Last night I witnessed an impressive sunset. If you were in the Bellingham area and happened to look to the west just before seven I am sure you caught a glimpse. I saw through the trees from a window the glorious riches of color that were the clouds and sky and ran down to the shore of the lake to embrace the beauty of the fading day. And it was wonderful. I am thankful for these early October days in which the clouds have had a minimal presence and the blue has been left to oversee our happy lives. It makes hiking great, as well as numerous other outdoor activities.
It seems that though I did not necessarily try to make it this way, the week has become quite full. Friends, friends, and more friends. I climbed a tree today. Thanks, Scott, for joining me. Got some good forest time in. It will be interesting to see how the last few days play out. They might be very packed. My prayer is that our good Lord has seen fit to direct the activities of the remaining days so that what must be done may be done. I also pray that in those activities He leads so that they may be, in a word, good. Again, I will let what happens happen, but I can still desire those happenings to be favorable to me and to others. I am excited about the next few days and what they hold. I am sure it will be a grand time. Though I haven’t really started thinking about the fact that I will be gone in just a few short days, but there may be time for that yet. Honestly that part is never really easy.
I would like to share a thought, if I may. Just started the book of Romans (I know, I know, I’m going to Rome, ha ha), and I am finding some good stuff. This is one of those books that I have never spent much time in and that I never seem to remember well. But to combat my own insidious forgetfulness I have started keeping my thoughts in a small journal provided by the wonderful Stephanie Swick. Today I found a terribly convicting passage. One of the big things I find myself struggling with is being far too judgmental of those around me. In fact, when applying to International Teams (with whom I am going to Rome) I put that fact about myself in the ‘greatest weaknesses’ category. It is another source of creeping, dark bitterness in me. I recently read a book by Mother Teresa and one of the main points I pulled from her words and the stories told by others working with the Missionaries of Charity was how un-judgmental they all were. One woman’s story told of her needing a three week break because of the trauma from the kinds of work she was doing with the sick and dying. I suppose I could understand that, but three weeks? Come on! Take a moment and keep going! These were my bitter thoughts, but she went on to say that the sisters said that she should take as much time as she needed and not to worry. Rather than scorn her for leaving for so long (in my mind, at least, I guess) they did not judge, but rather prayed for her, wished her the best, see you soon. Oh. Well, there’s Robbie being a jerk again. I remember this often when in my mind I become a factory of judgment towards others, spewing the ghastly smoke of terrible, proud thoughts to those around me. And so this from Romans:
Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
The Missionaries of Charity had it right in their mindset of patience and tolerance, as that is God’s heart. Ever since reading that wonderful book I cannot get these thoughts out of my mind (which is a good thing!), and though I have my moments, as it is hard to completely break from all that your mind has set itself in, I feel myself growing, improving in this way. If you have felt yourself viciously judged by me, I am sorry. I am learning patience in new and different ways. I wish to not show contempt for anything the Lord does. He is kind and good. And may that lead us all, including me, to repentance.