the car towed in and a new fuel pump installed. 

They made it to Chicago, much later, much colder and with much less money. We didn’t use credit cards and not a lot of money in the bank. They made it to near Springfield, Illinois, and the alternator light came on.  It was now near midnight and very, very cold. After the light came on, Bob took the next exit hoping they could find someplace to check it out. They couldn’t find anything open, and the car was running fine, so they decided to continue on. Then–on the ‘on’ ramp to get back onto the interstate the transmission gave out and the car quit moving. He could go backward but not forward. There was snow everywhere, but from their vantage point on the ramp they could see the lights of a motel in the far distance. This was before cell phones, and a fence separated the interstate from any businesses, but their only recourse was to walk. To make matters a bit more complicated–Lori’s normal mode of transportation was a wheelchair, and for her to keep breathing at night she required the use of a respirator, a turtle-shell type of contraption that had a suitcase size power supply that had to be plugged in. 

They wrapped Lori completely up in blankets, even her head (pneumonia was a real danger for our daughters), put her in her wheelchair and Bob sent the ‘kids’ on ahead while he gathered the respirator, etc., they would need.  I can’t even imagine how they must have appeared. And it must have aroused the suspicion of another Highway Patrol as well. He stopped them and asked what was in the chair. When Kip replied, “my sister”, they were once again loaded into a patrol car and this time taken to a motel.  Bob witnessed this ‘taking away’ from behind…but the patrolman did come back after him. 🙂 

This time, the call was a bit more frantic. They probably weren’t going to make it home Christmas Eve. And since he wasn’t going to make it home, could I pick up his paycheck? Problem–he had the car. Well, sort of a car. 

I called the station the next morning, explained the mess, and that’s when the ‘brotherhood’ kicked in. Before noon there was a knock at our door, and two firefighters delivered not only the paycheck, but a collection of money they’d taken among the others.  It was Christmas. Every one of those men needed that paycheck as badly as we did. 

But they gave…because. 

P.S.–They went beyond the giving of money. Bob was working at the airport for his part time job.  Two other ‘brothers’ also worked there. We never found out how, or who arranged it,  but one of the pilots (with Bob along)  flew Lori back to South Bend, Indiana where her fellow workers met her.  And this same pilot bought Bob’s niece a commercial ticket to fly on into Chicago. 

We’ll never forget.





Kip and Lori 







Monday’s Mundane Matters

There’s a tendency to think of mudane as common, ho-hum, nothing spectacular, boring, routine,

But the older I get, the more I realize that IN the mundane is where most of life happens

In today’s tech-frenzied world, my biggest fear is losing the excitement of the simple, everyday happenings. Don’t get me wrong–I love the new ‘stuff’ that is available. I have a smart phone, I text, I tweet, and I face book. I also Skype and face-time.  Yet, to me nothing can ever replace the actual presence of a friend. The conversations that happen around a kitchen table. The look-you-in the eye kind of fellowship that accompanies real flesh you can reach out and touch. The actual moving of the mouth to form words that express themselves not only in the hearing, but the watching. The face, the eyes, the body language that fills in the blanks between what is uttered.

Today, I accompanied granddaughter #2 to her doctor’s appointment. She’s not too young to go alone, but she didn’t want to be by herself. Then she came and spent most of the day lying on the couch at our house. We watched old Christmas movies…and talked!

I know, from experience, these kind of days we pass all too soon. And there will come a day when, because of college, distance, and time, we will be satisfied with texting, etc..  But today was mundane. I did laundry while she was here. But above the chug of the washing machine, and the hum of the dryer, our voices mingled.

Boring? NO  Spectacular? NO, unless you count going through half a bag of fun-size Snickers!!

But life happened. And I’m truly grateful for the mundaneness of  today, because it DOES matter.