Saturday, January 1, 2011

words for 2011

Never have been one for resolutions per se and not going to start here or now. But I do have a couple of words (for me) for 2011.

One of my favorite verses is Micah 6:8 “But to do justly and to love mercy and walk humbly with my God.”

We have a mouse problem in our house. The little critters seem to have a penchant for climbing inside our walls and then when they can’t get out, they die. A day or two later they stink. We have to cut holes in our drywall and fish them out. Some of our walls in closets look like Swiss cheese! We trap aggressively and so far this winter (fingers tightly crossed!), so good.

This morning I headed out to do morning feeding chores. In the horse feed container (we keep all our feed in tightly closed trash cans- see mouse problem above) I noticed a dark lump. Sometimes the molasses in grain makes it stick together in clumps. I tried to pick up the dark clump and it moved. I realized it was a mouse. I caught it and typically it would be meeting its maker very soon. For some odd reason I decided I would let it go.

After feeding the horse I took our dogs on a walk. By the way it is very cold in Missouri this morning! I went way back on our 40 acres before I let the mouse go. As regular readers of my musings know, I pray when I walk my dogs. After letting the mouse go, I was doing my usual and starting thinking about mercy. [sidebar – I’m reading a big hard book on suffering that I’m supposed to write a review for – more on this at another time – but one theme is God’s mercy toward us.] So as I thought about the New Year, resolutions etc. an odd thought crossed my mind. In a silly, stupid way, I showed mercy to that small mouse. He meant no harm; just doing what mice do on cold days, look for food. I decided that mercy would be one of my words for the year. I really don’t know how to practice it but I’ll try.

I said a couple of words. Number two: Hope.

As some of those close to our family may know, we (like everybody else) have our share of struggles. Many of which are not always obvious or discernable; sometimes even to those very close. I’ll not share those right now. But hope will be my desire for 2011. I want to have hope that things can change. That things will get better where they need to.

My wife’s favorite hymn ends with these lines:

"Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!"

So for 2011 mercy and hope are my resolutions, my words. What are yours?

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