The Neighbors Are Watching

I’m thinking this is another one of those “gotta get it off my chest” posts. I was in the prayer room at church last week. Seeing as how it was the week that included the National Day of Prayer, part of my prayer focus was for our nation; that same nation that seems, more and more, to be walking away from “one nation” under God, running in the opposite direction of life and liberty, but honing in big time on that “pursuit of happiness” thing. As I prayed, I was feeling discouraged. In my mind, I was comparing the condition of our nation to one of those slow-motion falls where there is little hope of recovery. Then a positive, still small voice reminded me that a fall can be recovered before impact. This, I know from experience, recent experience.

That recent experience was in the form of a few seconds in my front yard. I have been working in the front flowerbed over the past two or three weeks. I know it does not much look like it, but believe me, it is a work in progress.  Yes, I am the one that does not ask for help until I am mired up to my arm pits in quicksand and in too deep to get out on my own. This was absolutely one of those days.  I was hot and frustrated and ready to climb out of the quicksand.

I was digging up the roots of the dead bushes in the front of the house.  This crazy spring weather got every one of them. My thought was to replace the dead shrubbery with pots of colorful flowers.  It had taken me the better part of a week, but five of them were out and there were three to go—the  biggest and oldest.  I had worked on the biggest one all morning.  I was not getting anywhere.  Those roots were in deep and all I had to work with was a shovel and a lawn edger. 

I had been trying to chop at the roots with the lawn edger and pushing the shovel in and getting around the roots, but they were not budging. At one point, I thought, “What if I push the shovel in backwards? Maybe a different angle would cause a different reaction.” (Let me just state, for the record, that I am not an outside girl. I am an inside “cooking, reading, crafting, writing, crocheting, studying” kind of girl.) And yes, there was definitely a different reaction to jamming the shovel in backwards.

The shovel slipped and I was thrown backward. I had enough presence of mind to know I didn’t want to fall on the exposed roots of the shrub next to the one I was working on. So I jumped backwards out of the flower bed, hoping to get my balance. The problem with that was as soon as you are out of the flower bed, you are headed down hill. At this point it was either fall backward or move backward.

So here I go, down the hill, backwards, hopping and jumping from side to side, arms flailing all over the place trying to grab ahold of a piece of air that would hold me up. I feared it was going to end ugly, Then somehow I got turned around (still out of control) and at this point was running downhill (still waving my arms like a swarm of bees were after me and I was looking for a body of water to jump in,)

Somehow, I remembered reading that if you know you are going to fall to just curl up in a ball and roll with it. It said you would be less likely to get hurt…as bad…that way. (How I had all these thoughts running around in my head in the few seconds I was attempting to become intimate with the ground, I have no clue.) So, since I was in the grass anyhow, I decided to go with that theory and curl up and roll. I prayed, “Oh Lord, help me,” and made the physical move with my arms and shoulders and then my right leg to start curling my body up. The crazy thing was, as I made the move to do that, it turned my body slightly so that I was headed back up hill. I had not crashed, rolled down the hill, across the road and into the neighbor’s yard, (where, did I mention, they had a patio full of company?) Turns out that as I got turned up hill it slowed me down and I was able to get stopped… without falling! Thank you Jesus!

I’m not sure how entertained the neighbors and their multitude of company were by my gravity defying feats.  I’m pretty sure they were watching.  Lawn chairs all lined up facing my way, oh yea, they had a front row seat. The thing is, while I was desperately trying to reclaim the balance that I had lost, while I was engaged in the struggle to stay upright,  I did not think about anyone watching.  I had one focus and that was to try my best not to get hurt. 

I am feeling pretty thankful to my Lord this week that He gave me the presence of mind to be able to think and make an effort to pull myself out of the fall.  He answered my prayer immediately.  

I am also feeling a little hurt for my Lord this week. He loves us so much and has done so very much for us as a nation through nearly 250 years. But we continue to want to walk in our own ways. The passage keeps running through my mind, “Therefore the Lord said: ‘Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me,’…” Isaiah 29:13 NKJV

When these sixty-three year old bones were in their teens, they could never have imagined our nation turning away from God. We were founded as a nation under God. It is my belief that because we honored God, He honored us with His blessing and protection.

I realize that God is, well, God. He is all knowing. He most likely, doesn’t feel the kind of sorrow that we do or get His feelings hurt like I do. He knows what is at the root of it. But don’t you just wonder if He tears up just a little when He sees those that call themselves by His name offer Him small but valuable events that should be big and yet flock into massive, worldly events that should hold less value for them?

The thing that comforts my heart this weekend, and I hope also comforts God’s heart is that, while the thousands gather to worship at the feet of earthly idols, there are still the few, called by His name, gathering to pray and beg Him to turn us around and help us recover from the fall before impact; or at least allow us to roll up in a ball so that the fall will not be dibilitating. After all, while we may not be paying much attention to them, the neighbors are watching.

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What is your relationship to the all knowing God of the universe?  Do you know Jesus? Do you know the peace that can come only from an intimate relationship with Him?  You can know Him.  Jesus Christ, God’s Son, born into human flesh, sinless, crucified and giving His life freely, buried, arisen on the third day, will come into your life and change the outcome of your eternity.  You just have to be willing to believe and accept His truth.  

Here is an excellent website that can give you additional information about making your decision for Jesus Christ! PeaceWithGod.net

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If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.“ (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)

One thought on “The Neighbors Are Watching

  1. I had a somewhat similar experience on Thursday. It involved my dog, whose leash I was holding, turned and chased another dog. Didn’t fall — don’t know how I didn’t. No neighbors were there to watch. The memory of it will stay with me forever. I certainly have empathy for your escapade. Love, Jan

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