It’s Sunday Night
A little after 10 pm. It’s been a really long day that started at 4 am with the power going off in the midst of a winter storm. Ice storm wannabe, in some ways, but destructive in other ways. It could have been much worse. After about 40 minutes the power was restored and sleep beckoned.
Church was great. There were a number of visitors that made it extra special, along with a baby dedication. Good worship. Preaching. Great fellowship afterwards. Then a short nap and a few hours of unwinding from a decidedly long week that included some sickness, sleepless nights and a slow ramp back to quasi- normal. And now, I’m sitting at my computer, listening to some soft background music, and preparing to share…
Have you ever taken a moment to look over your shoulder at the previous week like an accountant looks over a balance sheet? I’ve done this while unwinding with a solitaire game – which means, a great time of thinking in the background while trying to beat the odds of whatever the shuffle deals.
- We’ve just made it through the first week of the new year, 2017. The year is young and there’s much to plan for, meetings to schedule, and a great satisfaction that the new year will be better than last year.
- Some things are in the planning stages for me at a personal level and I’m happy to step up to the task of making the future better.
- I refuse to think about the negatives of the recent past. 2016 created some challenges, but they are easily overcome with a forward thinking attitude.
- I learned something today about the word Aftermath thanks to a good man, Bobby Anderson… More below.
- During the past few months I’ve come to know who my true friends are, and I’m very thankful for each and every one of them.
- Love family more, they are part and parcel of your identity.
- Rest is not overrated. Take it when you can and charge your batteries for the next task.
- Better protection against colds is necessary – they are everywhere!
- Spend more quality time with my bride. We’re getting too old to waste what time remains.
Now… About Aftermath…
Think about the concept of aftermath and you probably thought about it in a negative sense. The resulting landscape after a major weather or some other tragic event. With the word, we understand that it’s “after” something, and with the word “math” we assume that it means to add or subtract the results and tally up an answer.
Exactly how bad was the event? What did it cost? Who was affected? How will we recover? Can we recover? How long will it take to get back to normal?
If that’s how you think about the word, then you are just like me. I’ve been thinking about the aftermath of 2016. Many have been hurt, others have been guilty of doing hurt, and all along the way there have been many good things that has happened. Some struggle with the results and cannot see what’s coming next, nor how to stand up to another whole year while feeling overwhelmed with last year.
What does the word “aftermath” actually mean? Well, “after” is English, and so is “math”. But the word “math” comes from Germanic roots that means “mowing”. So, the original use of the word simply means “after mowing”… What happens after you mow the pasture for hay? It grows again! Sometimes, even quick enough for a second mowing. Then fall, winter and with the spring it begins to rebound. It grows. Again. It’s a cycle. There is a mowing (harvesting) and then a regrowth!
This is the “aftermath” – and too often we only think in negative terms!
If you’ve never been to the valley’s and mountains surrounding Mt St Helen’s, then you have never seen the results of the 1980 event when the mountain exploded with a violent force that changed it’s shape forever. My wife, son and I were moving to Alaska just 5 months afterwards and we experienced the ash covered roads requiring us to fill up the windshield washer reservoir multiple times on our drive north from Texas, up the west coast.
The volcano’s force knocked down millions of trees, flooded waterways with downed trees, ash, boulders, mud and a host of other destructive powers. The loss of human life was tragic enough, but imagine all the fauna, flora and animal life that died.
Travel through the past 37 years and view it year by year and you see the aftermath. The destructive mowing of the force changed the landscape, but very quickly it started living again. Today, there are young forests growing naturally and with the efforts of replant teams. Wildlife has filled in the empty spaces. Everywhere you look, you can see the results of loss, but you also see the aftermath of life abounding.
This is “after mowing”… Life springs back. It may take longer due to your circumstances, but you can always experience a great aftermath.
Sometimes the “best” to come has everything to do with how we rebuild after a traumatic experience. Expect that there is a time of rebounding! It may be quick. It may be slow. But as I prayed and prepared for preaching today I was comforted that this upcoming year will be productive!
When the prodigal son returned home after squandering everything he held dear, how did his father respond?
“Bring out the best robe…” (Luke 15:22)
After all the negative experiences the son had gone through, what could be the best robe available? Well, nothing more than the Father’s robe will do. I believe he had his own personal robe brought out for his son, restoring him in his own image, his servants image of the son, and most of all, in his son’s personal view of himself.
Just like God has clothed us with a tremendous blessing to live better than we have ever lived before! There is nothing better for you to do today than to start enjoying the opportunity for the best… The Best That Is Yet To Come!