Posted tagged ‘Colorado’

Seeing Kansas

December 16, 2014

 

A few years ago I was on the top of Pike’s Peak on a clear, beautiful, sunny day. Someone said “You can see Kansas from here!”

My sarcastic nature made me think “Why would you want to see Kansas?” But my next thought was that I wasn’t quite know if we could see Kansas or not. I mean Kansas is a long ways off from Colorado Springs. And, secondly, how do you know where Kansas begins and Colorado ends. There isn’t a definitive line that marks it or a river that you have to cross to get to it…at least on the western side!

So I stood there wondering “Is that really Kansas or not?”

There are certain situations in life…certain sightings, if you will…that we are unsure how to classify. Is the birth of our fourth child…that we hadn’t planned on having…a blessing or an ill-timed additional obligation?

Is the lay-off notice I received the first step of a blessing that will lead me to another profession that I’m passionate about?

Are all the little kids in church an added responsibility and burden that diminishes our energies or the beginning part of a promised future for a congregation?

Was the raising of Jesus by Joseph and Mary seen as being a blessing? I’m sure that Mary could look back at her son and see how she was blessed, but was it seen as being a blessing as they were in the midst of it?

Seeing Kansas is hard from such a distance.

Most of us replay our lives and we ask “What if” questions. We ponder how we might have done things differently. Seldom do we think that maybe we did exactly what God called us to do, and to be exactly where God called us to be.

When we look back we can see the trail that our life made. In our prayerful meditations we can received comfort and encouragement about those times when our path was in sync with the plan of God. We can also painfully recall where we took our own way away from his plan…the effect of it upon us and others, the grief it brought…and rejoice in the fact that God never stopped loving us.

Some of us are in the midst of situations that we are having a hard time seeing there being a blessing involved in it.

But be encouraged! Kansas is out there and the blessings of God will become clearer and clearer as you keep faithfully traveling on.

Experiencing Grace On the Way To See Grace

April 28, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                 April 28, 2013

My first words were actually “Oh, crap!”

The flashing lights came on as the Highway Patrol car was approaching me going the other direction. I was heading to my great niece Gracie’s soccer game.

On my way to see Grace!”

I pulled over to the side of the river road and waited. The Highway Patrol female trooper came up to my passenger side window. I already had my driver’s license in my hand ready to grovel and look financially destitute.

Did you see those wild turkeys heading up the hillside there?”

Huh? I was expecting “License and registration please.”

No, I didn’t see them.”

Yes, several of them”, she added, turning towards the roadside slope to our right. I glanced up the hill and caught sight of the bird moving higher.

Got an idea of the speed limit on this stretch of road?”

Here it comes.

Yes. It’s fifty-five, and I believe I was doing sixty-five.”

True confession is good for the soul. For some reason it made my sin seem more plausible, more normal.

Sixty-seven.”

Oh!”

Do you have many problems with speeding?”

No,” I thought, “it comes natural.” Instead of saying that however I started in on the disclaimers.

Not usually, but I’m driving my dad’s Buick that has a little more get-up-and-go than my car.”

What do you drive?”

A Civic.”

Oh!”

And then I added “Hybrid!” to further explain my unfamiliarity with a vehicle that actually has engine power.

Colorado. I’ve got a brother that lives in Colorado.”

Really! Where at?” This speeding violation is taking an interesting turn in the conversation.

West of Colorado Springs. He says he can step out his front door and see Pike’s Peak.”

Woodland Park?”

I believe that’s it!”

I’m thinking, “Will this take $25 off my traffic ticket?”

He says half of the time that people get stopped there is because the law enforcement is looking for marijuana…with the whole legalized thing going on.”

Yes, ma’am!”I reply as I shake my head in a kind of “what’s the world coming to” kind of expression.

Do you have any relatives in Wheelersburg?” she asked as she surveyed my driver’s license.

No, ma’am! However, I did grow up in Ironton!”So some reason I thought creating ties with my growing up roots would cancel out my excessive speeding to get to a fourth grade girl’s soccer game.

Well…Mr. Wolfe, I’m going to give you a warning about your speed today. You need to be careful and go a little bit slower. Okay?”

I agree. I’ll make sure I’m more careful.”

She took my license and my Dad’s registration back to the cruiser and ran a check on them to make sure I wasn’t a convicted runaway felon on the lam. I waited, knowing that I was, as my grandfather used to say, “Guilty as sin!” Regardless of the power of my Dad’s car, or the justification that driving to my great niece’s soccer game should cancel out breaking the law, or even though I had been in church last Sunday (I had to be. I was giving the sermon!), a blazing pink speeding ticket should have been the rightful ending of the situation.

Mr. Wolfe, I hope the rest of your visit goes well.”

Thank you.”

I can’t believe those wild turkeys. You take care now.”

Thank God for wild turkeys to break the ice in conversation starters between grace-givers and law-breakers.

I slowly made my way to Gracie’s soccer game. I watched her with new eyes, not focused on her missed kicks, or other evidences of not achieving soccer perfection as a ten year old, but rather I focused on the fun she was experiencing playing a game and laughing with her teammates. As some of the adults watching shouted their disappointment in the mistakes of their sons and daughters who were playing on the field, my vision was on a Grace who was giggling. Perhaps I was able to see the upside of her soccer skills a little bit more because I had just experienced grace when I was on the downside.

On the way back to Dad’s place I watched my speedometer…and also saw the wild turkeys.

Moving God

June 28, 2012

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                             June 28, 2012

 

 

This week Colorado has been on fire!

About a dozen fires in different parts of the state. For me, it became too real when my wife, youngest daughter, and I stood on a hillside a couple of blocks from our house and watched the fires that were raging on the other side of the city, less then ten miles away.

One naysayer used the fires to proclaim that God was raining down fire on godlessness. It seems that blanket statements like that are often uttered with conviction…and little forethought. If God was raining fire down on us, why just the west side of the city? Does that mean that there is a higher level of spirituality on the east side?

We frown on such prophetic indictments, because they seem to be voiced as if they are the very words of God.

And yet, most of us…all of us…at one time or another have scratched our heads over why God didn’t move like a mighty wind in answering our prayers.

The struggle of prayer, as well as the adventure of prayer, is trying to get in rhythm with the movement of God, instead of determining how God should move. Fires ravaging homes drive us to our knees in prayerfully moving God to action. Many times his answer is right in step with our request; or perhaps our request is right in step with what he is about.

Our motives for praying often overshadow our belief in what God is capable of doing. It’s hard to trust God enough to not give him advice. It’s difficult to not light the runway of where we want him to land.

Some might ask the question, therefore, “Why even pray?” The answer is tucked inside the question, but worded a little differently.

Why DO you pray? Is it to avoid problems and crises? Is it to seek what God would have you be about? Is it to instruct the Instructor?

Recently I passed a church that had a sign out front promoting a new series that was beginning. The sign said “How to pray and get results!” It sounded like a class on how to get rich quick. Think about it! The word “pray” could have been replaced by a number of other words and still had the same objective.

Switch it with “invest”. Put in “sell on eBay”. Or “how to parent your kids and get results.”

Regardless of what you insert for “pray” it still falls into the line of trying to get something that I don’t have, or be somebody that I’m not.

When we approach prayer like that God becomes like a customer to impress so we can finish a sell. Perhaps that’s where a lot of us are in our relationship with him, trying to finish a sell.