Friday, July 14, 2006

THINGS ACCOMPLISHED, THINGS LEARNED

Accomplishment:
So yesterday I rode up into Pennsylvania. In my virtual cross-country ride as well, I crossed a state line finally, from Utah into Colorado. Feels like I've been in Utah forever. I "rode" past Grand Junction, the first place in hundreds of miles that I've actually heard of before. And if I think the hills yesterday were tough..... I'll bet if I were really riding across Utah into Colorado, these Western Maryland mountains would become molehills. Click the link to see the map superimposed on the satellite image. I haven't zoomed this up close.... not sure I want to know! For some reason I can't get the elevation thing at g-maps to work. This disappointed me yesterday as I really wanted to know what I'd done on Route 40. Except I already know. It was a thousand-foot elevation climb, done in repetitious pieces and increments.

Learned:
U.S. Route 40 West in northern Garrett County, MD is not a normal bike ride.

Accomplishment:
Found online places to read my favorite daily devotional, "My Utmost for His Highest," and the Bible divided into daily readings to be read cover-to-cover in a year. See my sidebar.

Today's Old Testament reading was from Chronicles, and I recognized it right away: David got a bee in his bonnet to build a temple to house the Ark of the Covenant, which had always been kept in a tent. But God came in a dream to David's friend Nathan, saying to him, "Tell David he's not always the one to do everything. I already have it in mind for one of his descendants to build a temple. Make sure he knows, though, he did well just to think of it and I appreciate that."

Learned:
God does not enforce Rule 12 all of the time. You don't have to do everything yourself. I don't have to do everything myself. Let someone else have the responsibility and the satisfaction. But thanks for thinking of it.

Also..... God knew David would listen to Nathan. Did God know something on the order that, if he spoke directly to David, David would go do his own thing anyway, as David so often did? This is interesting.

From the New Testament was the passage in Romans from which the expression "some people are a law unto themselves" comes. And it's not what we mean when we usually say it, when we mean that they're disregarding the rules everyone else has to live by.

Learned:
What it says is, people who don't purposefully follow the law of God because they haven't heard it, or their circumstances are different, or something, but whose way of life essentially follows the pattern that also happens to be the way of God, are in fact obeying God because the law is intrinsically written in their hearts. There are plenty of nonbelievers whose lives exemplify the way of God, whether they realize it or intend it or not. As a Christian I'm somewhat of an oddball, maybe, in that I can't believe that a personal saving relationship with Jesus is the only way into the kingdom. That leaves a lot of good folks out in the cold, good folks living a life God approves but, for whatever reason, not deliberately walking with the Lord; I believe they are appreciated just as much by him as church-going, Bible-thumping faithfuls, who can often be a pain in the neck. And God understands everyone's reasons, obstacles, skepticism, hesitation, and even denial, and is merciful and accommodating.

The Oswald Chambers ("My Utmost for His Highest") reading reflected this same issue, stating that Jesus/God do not demand converting/swaying/forcing everyone to our own way of thinking, but that we ensure everyone is availed to the nourishment of the Word of God. Every person has his own way of responding, positively or not, and is loved equally by God.

Off to clean yesterday's mud off my bike.

3 comments:

Adam said...

Hey Ellie. Welcome to Colorado! Be sure to virtually stop by Parker, CO and say hello. I will provide the best virtual home cooked meal you ever had!

Adam (from IMFL Yahoo group)

nancytoby said...

In Time recently there was an interview with a woman who's high up in the Episcopal (I think) church who was asked if she believes that the only way to God (or salvation, or something like that) is through Jesus. I liked her answer - she said (I paraphrase) that there are many ways to understand God and that attitude puts Him into a pretty small box. (She seemed much more 'good works' oriented.)

Rachel said...

Isn't funny how mentally things are tougher than the physical? Sounds like a fantastic ride. I'd love to be in a place where I cross the state line.