What in the world are we doing…for Heaven’s sake?

blackburncarter.com photo

I was sitting today in my favorite rocking chair on the big sun-washed deck literally doing nothing but looking out on the beautiful bay and thinking about how very pretty the water was shimmering and the fluffy white clouds that were bouncing in the sky. Every once in a while, my revelry would be disturbed or interrupted by a boat speeding by, heading under the bridge or to the marina for more gas or bait, a brightly colored jet ski stirring up the water in playful pursuit of another, or a few shore birds stopping to nibble on our oyster reefs. My favorites, the sea gulls, would be chirping at each other, giving orders, decreeing the flight path, or busy stealing food from each other. 

Let me be the first to say that sometimes doing nothing is very good for the soul and the body.  We need a time to simply catch up and be. For me, my happy place is the water — any kind of water — the beach, the bay, a cool mountain stream, lake, or river. If I am near the water, I can find happiness. When my heart is heavy, I can find peace and rest by simply hearing the sounds of the water and its many delightful inhabitants. 

I run almost all of the time doing something for myself or for others. I stay busy. I like life that way. I have grandchildren to see about, children to check on, friends that are not as healthy as they’d like to be, civic interests, and home chores that keep me hopping. I still work as often as I want, and I travel, read, cook, and visit.  Life is good most of the time. I am learning to make a new path in this, my 74th year.

As I was contemplating on my coming weekend plans, the thought hit me as soundly as though someone had spoken through a loud speaker into my ear. “What on this earth are you doing for Heaven’s sake?”  I immediately answered in my own mind, “Well, I go to church, I teach, I write, I help others, I encourage, I visit, I listen and give counsel when asked, and I certainly pray often for hundreds of requests.”  Folks can say what they want, and laugh if they will, but social media is helpful in some very good and useful areas. We can receive, learn, and honor prayer requests from around the world in a matter of minutes. We can write encouraging notes, quote a Scripture verse, or give advice to people that we know and love or to those we have never met. We can reach out to others in ways our forefathers could have never imagined and hopefully help hurting hearts.

I thank God daily for the written word. I am grateful to have been blessed and given a measure of talent many years ago, encouraging teachers and pastors that helped me hone my skills, opportunities to be published, and have my work shared, and the good health to continue to work as I want all these many years later.  I believe with all of my heart that one of the aspects of my ministry on this earth has been the ability to write and reach out to others.  I am convinced by the sheer number of requests I receive each week that many find writing out their thoughts difficult and intimidating. I have been asked to write simple letters of resignation, complaints, medical questions or summaries, lease agreements, a break up letter or two, school related issues, and inquiries about many subjects, and I don’t mind doing it as long as time will permit.

I may no longer serve full time on a public church or school staff, or even go into the office every day to receive assignments and write, but believe me when I say I love being busy and continuing to do what I have done for years. I genuinely love learning and sharing with others. These thoughts opened another big door, and I ask you today, “What is your gift?” “What do you do that you share with others?” How do you reach out and help others on a daily basis?” “How do you use the talents and gifts God has blessed you with in this life for Heaven’s sake?”  “Are you busy about God’s kingdom and His work, or are you selfish and spend most of your time thinking about yourself?” “Is every writing or conversation about how great you are?” 

God needs and wants us all in His work. Let’s get busy while we have the time, talent, and tenacity.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.