Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

If It’s All The Same To You, Lord, I’d Rather Have A Dream

All around me, both in the blog world and in the real world, people are moving to new places. Their lives are changing.

They move and change for lots of reasons. New jobs. Redeployment. Divorce. School graduation. Financial problems. New ministries. Budget cutbacks. Aging. Medical problems. — all these things force people to move and undergo changes.

A change is being forced upon me too.

I realized that yesterday in the three different grocery stores I shopped at.

Three grocery stores in one day?

Yes. Long story, not worth telling, but I went to three different grocery stores yesterday.

And in one of them I realized that I’m due for a major change in lifestyle.

You see, I plan and a prepare for things — Boy Scout training sticks.

In Scouts I learned to plan a camp menu for cooking, taking into account the planned activities of a trip. To this day, 50 years later, I continue to do that.

Ginny and I shop for two weeks groceries at a time. Since I do most of the cooking during the week, I also do most of the shopping. Makes sense.

I use a form for menu planning.

First I get our wall calendar down and mark anticipated activities on my menu plan. Will we be going to the library Tuesday and need quick finger food we can eat with our new books propped on the table as we read in happy companionship as we ignore eachother? Do we have a blood test that requires fasting beforehand? Do we expect visitors?

That sort of thing.

Then I list some favorite meals that fit into the calendar of activities. Then I write on the shopping list the ingredients I’d need for that particular meal.

By doing this, I only have to go to a grocery store, which I hate to do, once every two weeks.

But yesterday something changed.

I found that I can no longer see the products on the shelves.

My sight has faded till I can no longer read the prices.

Labels blur before my eyes.

My shopping days are over.

Upsetting, but no real surprise there. I’ve known for a long time that I have age related macular degeneration and that a day would come when my sight would fade. It’s part of getting old and needs to be coped with.

But what has that to do with moving?

As I blundered around the supermarket aisles, I got to thinking about Joseph in the Bible … actually, there are two different Josephs mentioned in the Bible.

There is Joseph the Patriarch, you know, the one with the coat of many colors; and there was Joseph the husband of the Virgin Mary.

The two Josephs lived hundreds of years apart but both faced a similar problem.

God wanted them each to move to a new place.

God wanted them each to go live in Egypt for a time.

Joseph the Patriarch got knocked on the head, stripped naked, thrown into a pit, sold as a slave, and transported to Egypt.

It was his brothers who did him dirt.

Relatives often motivate life changes.

The other Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary, God warned in a dream to pack up and move to Egypt. In the middle of the night, God sent him a dream.

In the case of each Joseph, God was saving lives, changing not only the individual man’s life but the entire course of history.

Of course, Joe did not know that.

He only knew that disagreeable change was in the air.

Moving from one place to another. Changing locations. Changing habits. Suffering loss. Winning Lotto. Being mugged. Redeployed. Promoted. Fired. — any change, good or bad, brings stress.

We want to be among the movers and the shakers of this world, not the moved and the shook.

We want control.

We resist change, especially change we perceive as bad — like getting knocked on the head by relatives, thrown in a pit, sold as a slave, transported to a strange land.

God, on the other hand, constantly moves us to new experience.

He discourages stagnation.

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things pass away. Behold, all things are become new.

I fight that.

I cling.

I’m scared of change.

I don’t want to be changed.

I live in my comfort zone; God lives in His.

Why doesn’t He leave me alone?

He’s bad to me. He seems cruel. If He really loved me, He wouldn’t bother me, He’d let well enough alone. My life would flow smooth.

I’d travel on with no change, no interference, no disruptions — straight into Hell.

When Joseph the Patriarch finally rose to become Pharaoh’s CEO in Egypt, in the last chapters of Genesis, he told his brothers, the guys who did him in, “Be not angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life… God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now, it was not you that sent me hither, but God…

“Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people”.

The Lord introduces change into our lives both to save us as individuals and to use us to save much people besides — that is not necessarily a pleasant experience for the usee. But we can trust that He know what He’s doing.

After all, He’s been God for a long time.

Can you believe that all this long mediation was sparked by my not being able to read a can of beans?

On a more serious note: Ginny is one of the patients who takes Avandia. Yesterday’s news says that new studies show the prescription medicine increases a person’s risk of dying of a heart attack by 64%.

She already had an appointment with a cardiologist scheduled in a couple of weeks because of something her primary care physician noticed in a recent exam. He said she's in no danger, it's just something he thought merited a closer look. Just in case.

We’ll see what happens.

If some change is necessary, we’ll deal with it as it happens…

And as far as any changes in our future… If it’s all the same to You, Lord, I’d rather have a dream.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 5:30 AM


At 8:24 AM, Blogger pai said...

I like grocery shopping - call me anytime and we'll go together. :)

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Becky Wolfe said...

I'm enjoying your blog john, thanks for visiting mine.

Yes, God does seem to encourage change doesn't He! I think it encourages us to grow & especially when it is hard, it encourages us to lean on Him!

Sorry that your eyesight is getting worse but I hope your change directions come in the dream & not through a smack to the head :)

At 2:49 PM, Blogger LeiselB said...

I absolutely LOVE this post. I think I've started to read you in place of any devotions....your blog is better.;) Thanks for writing.

At 12:33 AM, Blogger Amrita said...

What an organized way to shop for groceries! Hope you can get some medication for your eyes.Prya Ginny 's medication won 't cause any ill-effects.

At 2:55 AM, Blogger Val said...

So in a phrase: Go with the flow. But I enjoyed reading your words, John.

I am amazed at your organised grocery shopping. I thought I was organised by printing out a list of staples, in columns reflecting where the items are found on the shelves. Then I just have to tick what I need, and there's room to add other things. It's my way of reducing the amount of time I spend in a supermarket. Maybe you could draw up a floorplan of the supermarket (stick to one!) to help you find your way?


Post a Comment

<< Home