Give Up or Get Busy

6 01 2019

I think it’s safe to say that I didn’t waste any tears on waving 2018 goodbye; if any they Rock _nwere tears of joy that it’s finally behind me. No doubt my Lady and I faced more challenges and setbacks than what we’ve had in over 30 years. It’s really not the way any of us want to begin our Golden Years so to speak, but we met each moment head on and kept our sanity (for the most part) so to speak. Two motivational factors flooded my mind during our downturns. Enter the Good Lord and Pearly Mae.

The memory of the first house we bought in Ohio came back to me. It was an old place that needed a tremendous amount of work just for us to move into. All the windows had to be replaced, several walls had to be knocked out and rebuilt and the roof had to be totally redone. But the biggest selling point to my Aunt Pearl were the hardwood floors. They were filthy with several layers of dirt covering them, and when we cleaned off the soil and rubbish, the wood was marred with deep scratches. Pearl bought a floor sander and taking one room at a time she got the boards back where you could see the grain. Then came several coats of varnish that brought out the beauty of the flooring. As each room was finished my beloved Aunt would smile at the finished product, restored by countless hours of toil and elbow grease. She took so much pride in what had been accomplished.

Then came the year when the local river flooded; since we lived just a block away the authorities told us we would have to evacuate. The Red Cross had set up a shelter inside a large church where we stayed for several days. When we were finally allowed to return it wasn’t pretty. The basement was flooded and the water had reached several inches high on the first level. As we entered the structure, I could see the look of sadness on Pearl’s face. Her beautiful floors were covered with sand, garbage and a few dead fish. She walked room to room before sitting down at the dining room. And for the first time in my young life I saw the strongest woman I had ever known, cry. I wanted to cry with her! All the work she had done was now ruined and no one would have blamed her if she had put the house up for sale and left. But the moment the crying stopped, she shifted back into Super Pearly again. Grabbing brooms, dust pans and buckets we started cleaning up the mess taking the debris out one pail at a time. When the cleaning was complete, it was time to put the sander back into action, and then refinish each and every floor. It wasn’t as time consuming as the first but still it was labor intensive.  Once again, her beautiful floors were shining through the house. I remember one of the neighbors coming over and expressing how sad it was that Pearl had to do all that work twice. With her determined look she would often she answer, “You can give up, or you can get busy!”

In James 1:2-4 we read, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that becoming a Christian doesn’t mean life will be a walk through a flower garden. As I have named this blog it’s “Traveling the Rock Road,” it’s facing adversity just like everybody does; only difference is now you have God in the form of the Holy Spirit taking each step with you, never leaving or forsaking you. There are times I’m ready to run away in an attempt to leave my troubles behind. But we all know you can’t do that. So, I have to turn to my Heavenly Father for direction and peace.

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

It’s been a rough year, don’t know if this one will be any better; but I know I can meet all that comes my way. I was mentored by the strongest woman I ever knew, and I have the assurance that I’m not facing anything alone; my God is there for me.

Perhaps you’re at a breaking point and not sure what to do next. You don’t have to go it alone. The Maker of Heaven and Earth is there for you, every step of the way.

As the Lord and Pearly Mae both say, “You can give up, or you can get busy!”

I choose Option B.

See ya next time.


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