Cold Water

A simple request.  “Could you get me some cold water?”

And I heard the voice of God!

I practice and sing.  I want to be “good”, whatever that means.  Excellence is a core value for our church, and for me personally.  I know that I’m not that good.  I have seen to many excellent musicians, doing amazing things, to ever think that I am even in their league.  But I still push myself.  At fifty-one years, having played for almost thirty-seven of those years, I still want to get better, faster, more confidant, more artistic.

But one thing is blatantly revealed in my playing, I am inadequate.

This may sound like self-pity or a need for encouragement.  It may sound like self-deprecation or humility.  It is not.

I have so much fun playing.  There are few things that sadden me more than not playing music.  There are only a couple that I ask God not to take from me.  One of those things is music, as realistically limited as my skills are, it is something so deep within me that to remove it would kill me.

So what does God want with me, my skills, my passions, my heart and soul?  What does the Creator of the universe, the one who put me together, planned me from the beginning of time, fashioned me through physical attributes and the molding of time and experience, what does He want from me?

“Could I have some cold water please?”

Cold water in a glass on a hot summer evening.  Cold water splashed in my face in the early morning.  Cold water lapping at my toes as I walk the beaches of Lake Michigan.  Cold water pouring over my body in the middle of winter.  A cold shower, an ice pack, snow falling softly in the middle of the woods or coming in blizzards that blanket our roads, our houses.

Cold water can come in many different forms.  Is that what You call me to?  To be refreshing, awakening, calming, shocking, healing, quieting, covering….

Yes, Lord.

Chuckin’ Chunks of Ice

Today, I went out in the snow with my grandson.  We shoveled and made snow angels.  He let me pull him around on a sled.  We threw ice chunks up in the air to watch them splat on the ground.  He laughed and laughed.

Here’s how the game went.  I would take a piece of slushy, crunchy ice that fell off my car.  You know what I’m talking about, dirty, gray, nasty pieces that build up in the wheel wells as you drive.  The temperatures are perfect for making them formed enough to stick together but when the hit the driveway they explode.  Anyway, I’d take a piece and throw it way up into the air.  We would watch it as it came back down and then clap and laugh as it splatted.  Then he would grab a piece and try to do the same thing.  Now you have to understand, he’s twenty months old.  He tried so hard.  He reach back as far as he could, holding tight to his missile.  Then, with all the might he could muster, throw the ice a foot in front of him, or throw it in his own face, or throw it behind him.  A couple of times it never even left his hand.  At first he would look at me, a shadow of disappointment crossing his innocent face.  But I would clap and laugh, tell him how good he did, shout and praise him.  Then we’d do it again.

Two things I saw as we played in the snow.  Two things he loved that we shared.  He loved watching how powerful I am and he loved trying to be like me.  I am not strong or amazing but I loved showing him how things fly, how they explode on impact.  And, I loved watching him try so hard, pour himself into something so completely.

We share that with God.  Men and women of faith find joy in watching the Creator show off His power, His sovereignty, His presence.  We want to see those moments when He does what only He can do.  And then, we try to be like Him.  We love beyond our ability.  We serve when no one gives us praise.  We pray like we’re at war.

And when our attempts fall flat, seem so pitiful by comparison, we hear Him cheering us on.  His joy poured out on us for our efforts to be like Him because dad’s know.

Their kids will grow.