So we celebrated our daughter’s birthday yesterday at the park, and I don’t think we could have asked for better weather. I actually expected it to be hotter, but it was really kind of perfect the way it was. In anticipation of super hot weather, we got one of those sun-blocking canopies, a lesson that we learned from not having one at last year’s party at the same park, during one of those heat waves that we had.
These canopies are pretty handy. They’re pretty portable, comes with a handy carrying case, and they really do what they say in terms of blocking out the sun. To top it off, it’s pretty easy to set up. The biggest complaint I have about them though, is putting it away. Or, I should say, it’s putting away the actual fabric canopy that is difficult. Or I should say again, it’s the folding of it that is way too hard.
Remember those old paper maps we used to use before phones or electronic stand alone gps units or even map books were around? Remember folding those suckers up? Well, folding these fabric canopies are a bit like that. But we got it done, mostly because my wife figured out that it’d be a like folding a fitted bedsheet, which she quite honestly is a master at.
As we were folding this thing (it truly is a two-person job), I remember thinking that we were working really well together. I had the arm span that she lacked, and she had the folding prowess that I lacked. Together we folded that thing lickety split.
I guess I married a keeper.
This upcoming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, when we remember and commemorate that Pentecost festival where the disciples first experienced the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to say that it was the coming of the Holy Spirit as we’ve come to understand that the Spirit was always present, but perhaps just not at the forefront. But what was revealed to them on this particular Pentecost was not how they could better work together, but how they were always able to work together by the joining and guiding of the Spirit.
This was the Spirit of truth, the Spirit of community, the Spirit of love that led them to see each others gifts and what they were able to contribute to the ministry that they shared. Again, this isn’t something that changed at Pentecost, but it was made known how the Spirit was always present, always with them, and always gifting them with gifts of community and service.
So whether it be an act of service, some kind of ministry, or even folding a difficult-to-fold canopy, we are given unique gifts to fit together, to work together, and to live together in this great grand thing called life. Our unity isn’t about uniformity, but it’s about seeing how we’re all connected and unique, and how we all have a role to play.
To me, this makes life a lot more interesting and a lot more amazing. Each of us have such value and worth, and our uniqueness can never be replaced (or else it would cease to be unique). So I cherish all of you and the role you play, and I’m thankful that we’re in this together!
Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!
Photo by Pastor Nathan of the amazing set up job of the canopy, before it had to be painstakingly taken down.