[Ruth said] “Don’t force me to leave you; don’t make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I’ll live.” Ruth 1:16
My cousin sang the song, “Entreat Me Not to Leave Thee” (Gounod, 1873) at my wedding. It’s a romantic piece frequently sung during marriage ceremonies. I had no idea Ruth was saying these words to her mother-in-law! I doubt if my mother-in-law knew it either. However, the words to another love song became a mantra for me in my first year of marriage… “I will follow you” … (recorded by Petula Clark, 1962). The chorus went like this:
I love you, I love you, I love you
And where you go I’ll follow, I’ll follow, I’ll follow…
I married a Navy guy, and during our first year of our marriage, I followed Glen to San Diego, then on to Bremerton, Washington, back to Iowa, and then back to San Diego and eventually ended up in Alameda, California. Sometimes I needed to be inspired to make another move.
As I’ve studied the Book of Ruth, I’ve found a deep respect for the woman who gave up everything, including her heritage, to make sure her mother-in-law would be cared for. My mother-in-law was a treasure to me, and I would have followed her anywhere, too.
Lord, help us follow you and never forget those we love. Amen.
[Paul said] “I’m not, you know, asking you to do anything I’m not already doing myself.” 1 Corinthians 4:16
To Apostle Paul, the people he preached to were like his children. It pained him greatly when they began to stray, especially because he couldn’t be in all the separate mission fields at the same time. In his letters he continually reminded them they needed to keep the faith, and that he wasn’t asking more of them than he was doing to honor the Father.
When raising my kids, I didn’t sprout a propellor and hover over them, like the “helicopter” parents of today. We lived in a community where everyone kept a watchful eye on the kids–a time when we didn’t worry about our children being kidnapped or molested while playing outside.
When my kids broke a rule, they knew there would be consequences to pay. Sometimes it took more than one dose of poor a choice of behavior for them to understand I was not asking them to do something my own parents had not asked of me.
Lord, hover over us and protect us from our own strong will and the will of others. Amen.
“Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like someone who planted good seed in his field. While people were sleeping, an enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat and went away.” Matthew 13:24,25
Earlier today I watched a PBS documentary about the life of Henry Ford. He was brilliant in his mechanical ability and as an industrialist. After spending years becoming the leading carmaker in the early 1900′s, he began to hate the results–the streets were crowded with cars and his factories covered masses of territory, filled with unhappy workers.
Henry had a son, Edsel, who had more progressive ideas about where the direction of the company should go. His ego caused constant friction between the two, and Henry berated his son and considered him weak. After his son died at the age of 49, Henry grieved over how poorly he had treated his son and confided in a friend, “All I wanted was for him to fight back.”
Weeds–Henry planted “weeds” into Edsel’s garden of ideas. Fortunately for Henry, the weeds were removed, and Edsel put the old Model T to bed and created the Model A, which moved them forward in the car industry.
Lord, help us see “weeds” in our life before they take over our good intentions. Amen.
“God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!” Romans 8:13
I’m grateful when I travel for speaking engagement I can combine the travel with visiting friends and family around the U.S.A. Time away from my home gives me a siritual boost, especially when I get back to my roots in Iowa and meet up with relatives and friends I’ve known all my life.
My daughter, Susan, recently traveled to Scotland to present a paper at a conference. She and her husband Dan traveled to several countries, and upon their return, I asked Dan (who had made his first trip out of the U.S.A.) what he enjoyed most about the travel. Without hesitating he said, “Getting to stay in homes and the host taking them to great sites to see.”
Travel forces us out of our comfort zone and enriches our spirit by making memories–especially of God’s amazing creation and of the people who are not all that different from ourselves.
Lord, move our spirits to help us find things to do and places to go to gain a better understanding of the world around us. Amen.
“Train me, God, to walk straight; then I’ll follow your true path.” Psalm 86:11
I switched from crawling to walking at the age of ten months. I doubt if my mother was overly thrilled with me walking so early, as she had a two and three year old also to chase around. In some way, my early walking served well, as we lived on a farm, and crawling outside where chickens and other animals roamed was not a healthy place to crawl around.
I think of how children learn to walk without training. My first daughter never crawled much, and yet on the day she turned eleven months old, she got up in the middle of the room and walked. My youngest daughter wasted no time and took her first step in her eighth month!
It’s after we learn to walk, talk, read, write, and interact with the world and people around us that we need to be trained to walk a straight line.
Lord, help me be open to learning and growing in my faith journey. Amen.