It’s Just Another Day

Becky knew she couldn’t ignore the alarm the second time.

It’s incessant repeating tune and vibration did not allow her to do anything other than stare annoyed at it. Not that she had been deep asleep. Not that she enjoyed a decent night’s sleep. Again. Just that the alarm ruined the usual delusion she gave herself that maybe today she didn’t have to get out of bed. The delusion that she didn’t have to face the screeching of her six year old daughter about how it was unfair that her four year old brother was getting the last of the cereal again. The delusion that she was actually waking up to the serene sounds of the beautiful waves caressing the shore in her fantasy holiday home in the Bahamas.

That alarm shattered all of those delusions. Again. Instead Becky would open the curtains drearily to a day that matched her mood. Lily would again screech that Jake had taken the last of the chocolate cereal. Becky would have to sum up the courage and strength once again to get these children in order before dropping them off at her Mum’s house before she went to work.

Her uniform hung off her slim frame and she couldn’t even muster a smile at what she saw in the mirror. Both her and the woman looking back at her agreed, if it wasn’t for Lily and Jake, there wouldn’t be much worth living for. She worked hard to ensure her children didn’t notice her weariness too much. She worked hard to protect them and worked hard to give them whatever she could manage to keep them happy. It was tough, though, she could barely make ends meet even though she was working all the hours available to her plus overtime whenever she could.

A lot of effort, a lot of work and a lot of weariness before and after it. There seemed to be no let up and she was concerned with what teachers were saying about Lily’s behaviour at school. Becky felt close to the end of herself. There was only so much she could do especially since the father of Lily and Jake walked out on them not long after Jake’s birth.

She was grateful to her Mum for looking after the children in the holidays, but she felt guilty at the pressure it placed on a woman who wasn’t as strong as she used to be. Sometimes it would all get on top of Becky and she would look for some respite through a night out with her mates. But she knew she would drink to much and that would lead to …. complications. Yet there seemed to be no other area to release all the pent up frustration.

Sometimes when the children were asleep, she would nurse a glass of wine and over time finish one bottle after another without feeling any better for it. Yet eventually she would drag herself to sleep … Only to have it wrecked by that alarm ringing the second time.

Was there really any hope for her in her situation or would she just have to deal with it as just another day?

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Remarkably Resourceful

It was one of those days.

One friend had the link to help with starting projects. Later on another friend supplied some outlines that I could follow to succeed in the project. Hours elapsed and another friend offered outstanding insight on equipment that could be used to deliver on the project. Then as if that wasn’t enough yer another friend gave some good counsel on how to just take time with everything. Take things in stages. Don’t get in a rush. Just do what I can.

Without all of this, I would not even be able to start, let alone have good guidance on how to progress with the project.

What’s the project?

Well ….

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Coming To An Agreement

Two people agreeing on something is in itself something not to take for granted.

That’s because it is easier to eventually reach a position where disagreement leads to division because of the disunity. That’s just between two people. Imagine what it’s like when the numbers increase.

I was reminded of two incidents in the book of Acts that highlighted just what an achievement it is to gain agreement. The first, seen in Acts 6, was when there was upset and uproar at what was deemed to be the unfair treatment of the non-Jewish widows. The way that agreement was reached to the solution presented is quite remarkable. In as much as it is recorded by Luke without that much in the way of nitty-gritty and detail – the outcome from the process which had the consent of both those affected and the apostles is something that I read and I know could only be successful because of the Spirit of God.

The really fascinating issue, however, which had the potential to cause major havoc in the early church – and which still caused repercussions despite the decision – was the Jerusalem Council referred to in Acts 15. This was a pivotal meeting for the sake of the gospel reaching the Gentiles. The arguments were strong, even after the Cornelius episode where Peter had made it clear that the Gentiles could also embrace this gospel with subsequent Pentecostal experiences as the brethren experienced on that awesome day. Even after all that, there were still some saying that real salvation required adherence to circumcision and the law of Moses. The dispute at Antioch before the argument in Jerusalem highlights how much both sides of the argument were held dearly. To reach agreement on the situation and send a letter to the churches to that effect is no small achievement at all. The role of the Spirit was highlighted even in the letter.

Disagreement has brought on a great deal of stress and turmoil. The church still has an opportunity to show the way to how not just to disagree with grace and civility, but actually how to work with the Spirit towards agreement. Not an appeasement to the cultural norms of the day, but standing with what is still an incredible call to new life through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

(Photo: Unsplash)

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Psalm 21 – God Save The King

This Psalm is an interesting praise for what God is doing for the King.

Some may want to appropriate this for any leader. The key difference is, though, that this praise is about how God protects and saves the King because the King is in a right relationship with God. That way there’s a clear flow going on between the praise to God for the King. The King is undoubtedly the beneficiary but this is all because of the connection with God – it’s always the God centre going on.

That makes this Psalm all the more intriguing.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Psalm 4 – Plea

The word plea really captures the heart of this Psalm. Plea to God and a plea to people.

The safety David finds in God at the conclusion of the Psalm is remarkable and reassuring, but it is the plea to the people in particular that caught my attention.

Intriguing that David is calling people away from idolatry and slack attitude to God to take on a more reverent approach to God.

Even as the plea goes up to God and to the people for them to return to a right attitude to God, I wonder if that is our heart’s plea. Not only for us to have a right attitude to God, but for those we love and with whom we do life, to cultivate a right relationship with God.

It’s one thing to be assured in yourself that when you go to sleep you will be at peace. It’s another thing however to have concern for those around you. A concern that hopefully can lead to them sharing that same confidence only in the Lord.

It’s a plea worth making.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

December Thanks #12: Strangers

He asked me if I was a sociable type. There was a friend we both knewwho definitely was a real social animal. That guy wouldn’t have a problem meeting someone and talking to them real friendly like. Me, on the other hand, that is an aspect that has not been a particular strength of mine.

What has happened of late, however, is a greater appreciation for the contact and engagement that has taken place with people who in essence were complete strangers. It’s worth mentioning again that the advice given to children not to talk to strangers is an interesting piece of advice seeing as though most people we know as friends startedas a stranger.

To even have that conversation with him about if I was sociable spoke volumes for where I was now because of the work that took place with people taht started off as strangers. What at first may appear strange can over time become the friendly and familiar. I am thankful for the people who have made that transition and allowed me to make that transition in their lives too. I am also grateful for the ability not to just consider people for how strange they may behave or appear, but to remember that which is strange in me and consider their strangeness asan invitation to understand before being misunderstood.

My life is enriched today because of the kindness of strangers. For that I am forever grateful.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C.L. J. Dryden

Having the Backing 

Encouraging others is something I enjoy.

There is a great degree of delight in spotting something really good and where possible supporting the individual in doing that more often and developing that for the benefit of others. As a recipient of such encouragement, I know just how good it is to have the backing of others in pursuing something I do well. Being able to pass that on to others gives me a sense that I am being a good steward over the good others have passed on to me.

Saying that, I am very wary of people late on the bandwagon of certain realities, especially when I have been active in something for a while before their eyes and it takes a number of others to affirm a thing before they concur. I don’t thrive on compliments, but I progress on good backing. Recently I have discovered that good backing can go unnoticed if I am not mindful. Good backing does not flatter or make an unnecessary fuss of the matter, but the support is substantial in depth. I hope to take those on board in being intentional when delivering backing to others in their bid to be faithful in well doing.

As it’s something I enjoy, it’s something I want to improve on in order to help others likewise improve.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden