Friday, September 12, 2008

Finding the Lost Treasure

It happened twice in one week for us. Searching through an old box I discovered something we had stored away in our move to Peterborough – 10 years ago. The lost was found. An old piece of treasure we had picked up along the way of living had been found. But not just one piece of treasure – but two.

I couldn’t help but wonder how many more things we have buried in our household items that we have been wondering about for 10 years.

Yesterday it happened again. Only this time the treasure was much bigger than the other two. The other two were cheap pieces of memorabilia. The one found yesterday was worth millions – maybe even more.

Here is how it happened.

I began the day in a hurry. With great resolve to get lots done I had a list ready to make it happen. There were three major things that were cooking.

Heading out to do one of the things I walked around the van and the tire was flat as a pan cake. Oh no! I had just put a tire plug in the tire yesterday because of a nail puncture. Now the stupid tire was flat again.

So – I stopped the flow and set aside the list. I fetched the jack from the rear of the vehicle, placed it under the side where the jack was suppose to go, then began to crank it up. The vehicle started to rise and the tire was almost off the ground. It is at that point that I loosened the nuts and took them off. But it wasn’t high enough to get the tire off… so I cranked it a little higher… That was when “it” happened. The vehicle began to go down – not up! Something is wrong when you jack a car up and it goes down.

These months of further “old aging” on our van has taken its toll. The rust is finally taken over the jacking up area and then let go as the vehicle was in mid air. The top of the jack was now buried three inches up into the bottom of the undercarriage.

“It” is not a good feeling at that point – there is a kind of a super sick feeling that comes over me. The tire would need to be replaced – but you cannot jack up the vehicle normally – and the jack you jack it up with is stuck deeply into the body – which now cannot be moved as it is hanging down. And there are no ambulances that can pick up a vehicle in your driveway as it is facing the wrong way against the garage doors and take it to the “Owiee Car Hospital” where they cannot replace the body of a dieing vehicle.

The story could get longer. But to shorten it – in one hour I had it fixed. The jack did come out and I found a less rusted place to get it back up. The tire patch was okay – it was only the valve stem that needed a new valve.

Though “it” wasn’t on my list – the car was running again. Might die to tomorrow but it is running today.

Now back to the list again. I needed to paint the rest of the window and door frames as the weathering had taken its toll. That means scrapping off the old paint and then applying a fresh new coat. It was done a few years ago but the peeling had to be dealt with.

As I applied the scrapper to the lower section of the door frame that goes out to our back deck “it” happened again. (Keep track here – that is my second “it” in one morning.) The lower six inch section of the door frame fell away. Below the peeled paint that was about an inch across was completely rotten. The whole section came out as I ran the scrapper across the section. Nothing but mush!

You cannot pain over “mush”. “Mush” in a door frame means that something is happening that is not good. If “mush” and the wood rot is in other places on this old door frame – we are going to have to replace the whole double door assembly which means more KACHING$$$$ that we don’t have now. Oh boy.

I am a wood carver. This is a piece of wood. Why not carve a new bottom section? A cut here. Another cut there. Then a little chiseling and all the rot was gone. I then cut a piece of solid oak that I had kept for a possible special job and carved it to fit in the cavity that I had created getting rid of the rotten wood.

In an hour the job was done and the new paint applied. It almost looks like new. The new “it” was behind me.

I turned on the television in the garage. I sat down to watch a program as I ate my lunch outside. Then “it” happened. No picture – only sound was coming from the TV. It is an older TV retrieved from the road side – a garage sale kind of TV I had rescued from the flood a few years ago in Peterborough. Yesterday it had been working good – but today “it” had happened again.

I tried this and I tried that. Nothing. Then I happened to look at the TV remote. It was dirty and dusty – after all it is in my garage. The way that it is constructed and the fact that something was laying on it – the brightness of the TV was turned way down – to a BLACK. When that something was laid on top of the remote it had blackened the TV. No picture but only sound.

I had fixed another “it”. I was on a roll. Kind of Superman of the Fixit Shop yesterday – what a feeling!

Later in the afternoon I discovered the treasure that I mentioned earlier in this Blog. I was walking behind the lawn mover cutting the grass. The breeze was blowing nicely through the yard. The sun was shinning through the trees. It was a good late afternoon. What peace these was around me.

That’s “it”. Perfect Peace had been mine all day – absolute Perfect Peace. Through three major crisis moments – I had simply done the job at hand and taken care of the thing that had needed to be done. The overwhelming panic that normally has set in – was not there.

There wrapped up in the middle of an impossible situation after situation was the Perfect Peace. It is worth Millions upon Millions to me.

It shouldn’t be this way today. I am still on E.I. I am looking for small tasks that I can do – like E.I. says I have to. I am waiting to see if the new program I have applied for will kick in. I am calling churches and pastors to see if there is a spot in their hearts or church budgets to include a new chaplain and his wife for support. I am asking if there are places where I could preach. I am continuing to try… but it is slow – very slow. It is a time for me to pray, read, write, pray some more and then squeeze in a few things on my “it list”.

It shouldn’t be a place of Perfect Peace. But it is. The rush and pain is gone – at least for now. While standing in the back yard there was a rush of Perfect Peace. I had found it over these weeks of waiting and staying still.

In the church I had lost it I think. In the ministry that I had been rushing to do – it had evaporated. In the pulpit as I preached it had been pushed away by weird reactions in the pew. In one case - when that older lady kept glaring at me each week with her arms folded and shaking her head – IT WAS GONE. She was in my thoughts each Monday morning – what a nightmare!

I thought about her yesterday and chuckled – at least I am not married to that one… that is perfect peace.

I am now into 82 days since I completed my 34 years of ministry and entered the no zone – the uncertain zone – the neutral zone as William Bridges puts it in his book “The way of transition”. And I am at peace.

I have found a lost treasure… and it is worth so much… so very much.

Hey today I am praying for you – the reader. I am praying specially for Pragyan Simkhada today. He is my friend in Nepal. We talk to each other each morning when we both have time. He likes to carve wood as well and is involved in the education field… but he has expressed he has no Peace at this time. The struggles he goes through are very great.

Pragyan Simkhada I am praying for you as you read this as well. The Perfect Peace is there for you as well.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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