God calls some folks to live ordinary lives.
He ordains them to be accountants because they like working with numbers and helping people keep their taxes straight.
He makes some to enjoy playing with Dremmel tools in victims’ mouths so they’re dentists their entire working lives.
Farmers love working the soil and watching plants and animals grow.
Teachers make a career passing on information they know the next generation will put to use someday.
And then there’s Wade Webster, that truck driving painter who writes books, poems, songs and such while he volunteers at church during his spare time.
Whew, he makes me tired just reading that sentence. Wait a second…that’s me we’re talking about.
The past two Thursdays I’ve gone to work with the Apainter Paul. He landed a big job about two miles from my apartment.
The first three days were spent staining the fence. The last section was what Paul called Normandy Beach because it was going to entail casualties of some kind.
Some well-established rose bushes thrived by that section while poison ivy grew through the fence boards. Shortly after I began on that part I told the Apainter I had thorns on the left of me, ivy to the right and there I was stuck in the middle with paint.
Now you got that song stuck in your head. At least you didn’t have to listen to Paul sing it the rest of the afternoon.
Any way…by the time I left the painting job I had a driving assignment handed to me that entailed being behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler by midnight to go to Memphis, Tennessee.
Paul warned me to steer clear of the poison ivy while I invaded Normandy. I told him I hoped I did get into the ivy.
He says, “But that will be miserable.”
I says, “Yeah, but the itching will help me stay awake tonight/tomorrow morning.”
The good news is I got poison ivy alright. The bad news is it didn’t start itching until I go to my motel room just before noon on Friday.
Even with three phone interruptions and some very loud guys in a room next to mine I think I got about five hours of sleep by six o’clock.
After I put earplugs in I fell back to sleep and didn’t open my eyes until after four thirty Saturday morning.
For those of y’all whose math teacher would not be proud of you right now, that’s about 15 hours of sleep…with poison ivy itches. It shattered my record of 13 hours I set just a few months ago across the street from that motel room.
This week I squeezed in about eight hours of broken sleep during the 13 hours I was in the motel bed. Ain’t nothin’ predictable in my life.
I am sooo looking forward to next weekend’s annual men’s retreat I help with. Even if I get stuck with more than one guy who snores in my cabin I’ve proven I can sleep with earplugs in.
Yes, there are times I want to trade places with some bored sap with an extremely predictable lifestyle. At least he’s familiar with the bed he sleeps in.
But, then I think, That guy probably has his life so mapped out he worries about everything. Will he have enough to retire on? Will his roses bloom next summer? Will his annual doctor’s appointment come with a surprise?
I know I’ve quoted this verse a few times here before but it applies again. Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own.
There are some mornings I wake up and have nothing planned to do. God has me so trained to trust him now I know my rent will be paid at the end of the month. Many months it barely gets paid, but it gets done. It’s like a supply of manna. Just enough for my need at just the right time.
My non-routine life does come with an extremely hefty dose of prayers. Most of my driving assignments start with: “Okay God, I can’t do this on my own strength. I need you to help me out with this one. Of course, I guess I need Your strength to take my next breath, too. Alright, I’m Yours to use as You see fit.”
Yeah, me and God have an unusual relationship. It’s been established and honed most of my entire life.
I still attempt to make plans, but I’ve learned to write my plans in pencil. I used to have a big eraser near by to fit in God’s plans when they come along. Now that big eraser is worn to a tiny nub.
Jesus’s life wasn’t predictable. Why should I expect mine to be? Especially since I gave God reign and rule of my entire being.
So don’t worry about that poison ivy, but expect the itching to linger more than a week. God has a purpose for that, too.
I just came across another verse in my email that fits here:
1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.”
Now I’m wondering when this lifting up will take place. Hopefully before I fall asleep behind the wheel for more than a second and after this wretched itching stops.
Keep smiling. Wade