God knows that if we put ourselves in front of his standards with his Spirit always a step or two behind us, we’re more likely to be compelled to circumspection as not. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
As a teenager I had a part-time job working for a local greenhouse. As the business was prosperous, the owner was in the process of building several new greenhouses at the time. I worked with my brother Kurt transplanting flowers from small pots to bigger ones and keeping the plant stock watered. We were also charged with doing odd jobs as they came up. One hot morning in midsummer we arrived on site to be greeted by a huge semi pulling a low hauler piled high with stainless steel brackets and braces. Another greenhouse was about to be erected and we were hastily recruited to walk behind the trailer unloading hundreds of pieces of steel. Our boss informed us that there was a particular pattern he wanted the pieces to be laid out to. That meant the unloading had to be precise with everything put in its place accordingly. The owner, after finishing his instructions, led us forward to the waiting truck. As it began moving and we commenced unloading steel, the owner fell in behind us. From this vantage point he continued to instruct and encourage. Both Kurt and I tried to follow his instructions closely and get the job done correctly, since he was just a step or two behind us the entire way. He was watching, teaching and encouraging from a vantage point that was quite compelling.
I’m sure that Kurt and I would have done a good job regardless of where the boss was watching us from. That’s the kind of workers we were taught to be. However, knowing that he was right behind us, encouraging and instructing, made it seem that much easier to know, that despite a mistake here and there, the work would be our very best.
Here’s a story. Mercedes Ruehl, one of the few actresses to win a Tony and an Oscar in the same year, saw her first Broadway show when she was in grade school. Her family was in New York visiting relatives and driving through Times Square. On the spur of the moment her parents decided to see if they could get tickets to The Unsinkable Molly Brown. “I remember waiting in the car,” says Ruehl, “while my mother ran up to the box office. The only tickets left were for box seats. Box seats! To me there were no better seats, and I remember my father saying, sure, go for it. One of the best qualities of my parents was that they liked to have fun.”As we watched the play, I could not take my eyes off its star, Tammy Grimes. She must have felt my adoration, because at one point she looked up and held my eyes. It was probably for no more than one second, but it seemed like ten seconds. I always felt that was my official invitation to be an actress. With her gaze I was touched like a knight on both shoulders with a sword.” (Madeleine Blais in Reader’s Digest.)
Kurt and I had personal standards when it came to following instructions. Mom and Dad had instilled those in us. Our boss, however, had his own standards; standards based on experience, knowledge and wisdom we didn’t have but were striving to live up to, since he was walking right behind us. God is no different than that boss. His standards are perfect because he is perfect. Like Kurt and I, we’re always striving to live up to those standards. Often we fall short. Nonetheless, God knows that if we put ourselves in front of his standards with his Spirit always a step or two behind us, we’re more likely to be compelled to circumspection as not. We need encouragement just like Ruehl got from Grimes if but only for a moment.With one eye on the work ahead and the other on the God behind us, we may never be perfect, but we’ll always be more perfected than if we choose to walk strictly by our good standards.
We pray. Thank you Lord for having our back day in and day out, guarding, guiding and compelling us with your Holy Spirit. Forgive us Father when we lapse so often into applying our own right standards to the spiritual work you have ordained for us to do here on earth. Help us to keep our focus on the work of the day before us always with an eye on the Spiritual guidance just a step or two behind us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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