This is a picture of our River Birch tree taken from our basement window after the blizzard departed. It left behind ice and snow and lots of difficulties for many people in Kansas.
This morning at church I was asked to be the computer coordinator--in the absence of the assigned person who apparently was still snowed in. Now this is a job I do on a regular basis. I enjoy it...and I'm USUALLY pretty good at it. In fact, I get rather irritated with other people who don't do a good job of advancing the songs quickly enough so you don't know what the next line is. However....
This morning...the whole program seemed sluggish....but I did just fine until after the sermon....but then, no matter what I tried--double clicking, hitting the space bar (overandover), double clicking on every conceiveable place--it just sat there....and the crowd turned around....and the song leader waited...and finally the preacher rushed down the aisle to assist. Well, about that time...it came unstuck....and whipped through about the next 100 slides....ok....the next 5. So then I had to back it up. And by then....I, who am so proud at how well I generally do this job, am so flustered and mad at myself for not getting it right--that I promptly mess up the next TWO songs as well. ARGHHHHH!
And then a small still voice said....forgiven.....and I managed to calm down and do it right again.
And I thought about the ice on that River Birch tree. How the weight of it bowed the branches down to the ground. And how the wind whipped it and some of the branches broke. And I thought...you know....when we beat ourselves up for something (big or little) we are frozen. And then we can't even do what we well know how to do. And not only that, beating ourselves up can affect others (like not knowing what line comes next). But if we listen...."forgiven"...and then continue on....we are like the tree set free from its icy prison--free to do what it best knows how to do...stand tall and erect and sway gently in the wind.
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. --Phil. 3:12-14
Same tree, taken from the same window...this afternoon after the ice melted off of it.