Opening: My name is Carl and I am being Coached by Grace.
It is the Grace of God that stands behind us, is to the right of us, to the left of us and opens doors before us. (if you are comfortable repeat that statement using your own name.)
Scripture Reading:(PLEASE READ ALL THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURE BEFORE PROCEEDING)
• Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67 and Psalm 45:10-17 or Song of Solomon 2:8-13 •
• Zechariah 9:9-12 and Psalm 145:8-14 •
• Romans 7:15-25a •
• Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
(As you read the scripture turn thoughts from the reading into words of prayer.)
Lord there are many words that go to telling our stories. Help us to come to grip with truth, purpose and commitment to serving you.
Lord you are the God of providence, may we use our callings to bring your light into the darkness.
Lord you are the God of history, as our actions reflect your legacy may we be pure and genuine in our caring.
Lord you are the God of relationships, give genuine and generous responses among your children.
Lord take our prayers and reveal them to ourselves that we may understand we are not God.
Lord each verse, each word of scripture tells your story with broken people. As you have healed others, heal us, heal our history that calmness shall prevail.
Lord in the midst of the battle teach us the
Lord help us to understand the life of Jesus in light of redeeming the time.
Add your own thoughts/words of prayer.
Music: (Worship is a tool in training and focusing the mind when in a battle with a long term illness such as Sarcoidosis.)
Seek Ye First – Canon in D by Pachelbel https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla&p=seek+ye+first+the+kingdom+of+god#id=1&vid=07166a442865259428844a0ccd9724d3&action=view
Seek Ye First – The VGK-Sarepta Children Choir at Bellville SDA Church
Meditation: A true story.
The young man had been given an awesome responsibility. He had been called to be the coach. What seemed like a hundred boys came to play football. This coach asked each boy what position they wanted to play. He did this not because he knew football but because he knew boys. As it turned out each young boy asked had declared their desire to be the quarterback on a fledgling football team. One boy stood out. When he was asked what position he wanted to play he changed the word.
Halfback is what he said. I want to play h-a-l-f-b-a-c-k. He was short. So short when he ran his hand could touch the ground as he dipped under and through all the would be tacklers. The only way to tackle him was to position yourself to fall directly on top of him. Then he would hold the football as tightly as possible. It was as if he was in charge of carrying and protecting a new born infant. He knew it was his task to carry this tiny object of life to safety. He did just that. Time and again as he ran he cradled this ball into his chest. His grip only got tighter for each step he took. When he was tackled he would go into a fetal position making sure no force would ever be able to remove this entrusted object of life. He knew his job as he chose to run and fight his way to the safety of the end zone as if his life depended upon it.
Then one day the sky fell. Another young boy wanting to play that same position came to the coach and said he wanted to play halfback. He said he should play because the other boy, Joey had a steel plate in his head. If he got hurt, he could die.
The coach stood numb. All he could see in his mind was this lifeless child. He saw himself holding onto to Joey trying to revive him. But Joey was gone.
The coach turned away from the one boy as he began his search for Joey. He found him at the bottom of the pile. The coach called out. Joey came running, laughing, holding the football. He said what do you want coach? The coach dropped to one knee, looked into Joey’s eyes and asked, Joey, do you have a steel plate in your head? A look of fear came to Joey’s face. It’s okay Coach, mom and dad said I could play.
What seemed like an hour as all the other boys gathered around. The Coach said I am sorry Joey but you cannot play. There is to much danger. If that plate shifts even a tiny bit you could die. Joey got on his bicycle and began the long ride home.
The song says, seek God and you will find life. Each of the scriptures points us, as those who fight the battle of life each day to look beyond the issues of our pain and our illnesses to something greater. Our calling has been to carry the ball of life. Like Joey we are called to hang on as if we are carrying the future. Each breath, each step takes us closer to the ultimate victory. We are not to fear death but we are to respect ultimate realities. There are many steel plates, many variables.
In the last few days I had the joy of visiting my son in Nashville. In preparation for this I had my vehicle looked at to make sure it would be okay. It turned out the vehicle was no longer able to be trusted. Minnesota rust, the vehicular cancer had done more damage than expected. I had decided nothing was going to stop me from getting to Nashville. Then three bees entered my life. They all decided they liked what they saw and gave their life to see that I was properly injected. I fell asleep. For the next days I battled. I was asleep more than I was awake. Then as the departure date drew closer I found another vehicle. The sleepiness seemed to disappear and I was ready to go. By the time I left I was wide awake and charged up to make my journey. In fact after Nashville I quietly planned to head to Baltimore, then to New York, then to Cleveland, then to Cincinnati, then to Chicago and beyond. I had the world by the tale and was not going to let go. On the way to Nashville I fell asleep. The road disappeared. The car pulled to a stop. As I woke up I found the car idling on the side of the road. Everything was alright. I pulled into a nearby parking lot and went to sleep. The next morning I was early enough to miss rush hour traffic in Memphis. Soon I was in Nashville. My long awaited visit happened. During this time I fell asleep a couple more times. Each time my son learned a bit more about sarcoidosis. At one time he suggested living with sarcoidosis appeared to be like having a nail imbedded in a foot. No one can see it but it’s presence was sure to be known. We enjoyed both Canada day and the Fourth of July together. Then it was time to leave. My decision was to head back home and not go further on my excursion. Sarcoidosis is real and like Joey realities had to be faced.
Some have asked the purpose of these meditations. For me it was a natural to start writing. It has been a seed planted many times. Sarcoidosis now forces me to change my lifestyle again. A lot of things are being clearly revealed to me about what will need to be changed. Like the Apostle Paul writing, there is just so much I want to do but cannot. It will be a daily discovery to understand what can actually happen. My search for life and meaning has found once again the words of Jesus to be valid words. To take His yoke, to follow His example, to allow His Spirit to guide me has given direction and substance. Spirituality helps to focus a healing walk that carries me each day. There is meaning to life. There are all these variables but they are not the be all and end all. The focus then gets stronger and I do not have to conjure up something out of myself.
The end of the story helps us to understand life is greater than any one or more of us. After Joey was told he could not play he went home. He talked with his parents. That next practice when I was with the boys I saw HER drive up. It WAS Joey’s mother. As she got out of the car her 4’11” frame walked with a certain intentionality. The closer she got the taller she became. As she stood by the side of the field I tossed the ball to my assistant and went to face her. Joey was standing by the side of the car. She looked into my eyes. She had tears as she said thank you. Thank you for caring. Thank you for caring for my baby. Then as she wiped a tear away she said that she and her husband take full responsibility for whatever happens or may happen. She then said something I will never forget. You see she said, if Joey plays and gets hurt he may die, but if he doesn’t play he will never live.
I turned. I waved to Joey. He came running. He played the rest of that year, the next year and the year after.
Closing Thoughts: Seek first God, in so doing the meaning and purpose of life catapults into significance as a way of being. My name is Carl and I HAVE been coached by Grace. It is the Grace of God that stood behind me, walks along side of me to the right, to the left and has now opened a door before me. Take care, be safe and God bless.