Do you have 20 minutes?

It's a drizzling, early spring day where I am. I am completely surrounded by breathtaking beauty in the mountains of southern West Virginia. This is a place where I have never imagined myself living. But God always knew where He was taking me. And here I am.

I'm still recovering from foot surgery on both feet. I've posted several blog entries about how well my recovery is going and how amazed I am at my quick healing. I followed instructions well and tried not to overdo it for a full four weeks. But on Tuesday (the first day of my fifth week), I got a little too ambitious. I figured that since I had been able to go shopping and out to lunch and resume riding my recumbent bike, I could clean all my bathrooms, change sheets, organize my closet (finally), hang pictures, empty the dishwasher, and do laundry too. And I did. But that night I paid. My feet were very sore and even ached enough to keep me from sleeping well. I had to rest them a lot yesterday. And today they are better, but I'm still not walking as comfortably as I was on Monday. "Slow down" is not a lesson I normally need to be taught. But I do occasionally get these bursts of productivity and then I think I can accomplish anything I set my mind to in one day. It's not the best system. Especially when you're recovering from surgery.

I spent most of the morning catching up on my Bible reading. I began in Genesis with my WOC family at the beginning of January. So did John. Instead of reading three chapters a day, he's been reading five. And he's ahead. I have been playing fall behind and catch up ever since I started packing in February. I was overwhelmed. And I did not set aside time for those three chapters every day. Then, as you see yourself falling behind, you think you have to set aside time to catch up completely in a day. (See a pattern here?) So you don't even resume reading the three chapters. I'm saying you when I should be saying I. But I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I am within five chapters of being caught up (though I must confess to skipping Leviticus and Numbers, since they are not my favorites anyway). So I'm trying to make the most of my down time. And while soaking my achy feet in the tub, I pulled up the podcast of one of my son's more recent sermons. I've even been too busy and preoccupied to listen to my own son lately.

As I listened, I was amazed at God's perfect timing. I think I was supposed to hear this sermon today. In spite of the beauty all around me and the amazing things God is in the process of doing for us, I've let a lot of little things stress me out this week. I have been trying to be in control ... of ... I don't know what exactly. But I haven't been able to relax. I'm too focused on things I want to happen quickly. Even finding the right church.

As I listened to Danny preaching on this very subject, I felt inspired to slow my mind down from trying to reach a destination or have every question answered, and just see the wonder and the beauty of today. We are only able to do that when we are completely trusting God for tomorrow.

If you have 20 minutes to spare, please listen to this sermon. Not because my son is the speaker. But because I think absolutely everyone can relate to this particular message. It touched me on so many levels. And at the end when he mentioned being at the Centennial Cancer Center and being angry at cancer, I cried. Not just because I've been there with John and Marian. But because I lost my mom to cancer 25 years ago. Because I lost my sister-in-law to cancer in 2010. Because our WOC family recently lost a precious person who spent a lot of time there. Because I've met so many cancer patients receiving treatment there over the last five years. Because I have so many online Christian friends fighting this battle at different intensities. Because I have a new friend who is at MD Anderson right now going through a stem cell transplant for MM. Because I have a friend in Murfreesboro who is fighting for his life against pancreatic cancer. And because I read the blog of Sara Walker, who is sharing her spiritual walk through stage four colon cancer (in her early thirties) with her readers.

Cancer has touched all of our lives. It's touched mine a lot. And it may touch me a lot more in the coming years. I don't have cancer at this moment. But I still don't know what the future holds or how long I have simply because I'm not living with a diagnosis today. I was reminded, through my son's sermon this morning, to live in this moment; to rest and not miss the beauty all around me because I am focused on doing or achieving or arriving at a destination quickly.

This is the kind of preaching I love and hope to find here. But I'm spoiled. I'm probably not going to find an Allen Jackson, Tim Keller or Danny Bryant just everywhere I go. But thanks to technology, I can take them all with me!

I know of a little church here (the one I'm  probably going to wind up attending) that is looking for a pastor. I wish it was God's plan to bring Danny here. (I know that is not going to happen. So it's not a hint. It's just my wishful thinking.) But I'm thankful I can hear him preach from miles away.

I hope you'll take a few minutes and listen...


Bonnie said…
Hi Shari. You and your husband have been on my mind so much as I patiently (not!) wait to hear about the Cal-101 trial.

I'm so sorry that you over did it and suffered from that. It's hard to quit when you're on a roll and you don't know when the chance will come again. I hope that you felt better by Easter.

Yes, I have 20 minutes....going to listen to your son now. Maybe his sermon was meant for me, too?

Thanks, Shari. - Bonnie
Shari said…
Thanks for your note, Bonnie!

I have been feeling better and intend to write a new post later today. I hope you enjoyed Danny's message. I know he's my son, but I really enjoy his style of preaching. And I think I would even if I wasn't his mom.