Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Chain

I love the connections that bring us to our current point in life, that may well have little meaning at the time they happen. This, from April 23, 2009, is about one of those connections.

I made the promise back before Christmas. One Saturday morning, I wandered into our high school girls' varsity basketball practice. Since I coached about half of those kids in middle school, I enjoy seeing how their skills are developing. Cathy was there, too. Cathy Caputo is the mother of Nicole, one of the girls running up and down the floor. Nicole played for me in junior high and went to Honduras with me last summer. Cathy and her husband, Dennis, have grown children with grand kids but have added to their numbers by adopting five more, of whom Nicole is the eldest. As we talked watching practice, I told Cathy I was reading, or re-reading a book, and would pass it on to her when I was finished. The book: My Utmost For His Highest, a daily devotional guide by Scottish theologian, Oswald Chambers. First published in England in 1927, these 366 thought-provoking messages are sometimes difficult to understand and always challenging. And, tomorrow, four years to the day after it came to me, I'm passing it on to Cathy.

But that's really not why I'm writing this. You see, the book was a gift to me from Katie Deathridge, a wonderful little (at the time!) girl at Friendship Christian School where I taught and coached before moving to Houston. Inscribed on the inside back cover is her name and mine and April 24, 2005, the date she sent it to me in the mail. But we are not the first names there. In fact, I am the tenth person who has owned this particular copy of this particular book. Apparently, the book was a high school graduation present in 1996 to a young man named David. Since then, Utmost has been presented to, in order, Kevin, Chance, Nicole, Emily, Rachel, Laura, and Kristen who gave it to Katie who gave it to me. Interestingly enough, the transfer date up until it came into my possession, was always July 14th- I'm not sure of any significance. I am sure of this- I don't know anyone before me but Katie and I'm sure none of them know me...or Cathy. Still, we are connected as each one of those earlier owners brought Chambers closer and, ultimately, to me. There are always links. My dad was fascinated with finding how few links it took him to connect strangers to each other through common acquaintances. Don't you think that's how the Lord works, in ways we can't comprehend? Who told Ruth to tell Naomi that there were openings in the field of Boaz? We know if Ruth doesn't make it to that field, there is no David and we know who the ultimate human descendant of Davis was; Jesus. I don't know who Cathy will pass the book to or if she will keep up the new transition date of April 24. I do know that with all she and Dennis have going on in their lives, she can find words of wisdom and comfort from the pen of a man dead for ninety-two years. And to me, the # 10 link in the chain, that's no coincidence. It's a chain of evidence.

Applicable quote of the day:
"We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties."
Oswald Chambers

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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