A monster EF-4 tornado with winds of 175 mph hit Ringgold, Georgia on April 27, 2011 at 8:15 p.m. It took 7 lives. 75 to 100 homes were damaged or destroyed. Many convenient stores, hotels and restaurants were also abolished. Shreds of glass were imbedded deep in the original football field way after the storm at Ringgold High School. A year after that tornado AstroTurf was put down, which is all the rage for most athletic fields. One of the draw cards to that type of field of-course is the continual green looking synthetic grass.
We all want the greener grass. The greener circumstances. The greener car and career. Quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada knows all about desiring the greener grass. She dove off of a pier off the coast of Virginia Beach, Va. in 1967. As a result, she is still paralyzed today from the shoulders down. It takes her a few hours every morning to get ready because of her wheelchair etc. not because of make-up. She has painted beautiful pictures using her mouth and she has authored many books.
From her book Glorious Intruder she writes “So if you’re tempted to think life ought to be better someplace else-maybe with a new set of circumstances, a new job, a new city, or a new mate-believe me, the grass you’re imagining isn’t always that green. Only in heaven will life be as good and great as you’d like it to be. Don’t let the devil tell you otherwise. If his grass looks greener, it’s only because it’s artificial turf.”
Maybe the big test of faithfulness on this journey is in the doldrums, in the boring day-to-day stuff when it seems no one gives a rip or sees our responsibilities or acknowledges the work we’ve done. That is why I relate to the song “In The In Between” sung by Sandi Patty. The chorus goes…“In the in between, where every day life happens. And the fields of green belong to someone else. In the in between of what will be and what has been, Jesus is a faithful friend, in the in-between.”
If you are still in the in between of self-pity and discouragement, consider this. What would you say to a woman named Barbara Johnson who experienced multiple personal tragedies in a span of nine years? After her husband’s recovery from temporary blindness, brain damage and seizures from a prior car accident, she also learned that her son Steve was killed in Vietnam. Soon after, she was asked to come identify her son Tim at a morgue, as he was not recognizable from a car accident as he was hit by a drunk driver on an Alaskan highway. Instead of listening to Linda Ronstadt sing “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me” she wrote “Stick A Geranium In Your Hat And Be Happy”. In it she writes: “Growing is a lifetime job, and we grow when we’re down in the valleys, where the fertilizer is.” What are you “growing” through?
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”