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Posts Tagged ‘Bunnings’

Jo 17I wonder if you can recall a time when you watched something disastrous unfold in front of you that you were powerless to stop. Such moments can feel quite surreal—as if we and those involved are momentarily suspended somewhere outside of time in another world.

A few weeks ago, I decided to drive to our nearby Bunnings store one morning, just after the school rush. I was almost there—I could see the entrance on my right as I sat behind another car that was also waiting to turn into the car park. A small, white van was approaching from the opposite direction, so of course we had to wait for it to pass. And that was when the most bizarre thing happened. Instead of driving on down the road, that white van veered slightly, headed straight for a big concrete post outside Bunnings and ended up a crumpled mess!

I exclaimed out loud, as I watched this disaster unfold—and there we all sat for what seemed like an eternity. No one got out of that wrecked car that was now firmly wrapped around the cement post—and the driver in front of me did not move either. After a while, I began to wonder if I should edge around this other car, find a park and see if the driver in the accident needed help. Then, just as the car in front of me finally moved, a man emerged from the wrecked van. But I was worried—this man was holding his chest as he leant on his car and looked at his wrecked vehicle.

I had no choice but to get off the road and park—but what to do next? I have no great medical knowledge, so I decided to run and tell a Bunnings staff member what had happened. She immediately called the store manager, who headed to the accident scene. So, still feeling concerned but also redundant, I proceeded on with my shopping.

When I had finished, I discovered the ambulance, police and fire brigade had arrived—but they could not find the driver anywhere! Had he taken himself off home or to a nearby house? Perhaps he did not have a licence—or perhaps he was too dazed and had wandered off. The only thing I could be sure of was that when this man had set out that morning, he would never have expected to end up wrapped around a post.

Later, I realised that, if that car had have swerved the other way, either I or the driver in front of me could have been injured or worse. We do not know, do we, as we wake up each day, what will actually happen? As James writes:

Now listen, you who say, “Tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:13-14

Let’s not live each day in fear, afraid to step out and do what God has for us to do. But let’s also be ready for that moment when we will meet our Lord face to face, wherever and however it comes.

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I stood watching our five-year-old grandson digging in our front garden. I had suggested we pull out an almost dead shrub—a task he carried out with great relish! But now came the tricky part—preparing the ground for whatever I would decide to plant there next.

Our Zain can be an eimg_20170127_151716548xcellent helper. The previous week, he and I cleaned our very dirty garage door that rarely gets closed because my car cannot fit in our carport! Zain did an amazing job, scrubbing hard and hosing down everything in sight—including me! But gardening? Well, let’s just say I was a little concerned about the welfare of the other nearby plants in my garden.

However, I had promised he could help, so we forged ahead. I let him use my small trowel to form a neat hole that soon became bigger … and bigger … and bigger. I hurriedly pushed some dirt back in and suggested we didn’t need it quite that wide. So then our hole became deeper … and deeper … and deeper instead! At that point, I explained we needed to water the ground, so it would be nice and moist for the new plant. And soon my little helper had created an interesting mud puddle, complete with brown bubbles gurgling up in the middle.

Deciding distraction was the best option, I suggested we head off to buy our new shrub. Nurseries are not the best place for active grandsons, so I decided the first native plant I saw on a ‘specials’ table would do. Anyway, how could I go past a shrub called ‘Nandina Nana’? We headed home and Zain seemed determined to get our purchase into the ground as quickly as possible—even though I could see that hole was not exactly where I wanted it.

The next day, when I checked on our handiwork, I noticed the ground was still soft. img_20170203_081329095So—you guessed it—on the spur of the moment, I dug my little shrub up and moved it about twenty centimetres to the left, where I had wanted it to be all along! Hopefully, Zain will never know. And yes, my ‘Nandina Nana’ is still alive—for now at least.

As I reflected on our gardening attempt, I could not help but remember the many times God has had to exercise great patience with me, as I forged ahead willy-nilly in life, wanting to help others without stopping to listen. How many times has God mopped up messes I created as a result? Just as well the Supreme Fixer-Upper has been so ready to forgive my failures and mistakes, put my botched efforts to rights and enable me to stand tall again.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:8, 13-14

Each day as I walk past my new little shrub, may it continue to remind me to be so thankful for our patient, compassionate God. May I learn to listen more often—and then obey. And may God enable me to show something at least of that same patience and compassion towards others, including our lively grandson!

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