Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend - Pt One

As mentioned, Thursday night was fraught with angst.
Haha. Is fraught even a word? How come I used it? Where did that phrase come from? WHO AM I even?

To recap: Thursday night, I was at the lake, by myself in a buzzing, then not-buzzing (because I was brave) cabin. The rain was ridiculous but lovely. My cabin-bedroom is the best spot on earth for listening to night sounds like rain and frogs and crickets and creeks and wind in the trees. So there was that.

On Friday, Mark and Heather drove up to see about my electrical wish list. Mark's an electrician and he was going to install a WIFI operated thermostat for me so that I could adjust the heat FROM MY PHONE, whenever I felt like it. (I predicted I'd feel like adjusting the cabin's temperature about one hour before arriving on every future visit.) After a few hours of fiddling and diddling, it became apparent that we could cross that off my list. It wasn't going to happen. (Unless we bore a hole in the ceiling, walls and floor.)

For the past 15 years I've arrived to a freezing cold cabin and waited an hour for it to unthaw. I guess I can do this for the next 15 as well.

Then he had a look at the fireplace. Which hasn't worked in 15 years unless you're my brother-in-law and you lie on your stomach and you cross two live wires and deal with the sparks and flick a switch. Which I haven't been comfortable doing.

He predicts we can probably cross, 'get fireplace to work' off my list, as, after one quick glance, he could see three things wrong. And he's not even a gas fitter. So. Sigh. He'll replace a something and check another something the next time he comes. But I'm being realistic with my expectations.

My other wish list items had to do with yard lights, deck lights, motion-detector lights... He'll come back someday in the future and see what he can do.

I called the emergency number on the sewage treatment/septic pump thingy in the basement that was having issues, and left a message. But my call was not returned. So at 5:30 I packed up my things, locked up the cabin and called it a day.

I went to church.

To the 7 pm Good Friday service at Northview:

I was hoping to catch a different Good Friday service, as I had my doubts about my ability to fully appreciate this one. The Calvin Dyck quartet was going to perform Joseph Haydn's composition based on the last words of Jesus before His death. There would also be responsive and dramatic readings. Truthfully, this is my least favorite type of church service. I'm just too dumb. But all my other options for less artistic services took place in the morning, and well, yeah, I was still in bed.

I'd been to the symphony earlier this week, so maybe I was growing up? Maybe I'd be moved? Maybe the beauty of the music would penetrate my stone cold hard soul? :)

Not so much.
It was fine, but I wasn't moved to tears. I couldn't sing, or tap, along.
But the folks around me, who were likely more educated in musical appreciation, were very enthused. So it was just me. And that's OK. I kinda expected my reaction going in. So, YAY, again, for realistic expectations.

I got back to my mom's house and wished I had a working TV with BluRay player in the basement. But after spending close to a thousand dollars in cables and adapters and equipment and whatnot last summer, I realized I have to make peace with that too. So, once again, I put my ear buds in, and watched a movie on my laptop.

I am sure everyone on earth had a better, family-filled, love-filled, joy-filled day. It was just me who had a black cloud overhead. The positive side of having a not-fabulous day is that I muttered/prayed alot. And was in an appropriate mindset to appreciate Jesus's not so good Friday all those years ago.

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for dying for me. And for everyone I love.


The rain?
Continued to fall on Saturday.
So I got soaked on my grocery shopping trip.
A person cannot hold an umbrella and unload 34 bags of groceries from the buggy to the truck, and then again from the truck to the house. I miss my house and the ability to park in the garage.

Since when did shopping/preparing for a family dinner for 16 take all day?
It always has?
No wonder we I do it so rarely.

After I got everything put away, I went to church... for the Easter Sunday (He has risen. He has risen, indeed) Service. (Seeing I prefer the Saturday evening service, I was celebrating his resurrection less than 24 hours after I contemplated His crucifixion.) Whacked, I know.

Can I say something?
Everyone in the world should go to church on Easter Sunday. I am serious.

Easter Sunday is the Academy Awards Show for Christian churches. You are going to get the best we can offer on Easter Sunday. The first line plays on Easter Sunday.

If you're not sure what Christianity is, or what church is about, or who Jesus is and what God's plan has been - then Easter Sunday is when  you should pop in to church. All your questions will be answered. In the most joyful, non-threatening environment ever. And the music? Regardless of what your preferred style is, the music will bypass your brain and sink deep into your soul. It's just that good.

So church was amazing on Saturday night, is what I'm saying. As I sat there, soaking it all in, I was praying that everyone I love/have been praying for, would be invited (and brave enough/out of excuses) to attend an Easter service somewhere in the world. (When Jeff's sermon is available online, you should totally listen. It's about unmet expectations.)

Yup. It totally was.
And how people have a hard time surrendering to God, because they have unmet expectations about Him. They think He should make their lives easier. Better. Happier. Richer. Whatever-er.

And then Jeff ended by reading this article. It was written by Kristen Powers who is an American political pundit and columnist who writes for USA Today. I needed to hear her story because I've become pretty sceptical about people becoming Christians as adults. I needed to hear that God is still in the business of woo-ing/calling people into a relationship with him. And that people who are set in their ways are still capable of responding. Her statement: "The Hound of Heaven had pursued me and caught me—whether I liked it or not" was exactly, EXACTLY what I needed to hear. 


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Messages from God to me, via Jeff.
2. Easter means something.
3. Answered prayer.

Happy Easter, friends.

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