When the zipper pull for the cotton cover on our living-room futon broke, I didn’t know what to do. It was a minor problem. The rest of the cover was in good shape, but without a zipper, the cover bulged and flapped and slipped off the couch. It looked awful. Sewing on a new zipper wasn’t an option. For one, where do you buy a zipper that long? For another, replacing zippers is above my expertise. I considered gluing on a giant Velcro strip but settled on snaps. About 40. It took several hours to sew them all on. Some didn’t quite match. But with a little tugging and tucking, I got the cover back in place and it looked good. Until I sat down.
Like many around the world, I watched the news and prayed this week as twelve soccer players and their coach were saved from a flooded Thailand cave after nearly three weeks underground. The scope of the rescue was staggering: thousands of volunteers, more than one hundred of the world’s top cave divers, Thai Navy sea air and land squads, medical experts, helicopters, ambulances, a hospital and more than a week of planning.
“Do you see how precious life is?” I told my 8-year-old son as we watched the drama unfold.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be led by the Spirit. As I slowly read my way through Scripture, I’m alarmed at the similarities between how I often live my life — trying to figure out how to get through each day as best as I can – and the ancient Israelites who struggled and strived to please God but inevitably wandered into trouble. They’re not the only ones who veered off course.
Our 4-year-old son is a chess master, winning match after match. Sitting across from his father in a cozy inn on a recent afternoon with a wooden game board between them, Ezra confidently moved his knight to capture his father’s bishop. On his subsequent turn, he deftly seized a pawn. The next to fall was a rook. Piece by piece, Ezra gleefully cleared the board, grinning triumphantly as several bystanders and I looked on. “Who’s winning?” a silver-haired man asked.
Despite having grown up on an organic farm, I’m a gardening hack. My rows are crooked. Clover creeps between the green beans and corn. And a pest has nibbled so many holes through my greens that my Swiss chard looks like Swiss cheese. But the one thing I do know about gardens is that they need a steady source of water. So most bright summer mornings, I dutifully stretch the garden hose from the spigot under my kitchen window, down the dirt driveway and connect it to the sprinkler beside my garden. Then I turn it on.