Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What did I Have in my Hands?

I had the car in my hands. . .and the knowledge to check it out. . .and the last name of the owner and where he had the car serviced.  And using what was in my hand, I was able to make a call and find out that the car needed about $1500-$2000 worth of work that the owner declined to have done in June. 

So although I am looking for a car again, I did get to see what using what is in your hands can do.

Time and People in my Hand

I approached yesterday with much trepidation, after all, 30 days of focusing on What’s in My Hand (OK actually 30 days focusing on anything for me) seemed a little unlikely. 

I thought most of the way to church about my formless day—what was in my hand were these elusive things called time and people.  Although I thought I might recognize people in my hand and respond appropriately (smiling, making newcomers know they were welcome, praying with someone crying etc.), I wasn’t so sure what using the time in my hand might look like. 

Immediately after church I left for “Lunch” at Costco – the buffet left me starving, and I admittedly didn’t look for people on the way to the parking lot to talk to.  Two breads on a spread that was only half as long as usual—thankfully I am not gluten (or butter, God forbid) intolerant—but I digress. 

Leaving Costco I headed to Robb’s to scoff down all the pre-packaged goodies I could get into my famished body-- but that left us at the odd time of 2PM.  The lack of indecision combined with the heat of the day and, perhaps, the importance we were placing on “what’s next” caused a little tension and found myself expressing my annoyance.  All the plans I had for ministering to complete strangers today had little impact on ministering to the man in my hand.  Part of being faithful with the people in your hand is opening up your heart and taking time to understand them—all of them.

The Pirate game started at 1:35 and I believed the music at the winery to be over at 3.  So by the time we would get to the game or music they would be half over.  We sat in the running car facing out of the driveway waiting for a direction.  Finally he said, “Let’s pray about it”.  Whew, good idea.

No lightning bolts came down.  No booming heavenly voices.  Neither of us “got” anything but the baseball game seemed more complex and the outdoor music at La Casa Narcissi seemed more of an environment to map out the plan he wanted to attack for the week so we headed there.  We sat alone and people-watched just relaxing and munching on calamari. 

The music actually was supposed to be from 2-5 so our choice turned out to be a good one.  Then at 5 another performer joined the current one and they played together for a while longer turning a good thing to a God thing.  Sabbath rest accomplished.

At one point enroute home Robb spotted a Nissan Murano for sale on the side of the road.  We pulled over to take a look—it was in great shape and priced right.  Larger than I needed but I saw how much time the car search had sucked up thus far and I wanted it over.  We called the number to test drive it.  The owner had just put it out 3 hours before after beautifully detailing it.  It was garage kept and you could tell he was meticulous about it.  They were selling it because they needed something with a third seat for the dog. 

I’ll take it to the dealer to be looked over today. 

To recap, I saw myself fail with the “man in my hand” . . . but took the failure as a lesson.  I think we did well discerning what to do with the time in our hand and were rewarded with not only an accomplished rest, extra unexpected music, but also, perhaps, freedom from having to restart the car search.  That alone redeems hours of time and frustration.  This could be an interesting month.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

What’s in Your Hand?

What’s in Your Hand?

I can’t seem to get the phrase “What’s in Your Hand” out of my head.  It seems that that is the phrase that God has me contemplating lately. 

Honestly, up to this point, I had spent most of my time contemplating what is “not” in my hand.  I need a new car because mine won’t’ pass inspection without work that far exceeds the value of the car.  I need a house as the one I am living in is essentially owned by the state due to my mom’s nursing home debt.  I need a phone because the one that I have has reached the (planned by the phone company) end of its life and has snail-slow speed and erratic battery life.  I am a writer that writes far too little and hasn’t submitted much for publication lately.  I’m an aunt, sister, and daughter who isn’t deepening relationships.  These are the data points that consume most of my prayer life—what I don’t have. 
But God has been focusing me on something different- What’s in Your Hand?

So I intend to ask myself every day for the next 30 days, “What’s in Your Hand?”
Today is Sunday.  I will go to church, pick up some things for work at Costco and make a return at Office Max.  That should put me at about 1PM.  What I have in my hand is all of the people I will come in contact with and the balance of this day of Sabbath rest.  The big, un-replenishable thing I have in my hand is time.  I have the blessing of that time not having to be used on a project but a gift of rest.  Do I go to a park or a pool and read a good book? Do I take a hike and pray?  Do I go to a Pirate game?  Go visiting?

How do I use the gift of time in my hands today?