Yesterday, my hubby and I played Golf with our good friends the Howards. It was the first time I have played in January and the first time playing with Butch or Linda. Golf always gives me time to reflect on spiritual lessons and it also reveals a great deal about the true nature of a friendship. There were some miracle moments like the one and only putt that I made after saying aloud, “Let me be useful, Dear Lord”. We were playing a scramble, and up to that point we were using most of my hubby’s shots. Another incredulous moment happened when I attempted to hit a gentle shot that instead lofted high and straight for a leafless tree. Somehow it thread right through the branches and landed beautifully in front of the green. I am willing to hit a ball for four hours just for one happy moment like that. Luckily, I can rely on my dependable husband to hit a monster ball that sets us up nicely quite often. The Howards did not surprise me that they played the straight and narrow fairways. They kept their composure and focus as they do in their daily life. Linda could hit a long rolling ball to keep close to her husband. They are so sweet together. Rarely did we take a second putt because Butch always said, “You’re good”, if we were within three feet of the cup. He was also quick to suggest that we take a free drop if we were in the deep woods. We enjoyed their company and their gracious manner so much that we never added up the final score . It is a game of encouragement and sportsmanship. Since I only play a couple times a year, my wish is to not look too ridiculous as I swing inconsistently. The spiritual aspect is trust. I am working very hard at hitting the ball and not looking up to see where it went. In the same way that I need to trust God to take me to where I need to be without worrying what obstacles lie ahead. Our loving Savior can get us over the waters, around the traps, and through the hazards. Our Christian friends are the best friends because they encourage instead of compete, and tell us, “You’re good”, when we are close to the destination. How I could be with Linda and not chitty chat the whole time is unbelievable. We tried to be respectful of the silence required for serious golf, and enjoyed the undisturbed and natural beauty of the marshlands. I may never be good at playing golf, but when it comes to being with people I love, I already know the score.
Yesterday at lunch, I turned on the television to watch the well choreographed and rehearsed inauguration. I wanted to see the pageantry of great Americans, and to hear the historic speeches. After voting for forty years, this was my first opportunity to be home and witness the live presentation. I was greatly moved by the rich harmonic sounds of the choirs and the prayers that quoted King Solomon, King David, Saint Paul, and Jesus Christ from the Holy Bible. Now, I must say what every woman was thinking; Melania Trump was stunning in her powder blue suit with matching pumps. I wonder if I can get a copy of that outfit next week at Macy’s, in my size? Come on, confess it! Our First Lady is resplendent in style and beauty. Was she blessed by God with that figure, or does she have to work hard to look so attractive? We could have the healthiest nutrition and exercise schedule and still not achieve that “look”. We will be watching her closely because she has the power to solve the problems that plague our society. If Melania was our teacher, who would ever skip school or fail and exam? If Melania was our boss, who would ever miss work or perform poorly? She might even solve the American economic issues by showing us how to shop wisely. Seriously, I am hopeful for the state of our union every year as I see the beautiful people in my community that work tirelessly, not for personal wealth, but for the benefit of the the whole town. The small businesses and industry bring prosperity and pour their profits into churches, hospitals, schools, parks, art centers, senior centers, sports arenas, and festivals. Even though charities struggle to meet the needs of the jobless; volunteers continue to connect daily with those who are desperate. This is what makes America great. God has blessed a faithful people who must never lose that faith. We should be thrilled that the passing of power was done with poise. Even as the rain started and President Trump patted his hairdo, everyone remained attentive as he delivered his inaugural speech. I believe there will be changes in the next hundred days that will be effective for some and not for others. There always are. So, I am left wondering: will Melania bring panty hose back into fashion? I want to bare my soul but not my legs. Go in peace, serve the Lord.
Yesterday, I had a visit with a GI. That is gastroenterologist, not a muscular young soldier. The two are similar because they both battle, often in unseemly places. The doctor said it was time to get to know me inside and out. Yes, that means colonoscopy time. I told him a little about my background and habits which includes a fair amount of travel. He asked, “How often do you go?” And I said, “To the South?” He gave me a smirky smile and said, “No, to the bathroom.” Oh that, yes, a lovely subject. Some people, like the Zoo Keepers in my family, talk about elimination without hesitation. They give me fits of laughter. Do you run from the room when you are in mixed company and there are commercials on TV talking about fiber and regularity? I believe it is actually true love when we can discuss our inner most ‘feelings’ with our date or mate. Naturally, the beans and greens that are a part of my regular diet offer me a great deal of fiber that promotes a healthy digestive system. I do like a certain amount of regularity, consistency, and normalcy in my life. This includes schedules and being on time, so it is a good thing I married my Hubby, who is the same in that regard. Habits and routines can become dull, but watch out if there is an unexpected change; I can be thrown completely off kilter. Other regular habits include church attendance and prayer before meals and bedtime. Lately, I appear to be praying all day long. Whenever there is a request or a worry, I am already praying and putting my trust in the power of love that I call God. There may not be a formula to scare away every disease and demon we encounter or to receive the outcomes that we desire. Prayer does give us more faith and power to endure in the battles, and patience while waiting to understand what is the will of the Creator. Meditation helps me to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and directs my thoughts to positive action plans. I don’t usually pray for miraculous changes and cures, but I have seen them. I have also seen the ruins left behind by those that walk away from a faith that once was sustaining. If you find yourself doing battle against anything, I will join you as a prayer warrior with many faithful friends. Thank you for all the prayers and words of hope that you have sent my way. Whatever tests, probes and trials we must endure; eliminate the worry, add more laughter and enjoy your regularly scheduled program.
This week, I did not know what state I was in; the state of confusion to be sure. Hubby and I flew from Charleston to what I thought was Washington DC, because that was the route we took when flying down to Charleston. Hubby informed me we were in New Jersey and needed to catch a bus to get to the concourse for our next flight that would board in twenty minutes. We had to hustle after waiting for our gate checked bags to be unloaded- yikes, no bathroom break. While walking at a decent clip my glasses fall off and I kicked them ten feet in front of me. Thankfully a nice man picked them up and returned them rather than continuing the soccer game in the bustling hallway. So, you get the picture of a frenzied albeit seasoned traveler? Traveling always has an element of thrill, and definitely moments of frustration ( What do you mean my suitcase did not make the connection? The flight is canceled and there is not another until tomorrow? You upgraded my husband to first class and stuck me with a person who takes up all the room on the arm rest?). All of those really happened last year. The odds of incident increase with the number of flights taken, I suppose. My hubby is my favorite travel companion and he does a fine job of making arrangements. Having a traveling buddy can be delightful and helpful as long as one of us is reassuring the other that it is all good and there are wonderful opportunities ahead. Traveling alone means being in close quarters with people we have never met. They don’t always want to talk, but most do. Chatting with a stranger who is encroaching on my personal space also has its rewards. When swapping stories, I often find that I receive clarity on things that were previously confusing. I have learned much about problem solving by listening to others-even strangers. Listening is the primary factor for clearing up confusion. I must have missed the flight attendants announcement, “Welcome to Newark”, when we landed because I was absorbed in a book. We made it to our next flight on time. I feel certain that the continuous prayers flowing from my stream of thought keeps me walking with God throughout my journeys. My prayers today are for those in the Ft Lauderdale airport. We were there one week ago, and last night we were waiting for friends to fly home from that airport to join us for dinner. I pray they make it home today safely. No matter what city we travel to, I pray the Lord keeps us in a state of grace.