On Wednesday this week, i (Susan) went into the Calgary MCC Office to work for the day. We had a staff meeting and I was asked to lead the devotional. Someone asked if I could share the devotional on the blog....so this entry may be a bit longer than usual.  

I started by reading the poem Rod wrote about 6 months ago. "Are you Listening" (Blog entry  February 10, 2012)
The solace Rod speaks of carried him through the long days, weeks and months in bed while his body was racked with the intense, unrelenting pain.  He could have sunk into the utter despair he so honestly felt, but he stayed "in the game" and in doing so drew us in with him...to persevere, to seek the next step, to respond to opportunities as they opened up…and they did!! What began as an ray of hope beaming into the "wisp of solace"…seemed to slowly spread the light of possibility and promise as we decided to take the risk of going to the Netherlands for the implant.  The persistence, responsiveness and skill of those involved payed off and the implant is successful,

Over the last weeks several people have commented to us that “it is amazing how God orchestrated all these details for you.” Or “Wow, this is way more than coincidence.”  We believe that all of this was truly more than a coincidence…And we believe that God did not orchestrate this. If so, God would be the director and we the puppets or passive recipients of miraculous intervention.  Miraculous interventions happen, I am sure. But I think that in this case, the miracle is in the listening, the responding, using the skills God has given and developing the disciplines needed to endure and persist, and ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit among the players involved.…This is hard work and has left us exhausted -- much like players after a hard-earned, but exhilarating game of basketball. As I mentioned in an e-mail when we first heard that we received Alberta Health Funding:

“I have been sitting at Joya’s basketball games recently.  Sometimes I imagine God as the best of the Coaches of this game called LIFE – prompting and longing for each player to be in the right place at the right time. Making the right plays and using all the ability they posses and the skills they have learned.  This is one of those “beautiful plays” and I imagine God is rejoicing as much as we all are. Although you all may not have been, “on the court” ,,,your presence to support and encourage, to cheer and provide the “water bottles” to sustain us…was invaluable.  You "showed up" in significant ways.

This game of life is complex…Simultaneous games play out differently for all of us.  And yet we have the same incredible Coach.  I believe that it is not about winning as we define it or about certain outcomes… but about playing as team members with all the talents, skills and perseverance and attentiveness that we possess…so that we are "in the zone" and beautiful and often unpredictable and miraculous plays can happen and ultimately there are no regrets.  I see this evident in the lives of Anne and Henry, in the experience of various staff members who are supporting dependant family members, in the work of our MCC programs – CASA, COSA, IVEP or Community Conferencing and in the simple act of “showing up” with each other and with our constituency.  In all of these aspects…there are miracle moments when we are responsive and attentive as a team to the training of our Coach – to the nudgings, the encouragement, the instruction, the calling…. And ultimately the celebration and exhaustion of a game, well played.

I think the apostle Paul was aware of this

In The Message, Hebrews 12 :1-3 "Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!"

and 2 Timothy 2:3-7 (also quoted from The Message) "So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—— to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn't get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It's the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain."

We are so grateful to God, who is the central part of this experience. There are many images that can apply to God.  For now, to think of God a Coach, means that depends on us to make the plays and create the game….let us not give up.  Right now Rod and I feel exhausted, but we celebrate a game played well and we want to thank you for the ways in which you supported or were part of the team effort.  It is now time to rest as we wait to understand the full implications of this technology for Rod.  We will try to continue to capture Rod's progress on a weekly basis on the blog.

Anne Boehlig
4/14/2012 03:47:35 am

Susan, thank you so much for sharing this meditation. I really appreciate your image of God as your coach, while you continue to play the game and do not give up. Amen!

Peter Ritchie
4/15/2012 02:32:15 pm

Dear Susan, Rod and Family,

WELCOME HOME, albeit somewhat belatedly! We continue to follow your updates and look forward to when we will have a chance to welcome you home and give you hugs of rejoicing in person! :) Wanting to give you the space you need until you feel up to receiving a few drop-ins, so-to-speak.

Love from all of us....Peter, Areni and our kidlets

Evelyn and Karl Bartsch
4/22/2012 11:30:08 pm

Dear Rod and Susan,
Thanks you for sharing your journey. We have been blessed by your example of following in Jesus' way. We pray for continued healing of body mind and spirit for your family.
Evelyn and Karl


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    Rod and Susan

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