First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

That'll leave a mark.

September 17, 2015

    My left hand middle finger feels like someone thrust a hot poker into the end of it. Typing this morning is requiring me to use another finger.... (Yes, I am a hunt and peck typer) as you read this, I am consciously telling my middle finger to stay put. Days like this make me glad I had not been introduced to formal typing classes.

    This all started yesterday afternoon while out doing yardwork. I was trimming some bushes and two of noteworthiness were some sort of thorned orange berried plant and then a rose bush. I selected a pair of work gloves (not the right ones however) and got busy cutting. Gathering the clipping together and loading them on the truck seemed to be a cinch. Gingerly picking up piles and carrying them was not so bad until one thorn from the orange berried beast decided to impale my finger. It was here that I murmured some derogatory statement toward the person who thought it would be a good idea to plant such a high maintenanced conflaguration of twisted branches ladened with 3/4 inch thorns.  The only thing that seems to enjoy this bush is a huge Yellow Orbed Weaver spider that sits high above the villianous branches. 

    Without doing research on this plant, I suspect it has some sort of toxin on those thorns. I have had many pokes and stabs from other kinds of bristly plants, but this one feels differently than those. Better preparation on my part would have made a huge difference. I thought I could do the trimming, gathering, loading, and disposal of these barbed pieces without using proper equipment to complete the task. (Thicker leather gloves would have been helpful Preacher!!) Get-R-Done!  Cutting corners usually gets the job done quicker but produces some sort of agony. 

    Our spiritual development and faith journey can sometimes be short circuited by our conscious decisions to not properly prepare. We rationalize our busy schedules will not allow meaningful time alone with God in His word. We utter a few short breath prayers (which aren't bad in themselves) and shoot out the door to go get busy with our day. Then, the proverbial thorn embeds itself into our life and we recoil with pain and murmuring. This day make a conscious decision to put on the full armor of God. Then when thorns and fiery arrows hit you, they bounce to the ground losing their effect to injure and waylay you.

        "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our

        struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers

        of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full

        armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you

        have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with

        the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from

        the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all

        the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the

        word of God. (Ephesians 6:11-17, NIV)

 

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