Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Thoughts From an Evening
(Originally Posted June 29th, 2006)

We wrap our arms around one another and pray in the front yard of the house we've called home, on Thursday nights, for varying amounts of time. In the moment a soft spoken tear wells gently in my eye. In an attempt to hide it I refuse to acknowledge it. As I make my way for my truck it quietly falls, cutting at my pride, as I reach for the door. I turn my back and walk away from something I know will never return.

With memories tight inside our hearts, the lights turned off, the doors locked and the crowd dispersed, we all do the same. What we know as Atwood Family Fun has now come to an end.

The night is warm in late June and annoying, repetitious fireworks screech in the distance. I take my seat in what is probably one of my favorite places on this earth and begin to ponder and attempt to concentrate. Tonight my seat faces west, so as I beg a question, I watch the sun set faithfully yet again.

I beg the 'always productive' question of "why." "Why do seasons change?" I'm completely uncomfortable with it and have never grown to like it. Why do people I love leave? Why do people change? Why do things happen that are so far beyond my control but affect me so deeply? How can a human walk in and out of a life so quickly but leave an imprint on a heart that will be felt for eternity?

The Atwood's home is only a small example of a season changing and coming to a close. But, tonight, I think it's the thematic concept more than the event that bothers me so.

I'm drawn back to a passage that's big in my life. It's Hebrews 12:7-11

7It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
9Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?
10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
11All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

Someone told me the other night the thing to know about this passage is that the translator got a word wrong. "Discipline" should actually be translated "training." So everywhere we read "discipline" we should read "training."

All training for the moment seems not to be joyful, but it hurts like crazy, yet those who have been trained by it, afterwards, it yields the PEACEFUL FRUIT of righteousness. (jv paraphrase)

Season changing is not comfortable. It seems sooo… NOT peaceful. It is no fun (and it tends to happen rather rapidly in college), but it is all intentional. It is ALL to train God's children into who He has for them to be.

As the night has quietly slipped up and covered my lovely 'boro for the evening I'm reminded of the trainer and His UNCHANGING faithfulness. Just as He brings the night, He WILL bring the morning.

So I tuck my memories back in my pocket, close my Bible and Journal, and simply pray. Rest in the maker…

Clinging Yet Moving

- JV

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