Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Dog Days

Baseball fans know what the Dog Days are. We are in them now. In a 162-game season, the enthusiasm of April wanes as the calendar pages turn. The All-Star game is over. The postseason is still months away. The weather is hot and dry. It is hard to stay excited.... These are the Dog Days.

We all have Dog Days.

We have them in our marriages. It is not that we want out, or that we think we have made a mistake, or even that there is anything particularly wrong. It is just that years of marriage have followed years of marriage, and enthusiasm wanes.

We have them in our jobs, of course. No matter how called you are and how much you love you job, there are weeks that pass that simply require commitment to get up and go back to that same office.

We have them in our spiritual lives. God is still there, just as God has always been. We are not tired of God nor wanting to take our turn as the Prodigal Son. We are simply lacking enthusiasm.

The Dog Days can make it hard to teach a lesson or write a blog. What do we have to say? How can I find it in me?

The answer, of course, is that we can't find it in us, for we really have very little to say. The answer, of course, is to turn to the One who has no Dog Days. The answer lies, of all places, in the often-ignored Old Testament treasure called Lamentations: "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'"

"Great Is Thy Faithfulness" is one of our greatest hymns. It comes from this passage that reminds us that God's mercies are new every morning. The writer of Lamentations is definitely in the Dog Days. Just before the passage I quoted, the writer has talked of tasting wormwood and gall. But even then, there is hope, for what God has to offer never fails. Our faithful God just keeps bringing it. God's mercies - gifts, grace, goodness - are new every morning.

The truth is that my marriage is precisely what I need, that my wife is God's gift to me, that our life together is a great gift. That job you may dread is in fact where you live out God's call on your life, and you are in fact where you know you ought to be.

Baseball players get through the Dog Days. Truth be told, they enjoy the Dog Days, for what could be better than playing baseball for a living?

So too, tomorrow is to be enjoyed, to be savored, for what could be better than walking with God, than finding what God has new for me today?

Great is God's faithfulness.

1 comment:

Crystal Robbins said...

A beautiful hymn in and of itself! Thanks, Lyn! I'm sure I'll reread it again and again!