While working at Westminster Woods, I had the deep joy of working with incredible people. One of which was that mustached man, Mr. Rich Burdick. Rich was one of the Co-executive directors, and he taught me so much about camping ministry. 99% of what I learned from Rich, though, was simply lived and shown, vs taught with words. One of Rich’s strengths was bringing in amazing volunteer work parties, guiding them and working alongside them and making sure they felt appreciated. The number of improvement projects completed and volunteers that returned year after year were greatly due to Rich, and also the phenomenal Buildings and Grounds team. (Rich and his wife, Marci, are now sinking their gifts and talents into the ministry at Daybreak Camp in Felton, near Santa Cruz….under an hour away from us.)
In my opinion, Rich’s humor and infectious laughter are his trademark. Rich would always call us into his office to show us something funny he’d found on the Internet or tell us a joke. Once we were talking about odd warnings on things and he shared about a power tool (can’t remember now if it was a chain saw or a drill….and yes, Dad and Matt and every other male who might read this, YES, I know those are VERY different tools….). Evidently, the tool had some sort of warning on it along the lines of “do not attempt to use this on your teeth/in your mouth”. Something so absurd that you have to laugh——until Rich reminds you that a lawyer somewhere made sure it was put on there because someone, maybe someone who’d had a bit too much wine?!?!?, must have attempted to use it on their teeth or in their mouth. REALLY?!? Evidently, yes.
So tonight, when I went to pour myself some Almond Milk…..
I thought of Rich….and about Stating the Obvious….when I saw this….
Did you catch that?!? Yes, the ALMOND MILK container says, “contains almonds” on the side.
Sometimes I wonder if God feels that way about us, about me. Does he say to himself, “OK, this one needs some pretty OBVIOUS signs to get it….we’re going to have to SPELL. IT. OUT. CLEARLY. MULTIPLE TIMES.”. Trust. Wait. Abide. Rest. No. Yes. Step out. Stop.
Or slow down….
I am finding God even uses my kids to get the message across. Yesterday, for example, we were on our way home from school and had to make the daily stop by the new medical center that is being built by our house. Big dirt pits and construction sites make for fabulous, cheap entertainment. As we went by, there was a man holding a stop/slow sign to help cars navigate the road alongside the five cement trucks….clearly it was an extra special, exciting day! Alex made the above sign so that he could be the “stop/slow sign guy” professionally. (can you make out “slow” in the above picture amidst the cake mix box??? Might be a LITTLE tricky for smooth traffic flow….)
Admittedly, there are days and seasons where I would welcome a tangible, blatant, OBVIOUS sign. “STOP!”. “SLOW DOWN!”. Somedays, I really want God to be a bit clearer on the plan. But, I’m starting to wonder, is God being clear and I am the one futzing around, not seeing the obvious? Maybe the answer, the advice, the plan, is there for the taking, right in front of me? Hopefully I won’t be too preoccupied or tired to see or hear it…
(received this card from my dear friend, Elisa, this week…one of those “just because” cards from a fellow traveller, truth teller on this road of parenthood)
19 People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”