Dear Future-Focused Friends:
Yesterday, Memorial Day, I spent my time expressing my patriotic duty by working on the house. The fascia board on the garage had rotted to where attempting to paint it again seemed pointless. So off I went to Menards for two 12’ pine 1 x 6's. It took a few hours, but now it looks great. I was relieved to find a still usable can of exterior trim paint in the garage, so I had the unusual experience of completing a project with only one trip to the hardware store. That was disappointing.
Now I’m looking at the other three sides of the garage fascia and thinking they need attention too, and although they cannot be seen from the house, I’m wondering if I can have similar success in their replacement. Their substandard finish mocks my sense of accomplishment, and now I see them more clearly than the gleaming new boards.
We just successfully oversubscribed our $9,800 Parlor Kitchen remodeling fundraiser, receiving well over $12,000 in gifts in less than two weeks. And now, even before we begin the Parlor Kitchen project, the Westminster Hall Kitchen looks shabbier than ever; don’t get me started about the Fellowship Hall Kitchen.
My musing today is not about the insatiable sinkhole of house or building repairs, but about my lame capacity to celebrate today’s accomplishments without jumping to tomorrow’s responsibilities.
As you know, I’ve started a five-part series referencing the Lord’s Prayer. Each sermon will parallel one of this summer’s VBS theme days. This past Sunday was “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Never mind how that sermon went; I’m obsessing over what comes next.
This coming Sunday will be, “Give us this day our daily bread,” and here’s what’s got me musing.
We are commanded to pray only for today’s bread, but my energy and anxiety draw me forward to next week’s groceries. I seldom pause to acknowledge how the request for today’s bread has been abundantly fulfilled because I’m focused on my next responsibility, my next job, my next meal. I even claim such thoughts are virtuous by suggesting a forward-looking mindset gets things done, not recognizing how powerfully this attitude renders my heart ungrateful.
I’m thinking Christ’s admonition for us to request only daily bread challenges me to quit gulping my meal to rush off to the next important thing. As my dad used to remind me, “Slow down and chew your food!”
So, thank you for your generous gifts to the Parlor Kitchen Fund! And I’m going to take a moment and admire my new fascia board; it looks great!
Trying to slow down enough to experience gratitude, I remain,