December is a mad month of busyness! I can’t understand why we try to cram so many activities into such short time. Seems everyone wants to have a “Christmas party” of some sort. Not to mention the world’s parades and the churches’ productions! But it is an incarceration of our own choosing.
I struggle not to let this crazy culture imprison me. One translation or commentary I read has Romans 12:2 as “don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold”. It can be a struggle of almost Jabbok Brook proportions to prevent it. I may be a coward but I have found that staying here at Eleanor’s family house on a lake in Alabama, away from the front lines, is my safest bet. The Prince of this world system brings out his heaviest artillery for his materialistic assault on our spiritual life. His major campaign begins at or before Halloween and extends thru the after-Christmas sales. It has almost smothered any recognition of Thanksgiving in the shopping centers and advertising campaigns.
The wisest of generals realizes that the best battle plans may sometimes call for moving his army out of the direct path of an enemy of seemingly insurmountable superiority. Even Jesus brought His boys aside after Herod had unleashed an assault and decapitated John The Baptist. The NIV is pretty clear in Mark 6:30 about the strategy of our Lord and the reason for His maneuver: “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
I didn’t come to a quiet place by myself to “get some rest” nor just escape the rush. I have found it a place that I can get lots done in the way of writing and other correspondence. Distractions are limited to the morning and evening passing of the flock of Canada Geese to and from feeding, squirrels mooching our bird seed and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Interruptions are of my own choosing: long walks in the woods. Just finished the (I hope) final re-write of the manuscript of a book of sermons and delivered it to an editor for proofreading and feedback.
The project at hand now is the ‘final’ re-write of another manuscript that I hope to have ready for an editor by the end of the year. It too is a book of missionary messages. The core of the book was my doctoral dissertation back 30 years ago. My graduate committee encouraged me to publish it back then and it has been one of those “back burner” projects in my mind. When I finally pulled it to the front of my attention and sneaked a peek in the pot, I was pleasantly surprised at how nearly ready it was for publication. Just a bit more work and I hope to have it completed.
This Lord’s Day, Eleanor and I will have the privilege of preaching in the Providence Baptist Church in Palmetto, GA.