A “Beautiful” Day in the Neighborhood

When we moved to Hunter’s Pointe in June 1987, I was thrilled. At that time Center Grove was just beginning to grow, and it felt like we had shifted from urban to country. But most of all, I loved having an extra room downstairs to contain all the kids’ toys. No more tripping over Lego structures or baby dolls on the way to the kitchen!

Fast-forward 32 years and voila! That’s the same room our kids now fight over when they visit.

Most days in Hunter’s Pointe are typical suburbia—cyclists, folks walking their dogs, runners, mothers pushing strollers, and a constant to-work, come-home traffic flow.

This past Wednesday our neighborhood flooded (literally) confusion. While West Crooked Lane is getting a much-needed facelift, a broken water main created a river. Personnel from both the paving company and Bargersville Water Company literally met in the middle.

Our typical neighborhood now felt like a disaster zone. Orange cones and hardhat construction workers redirected traffic. Water surged into the ripped apart concrete streets. The crushed stone base sank swamp-like.

Upheavals like this precipitate instant life-changes—boil water, stay home, etc.

Such is life this side of Heaven! We’re often cast into chaos. We can be walking on level ground one moment when troubles surge. Then who saves us? It’s simple.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” Isaiah 43:2-3

Shattered

When Al was upstairs in the shower Sunday morning, a crash directly overhead interrupted my routine. Chest tightening while running, I feared my husband might have blacked out and fallen.

“Are you okay?” 

“Yes!” The water kept running.

By that time, I saw that the small antique mirror had fallen, lying within a footstep of drawing blood.

As I hurried to pick up the pieces, the thought came, “This is life. One minute it looks good, secure and well placed, and the next, it’s a mess.”

With Jesus as Lord of our lives, we don’t need to pick up sharp edges alone. Yes, this side of eternity, mirrors crash as rusty exhaust fans rattle and disturb the nearby landscape. Yet the Savior of the world sees the mess and understands our fear.

Jesus has lived among us—the shattered. He knows how to pick up the pieces.

There is one condition. We must trust Him.

“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”

– Hebrews 12:2-3 NLT

A Big Deal

Last week I did something while golfing I’ve never done before and probably will never do again. I shot a hole in one. But it wasn’t scored that way. Fetching my go-to club, a seven iron, I took a slow swing that ended with my favorite Volvik ball bouncing into the pond in front of Otte Golf Course’s sixth hole. I hadn’t done that for awhile. Tragically I lost a distinctive, but used ball.

Against PGA rules and protocol, I quickly called a mulligan and hit another ball, a light pink Lady Hagan with the breast cancer ribbon, which is now encased on my desk. This season all of my pink golf balls are salvaged, patiently waiting in tall grass for my husband and his golf buddies when playing longer courses to retrieve for me.

Determined to be better the second time around, I hit it solidly, saw it land near the flag, and then watched as it disappeared. “Did what I think happen, Mary Lou?” She nodded. “I’ve never ridden with anyone who has done that!”

Waltzing over to the other cart with longtime friends and golf buddies Janey and Mary, I began to jump up and down. “Joyce, its score is 3,” Janey said. Still it was worth a photo.

After my heart quit racing and a few hours passed, I began to think about this mountaintop moment. In the big scheme of life, hitting a small ball into a hole 70 yards out isn’t that big a deal. What is a big deal is that we keep trying to become better.

Even though He may not be checking our golf score, God expects us to be people who persevere.

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:4, NIV