Tag Archives: High Calling

POOL CLOSED

I read this post last month and I really liked it. Hope you do too.

Jan

Pool Closed

by Brock Henning (reprinted with permission)

“Pool Closed.” My wife and I and our three children huddled around the sign with wide mouths and a beach bag full of goggles and squirt guns. We had strolled by the hotel pool just ten minutes earlier, smiling as another family laughed and splashed together. And now it was—closed?

It had been a rough week. We needed this winter weekend getaway, even if only to the next town for a one-night stay, a nice meal, movies, and…swimming.

Pool. Closed. The sign was mocking us. With heavy hearts, my wife and kids returned to the room. I huffed over to the front desk.

“So what’s wrong with the pool?” I asked the manager.

“Maintenance guy can’t get here. On another call,” he replied, bouncing his eyes between the computer screen and paperwork.

“I called this morning and you said the pool was open. That’s why we chose this hotel.” My ears were heating up.

The manager glanced right, then left, and leaning forward he quietly said, “Sir, I’m really sorry. A child just vomited in the pool.”

Son of a gun. One of those kids barfed in the pool. Our pool. Thanks, other family, for infecting our chlorinated blue lagoon. Thanks, other family, for ruining my family’s weekend. Thanks.

On our previous getaway, I opted for a cheaper hotel to save money. That bought us a dirty room and an outdoor three-man pool nestled between two parking spaces. This time I paid for a superior hotel with an indoor pool paradise, and I still lost.

With no flip left in my flop, I trudged back to the room. On the other side of the door I could hear bathing suits being shed, suitcases zipping, and television channels flipping. I thought about phrases I’m always imparting to my children, like Count your blessings and Make the best of it, or Could be worse. And lest I forget, At least the room doesn’t smell like smoke! My adages always seem to pass right through their little heads, and on this farcical day, the words almost passed right through mine.

Brock, this starts with you. I forgave that other family for ruining my weekend. Actually, I forgave myself for blaming them—their aquatic holiday had also turned rancid. And, like a butterfly freed of its cocoon, the words left my lips—make the best of it. I opened the door.

All four were seated on the double beds, watching television, and to my surprise, wearing bathing suits.

“Sorry guys. Pool’s closed.”

“Daddy, we can swim in the hot tub!” shouted our 11-year-old daughter.

“It’s too small,” I replied, “plus it’s cold outside and the water will be too hot to swim very long. And it’s probably closed.”

“We can ask the manager!” she said, reaching for the phone.

“Yeah, Dad!” said our youngest son, jumping from one bed to the other. “Let’s make the best of it!”

For the next thirty minutes, we sat outside, neck-deep in a hot tub—floating, splashing, laughing at winter’s chill.

Image by jeinny. Sourced through rgbstock.com.

HOW TO PRAY ABOUT YOUR WORK

How to Pray about Your Work

by Howard E. Butt Jr. (reprinted from How to Pray about Your Work, November 20, 2005) from The High Calling of Our Daily Work.

Read (Rom. 6:11)

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

In my morning quiet time, I start by being thankful for the trustworthiness of God. Eventually, I ask for spiritual guidance in the dilemmas of the moment, but first I concentrate on God’s character and His action in history. Beginning with praise and thanksgiving pulls me out of my subjective hullabaloo and turns my thoughts to God’s reliability, which He has proven again and again. Trusting God is first of all a matter of remembering who He is and what He has done for us.

Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. (Ex. 3:6)

“I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” the Lord tells Moses and the Israelites. He wants them to remember God’s mighty deeds in history as a means of trusting His character and His dependably loving action toward His people. When I begin to pray, I am often thankful for that salvation history, recent world history, and for my own personal history—all as a way of recognizing God’s trustworthiness and integrating myself consciously into God’s plan. It’s the only plan on this earth that’s in any way reliable. I think of the covenant with Moses, the new covenant in Christ’s blood, the spread of the Gospel around the world, and its civilizing effect wherever it has been accepted. I think of the defeat of the Nazis, then of worldwide communism, and in these reflections I take courage that ultimately every global crisis will find its solution as well.

I constantly remind myself of the wonderful father and mother God gave me, of my own unconscious rebellion against them, and of the good God brought out of that entire long, slow, and painful awareness-and-triumph process. Without my parents, I would never have had the blessings I enjoy, the opportunities for work and service that are mine, and the sheer enjoyment of my life. Those rough patches fade from my memory now as I cherish even more the reconciled, purified, and deepened love and gratitude I feel for my parents.

Today’s anxiety and discouragement will also become a distant memory—perhaps even a comical one. Because the God who meets all our needs will meet the ones I face today. My business here at my prayers is to trust the Triune God by focusing on who He is, what He has done, and His promised victory over my current concerns.

I call two verses to mind.

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11).

“It is because of him [God] that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).

Then, I pray the following, seeking to appropriate the truth of these Scriptures:

I count myself dead to my sin,

Alive to Your righteousness;

Dead to myself and my self-will,

Alive to Your will for me and in me;

I count myself dead to my disappointments, discouragement, and despair,

Alive to hope, thanksgiving, praise, and rejoicing;

I count myself dead to fear and alive to faith