SO I’M SITTING IN MY OFFICE yesterday, listening to Microsoft Narrator read back to me what I wrote in my paraphrase of Romans. I stop and reset the speed of the reading, so it reads faster. I’m in a hurry to get this easy-reading version of an incredibly tough Bible book posted online with the Casual English Bible.
Somewhere mid-morning I look outside and once again see the snow on the driveway. I cleared it on Sunday. But it snowed overnight. Just an inch or so.
I remembered that my wife was going to the store that day, so I thought about shoveling the driveway to make sure she didn’t slip if she got out of the car.
Should I put Romans on pause and grab a shovel?
No brainer. The lady is my wife. She’s under my protection. Mine and Buddy the Dog’s.
So I’m shoveling and I think about a young lady 15 minutes away. Her husband flew out of town for a meeting. She’s home alone with a toddler, and she’s pregnant.
Should I keep Romans on pause for another hour?
Still a no brainer. How many versions of Romans does the world need? The world will wait another hour for mine.
The most important words I write
Then I get an email about a distant relative who died. Do I keep Romans on pause long enough to write short notes to several people I know who must be hurting?
I’ve come to believe that some of the most important words I write are words you folks never read. They are written in private for people who need words intended for them alone.
By the time I finished these tasks that paused Romans, my wife had baked some homemade chicken pot pie for a meal between lunch and supper. She calls it lupper. Romans would wait for that, too. The Apostle Paul would be okay with that, I’m sure. Especially if he smelled the aroma that wafted into my office moments before my wife called up, “Steve, it’s ready.”
“On my way.”
Okay, that was good.
So now it’s 2:45 and I have the Tuesday blog article to write.
This is where I am. So this is what I write.
I’ll stick with the Miller-Lite version of proofing Romans until I have finished all 16 chapters. I’m on 11 at the moment. I’ll try to finish today. With any luck I’ll be starting to work on the maps for Romans tomorrow.
Maybe I’ll have Romans online in a week or so.
But if it snows again, it may take me a week or so—plus a couple of hours.
I’m all for staying on task. I’m normally obsessively good at that.
But over the years I’ve learned to pay attention to my peripheral vision, and to stay alert to what might seem like distractions, but what are actually fleeting moments of opportunity to act like one of God’s kids.
I remember something a neighbor told me a few years ago. He said he woke up one morning to the sound of me clearing snow off of his driveway. He was sick in bed. I didn’t know it. I just felt like I should do it because he was new to the neighborhood. He said he lay there and said out loud, “Thank God.”
Let me tell you, it felt pretty good to have someone thanking God for me. I could get used to that.
We know a bit about God through what Jesus said and did. People today learn a bit about God through what we say and do.
If we say we’re in the Family, folks should see the family resemblance.
I’ll bet if you stay alert to what’s going on around you this week, you’ll find a “distraction” that’s really an opportunity to act like one of God’s kids.
Hey, if you do, let me know about it either in a comment or a private email. I’m curious to hear about what God’s kids act like this week.
Peace to you.