It was a very hot day close to 90 degrees and after our volunteering obligations were over, I suggested to my husband that we take a motorcycle ride toward Lake Geneva, WI. We have new helmets that I’m learning to take on and off. Our communication devises have not arrived. So, we listened to the radio on the way to WI and ended up finding an outdoor supper club just over the Illinois border. It was a delightful ride and we had a delicious fish fry. On the way out, a friend from our past tapped me on the shoulder. It was a surprise to see Rosanne and her friends at the restaurant. We hugged and visited for a while and she said, “Now I’ll pray for you that you have a safe trip of about 50 minutes home.” Larry helped me adjust my helmet and then he jumped on the motorcycle. I started getting on the left side, but I said, “Honey, I’ll get on the right side instead.” Larry didn’t hear me and thought I was on the back. “Wrong” He took off without me like a strike of lightning. I yelled out and ran frantically towards him shouting, “I’m not on. Stop! Stop!” but he never heard me with the sound of traffic and the sound of his radio. All my belongings were in the back trunk. I didn’t have a nickel to my name, nor my phone. I walked a couple of blocks to the nearby gas station just over the border between IL and WI, and waited patiently for him to come back and get me. Surely, he will soon know that I am not on the back of his motorcycle. But after 20 minutes my hope depleted. Here I was on a hot summer evening walking back and forth along the highway with my helmet on. There were many who stopped to help me. They would say, “Would you like to call him.” You can use my phone. There were three wonderful people that offered their phones but Larry did not answer. I tried to take off my helmet since now I was sweating, but I couldn’t get it off. Finally, a young man helped me and yeah, I was now helmet free. I decided to walk the two blocks back to Rosanne at the restaurant. They burst out laughing that I was left behind. She also tried calling Larry. I then went back to my post by the highway hoping he would return. Larry made it all the way home to Fox River Grove, IL before he realized I was not on the back. He contacted Rosanne and came back in his Ford truck to pick me up. It was another lifewithlarry story that we will never forget. I’m really looking forward to the communication devises. And I’m so happy there are people like Heidi and Scott who tried to help me that night.
“God has set eternity in the human heart.” Ecclesiastics 3:11. Solomon penned these words along with the verses made into a familiar song. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” We can all look back at our lives and remember the seasons. We remember what it felt like to perhaps fall in love, have our first child, and the body of an energizer bunny. We can look back at those times with fondness as we enter yet another season of life. The other day, I watched the parade of cyclists fly by on the street near our house and remembered how easy it was to bike 30 miles back to our starting place, to go out to eat and socialize afterwards, and to get up to teach the next morning. The years have flown by and getting up and having time for reflective thought and a second cup of coffee while glazing at the birds at our feeders is yet another heartwarming season. Yet, those seasons of intent action were seasons filled with so much adventure. It’s a time now of losing loved ones like my brother Bob and my sister Ginger. It’s almost as if there is a waiting room where our numbers will be called one day. That is why it is so important to redeem the time, seize the day and love and enjoy each moment we have on planet Earth. There is a God shaped vacuum in our hearts longing for the time when our soul lives on in eternity. Inside, we know this is not the end. This is not a pipe dream that can’t possibly be true. Just look outside now and see the death of summer as the plants shrivel and look dead, but Spring will once again touch the Earth with its magic wand. God has given us natural signs to illustrate heavenly principles. He sacrificed his only Son, Jesus, and sent Him to Earth to show us how to live life by dying to ourselves. He told us to even love our enemies and think of others more than ourselves. Jesus taught us to be servants of one another and to show the world that we are “His” by our love for one another. He said in John 17, “My prayer is not for them alone, but I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” Yes, that is us. Jesus left the world to prepare a place for us that we may see his glory. The hope is that this experiment called “Life” will teach us how-to live here and in eternity. He says, “I am come that you may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 and knowing these thoughts make every day of my life richer. So don’t despair because of growing older and fading away like a winter plant; just know that Spring is coming. GOD HAS SET ETERNITY IN OUR HUMAN HEART.
My background in literature and history is making me fearful that we are not learning from our past; and if we ignore our mistakes, we are bound to repeat them— which will have catastrophic consequences for our future freedoms. I taught 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451-all futuristic books worth reading now—and Animal Farm, a picture of the Russian Revolution. The books are all about dumbing down society so society will believe lies that are dispensed like gum balls falling out of a candy dispenser. I encourage all of you to open your eyes to the lies you may be swallowing perhaps being dispensed by your favorite guru. Please listen to more than one TV or radio station for your news. Trust experts instead of false prophets. Are we so stupid as a society that we are ignoring facts such as our election results and Covid 19 as a real disease while our hospitals are filling up to capacity? I beg you open your eyes and “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32. Also remember—-“For the time is coming when people will not have patience for sound teaching, but will cater to their passions and gather around themselves teachers who say whatever their ears itch to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3.
I would suggest starting with Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. He was born on August 12, 1920 in Waukegan, IL and died in CA on June 5th 2012 at the age of 91. Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20-21st century writers. You will see our society through his eyes. Also, remember what God says about being patient and loving one another.
With all the chatter going on in the media, I thought it might be good for me to look into God’s word for a foundation to stand on in such a time as this. I came up with this acronym to help us remember it. The word is FLIP. Don’t FLIP out in a PANIC. Sue Schuerr
FEAR-”God has not given us a spirit of FEAR but of power, love and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Fear Not, for I am with you.” Isaiah 41:10
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1: 9-11
FRUIT-”By their fruit you will recognize them. Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” Matthew 7:16
LEADERSHIP-”And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35;
“All nations shall serve Him. For He will deliver the needy when he cries, The poor also, and him who has no helper. He will spare the poor and needy, And will save the souls of the needy. He will redeem their life from oppression and violence.” Psalm 72:12
ITCHING EARS-”For a time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their OWN DESIRES, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3 “Every fact shall be sustained and confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 2 Corinthians 13:1 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words.”2 Peter 2:1-3
PRIDE-”But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches.” Jeremiah 9;23
“Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. “ Proverbs 13:10
“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
“Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” Proverbs 26:12
Here you have the result of my study. Please use this as a spring board for your own study of scripture as you judge the chatter coming into your social media, etc.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES daily, whether those things were so.” Acts17:11
How are you all doing in our lockdown? It is May 11th and we are in Phase 2. We have been shut in since March 26th. People seemed to do quite well in Phase 1 but now the herd is restless. I am too. I do well when the days are warm and it’s not raining and I can get out. But yesterday, Mother’s Day, was hard. Fortunately, we saw family, Julie and Geoff and kids, on Saturday. We sat in their backyard at a distance away from one another and enjoyed seeing their new puppy, Mauve. But no hugging, nor eating each other’s food. We did enjoy great conversation and the joy of seeing one another. Julie and Geoff live in Chicago where there have been 1,000 deaths due to Covid-19. Following the rules is necessary for survival.
I came home with tears in my eyes knowing we could not hug each other and that school, childhood friendships, etc would be different for my grandchildren. But we need to be patient and resilent in these days working on finding new ways to connect and to even thrive.
It rained all day yesterday—so no walk outside. I recorded some songs on the piano which I posted on Face Book, spent time communicating with friends and family on line and worked on planning my week. We are getting quotes on landscaping our backyard and going through and discarding those items we no longer need.
Larry has been dealing with back pain and I work on his back by popping in the verebrate. Larry is 6′ 2″ and I’m not quite 5′ so I actually stand on his back to do this procedure. He loves to stay busy and after reading the Tribune decided to make a banana cake and bread in our breadmaker. I have been trying to cut down on carbos from my diet, but with Larry as a baker this is impossible. How can I not have a hot piece of bread with butter when the delicous smell permeates the house. This means that I’ll do a lot of walking today and exercise on Zoom with my teacher friend, Rose, in her program called Get After It. Now I need to modify my exercises since my teacher is much younger than I am. But I do what I can and love connecting with her and her young daughter, Heleyn.
God has given us hope and encouragement by helping us focus on others rather than ourselves in these unprecedent times. There is always some one to reach out to with words of encouragement, acts of kindness or just a listening ear. Last time I took a walk a stranger smiled and said, “It’s so good to see people again.” Yes, we need one another as the song says, “People who Need People are the Luckiest People in the World.” I find seeing children playing freely with puppies by their side and parents behind them gives me hope for the future. And our land and air quality is improving. These are the positives of staying home.
Almost every morning, my daughter from Montana, sends us a series of jokes. Larry continues to play practical jokes on me like putting his size 12 shoe under my pillow when I lay down to sleep. He always pleads that it wasn’t him who put it there. It mut have been an intruder. And we laugh a lot about ourselves and how we need each other to find our lost items and to finish each other’s sentences these days. Our favorite words are “What” “Where” and “When.” Physically, laughter triggers the release of endorphins that cause a sense of well-being. Studies have demonstrated that children laugh on average more than 300 times a day. We adults only laugh a dismal 15. Times of levity are important.
I encourage everyone to write and reach out to someone new each day. Writing is a catharsis for me as is playing the piano and working on my Spanish lessons. I guess I’m saying having goals for each day is very helplful. I can be thankful for so much and be cognizant of my neigbors nearby.
The sun will shine today. I have wonderful food to eat and a husband who loves me, Zoom meetings to attend, social media to connect, the joy of seeing flowers bloom and trees developing their foliage. I can look back at pictures and sense a well of happiness for the days of freedom in the past when we didn’t think of family and friends as being a carrier of a contagious deadly disese. We have wonderful scientists who are working on a vaccine. We have doctors and nurses who are saving lives and need our encouragement. Although the future looks bleak, better days are ahead and we will get through this time with new appreciation for things we once took for granted