Tuesday, May 26, 2015

If Only: The Confluence of Rebecca, Rudyard, Eric, James, And Yanping

Photo by Oscar Cruz

At our WCS graduation last Friday evening, our valedictorian, the amazingly wonderful Rebecca Godard, gave a terrific commencement address. I particularly appreciated that she quoted one of my favorite poems, the classic If, by Rudyard Kipling, written to his son, John, in 1895. I once had Eric Law recite If from memory in chapel at FCS when he was an 8th grader and Eric quoted flawlessly. I now have Rebecca and Eric forever linked mentally even though the odds of their paths crossing are probably a billion to one.

But a different usage of the word if dominated my world today. You see, I had my day all planned. I was going to swim and lift in the morning and then swim and lift again in the afternoon. I was going to meet with Jean Adams in our business office and tie up the ends of our WCS Honduras/Haiti fund. Then I was going to meet with Ann Stone, our church accountant, and do some reimbursements and VISA planning for my trip to Vietnam and then to the bank to get a cashiers check for the Vietnamese Consulate. After that, I would go to the post office and buy a pre-paid envelope for the Consulate in which to mail my VISA. None of these things happened. If you watched the news today, you know why. Houston was hit with approximately ten inches of rain last night, causing widespread damage and the fourth largest US city to come to a standstill. And it came to me, it being James 4, verses 13-15:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
There's that word If again. I love the fact that James compares us to a mist while we were detoured by a downpour. The amazing this is that I got up this morning at 4:30 and began my morning routine, not thinking the weather would change my schedule, even though I had heard it rain all night. I prayed early this morning but I cannot recall asking the Lord for the blessing of His will which will prevail anyway. I'm not saying the day wasn't productive. I am rather proud, but not haughty, of ironing every pair of dress pants (save one which I wore Sunday) and every dress shirt I own. It needed doing and I wouldn't have done it otherwise and it took me hours. Since I couldn't swim, I took a 45 minute walk through an adjacent neighborhood and did some meditating- how I ended up in Houston, how I ended up in the mission fields, where I am going in life- and that was really good for me today. The funny thing is, there were no signs of flooding as I walked and a mile away was the scene of some of the worst of the worst torrents in Harris County.

Our ways are not always God's ways, are they? After worship on Sunday night, I was talking to the lovely and delightful Yanping Cheng, an accounting student at the University of Houston and a fellow member with me of the Chinese speaking part of our congregation. Yanping had been very excited about an internship this summer with a very prestigious accounting firm here in Houston. But due to a technicality with her student visa, she just found out she cannot intern with them until she begins her Masters' program in the fall. I would have been frustrated or maybe even a little angry at the setback. And yet I found my sister in Christ is bending her will to the will of her Father in heaven. She is already making new plans to go to camp with our church kids, and believe me, she will make an impact there. And it's not a matter of if  she will change lives; she will because she is following His will. And you can always count on that....if it stops raining!

Applicable quote of the day:
“I always prefer to believe the best of everybody; it saves so much trouble”
Rudyard Kipling

God bless,
Luke 18:1 

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

No comments: