I’m writing this Friday morning with the sun just coming over the crest of the mountain, revealing an idyllic setting of fog in the valley and a colored tapestry of leaves as far as the eye can see. Cows are munching on dew-laden grass while my eight roosters try to outdo each other. Others reading this faced a morning quite different, whether dealing with Hurricane Matthew, rush hour, or the pressures of dealing with a world of ungodliness.
I’d like to share a story of what one person can do to help the light reach dark and stormy places. I was in high school in Johnston, Rhode Island. As far as I knew, I was the only Christian in that school of 1,600. It was literally a school of torment for me both emotionally and physically. At school, the minutes just dragged on. I learned what Jesus meant when He said “the world hated me, it will hate you.”
My parents had no idea what was going on: They were struggling desperately to keep the greenhouses going during those years of oil embargoes. My grandfather, on the other hand, who had grown up near the wharves of Providence during the Depression, could sense that I was being swamped. He asked my parents if he could pick me up shortly after school Friday to spend the weekend with him at his little house on Narragansett Bay. One weekend turned into four years of weekends where we’d do little projects and my “pay” was to take me to a restaurant known for something special. My grandfather took me to Haven Bros. Diner because their brown bread with hot dogs and beans was to die for. Twin Oaks was known for their steaks and Custy’s for their lobster.
This was great pay for a teenage boy. The projects turned out later to be good training for professions as he taught me all he knew about painting and driveways. He said often, “College is good, but a trade will save you in the bad times.” His wisdom has done just that multiple times. Those Fridays and Saturdays turned out to be a lifeline, and to this day I go to the ocean to find peace and the God of all comfort.
Sabbaths are meant to be this sort of lifeline. Don’t get into the habit of just sleeping in, reading books and watching videos. Look for someone who is being swamped and throw out a line of friendship and love. Ask God if there is anyone you can encourage. A child, grandchild, neighbor, or friend may forever thank you for it.