“Ring Around the Collar”

I have been very remiss – actually that’s putting it mildly. I have neglected my promise to write a monthly newsletter. My life, which I thought was going to give me lots of time to reflect and write glowing stuff for this newsletter and site, has gotten in the way. For some good reasons, I decided to pursue some extra income doing affiliate marketing on my computer. This is a way to make money online selling “other people’s” products.
That means I don’t have to have an online store; I don’t have to stock inventory; I don’t have to worry about shipping or even digital delivery. All I have to do is post offers all over the web for the million and one products for sale out there. They all promise to make a profit for you, to save you time and trouble, and most even tantalize you with 6-figure income.

That’s Not All

But, that’s not the main reason for my hiatus. I have been incredibly busy of late talking to Recliner600pxfriends and sending cards to hospice patients. I’ve also been reading and posting pictures and encouragements online and taking daily rides around the Capital Region. My car has become a haven and a place for respite from the hours and hours in my recliner chair with my computer on my lap. By 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon, I can’t get out of the door fast enough.
Several friends in the apartment house also keep themselves safe by mostly staying at home and wearing a mask, even washing off groceries before putting them away. We don’t come into contact with many other people so we have become “family.” The 3 of us have been as far north as Saratoga Springs  to Rennselaerville on the South. We’ve been as far west as Schoharie (an hour away) and as far east as Hogback Mountain in Vermont HugeHouse 600 px(over an hour).
We have also ridden around every lake in between those four spots, gawking at the most gorgeous, hugest homes I have ever seen. Our favorite places are the most amazing neighborhoods filled with lake houses so close together and so close to the lake, they barely have room for cars in the yards.

Much Exploration Going On

It’s been wonderful as we have found places we didn’t have any idea existed in this area. It has given us the chance to bond as friends as we have explored many square miles together. We have also had serious conversations about the coronavirus, the racial violence, and the political ridiculousness. Of course, we have also explored the sense of being abandoned which many people have been feeling lately.
I’ve also had some pretty deep conversations with others; one of my phone friends asked me the other day if I thought that God had left us to our own devices. My first reaction was, “No way!” Nothing could make me believe that God had taken a powder and gone off to the North Pole.
So, that brings me to the monthly newsletter – one day, the “Explorers” and I got to talking about that question, “Has God gone off and left us?” At first, everybody agreed that there was no way God would ever forsake us; after all, He had promised us, through Jesus, that “He would be with us, even to the end of the age.”

So Where is God Anyway?

So, then, we all wanted to know, where is God in the middle of this pandemic? Just what is God doing to fix it? Just when is God going to put this virus in the ground where it belongs and show the world who’s boss? How can God let this go on and on while people are sick and dying? How can God stay quiet as more and more people are thinking that God doesn’t even care what’s happening?
maxresdefault 400 pxWell, of course, my friends all looked to me for answers since I’m the one that “wears the collar.” And I looked back at them and said the same thing I’ve often said to my brother-in-law, Joe – “Beats me – that’s God’s stuff!” Now, before you scoff, thinking that’s a cop-out, let me explain what I call “God’s stuff.” It’s kind of like all the toys on the top shelf of the closet in the heavenly mansion.
They are the type of toys that we don’t know what to do with or how to make them work. They are also the ones that if we did figure out how to play with them, we’d probably start to burn up. That’s because they do things we can’t even imagine, much less can we understand.

Who Me? God?

That’s the way I think of viruses and other forms of suffering and death. If I knew where they come from or why we get them, I’d be something close akin to God. That holy state of mind would be more than my very human brain could handle. If I knew why God lets things like pandemics go on and on and on, well, again I would know way more than my seriously limited intelligence could tolerate.

God’s Stuff

These are the things I call “God’s stuff.” These are the things that only God knows all about. We do have some ideas about what causes some sickness and even some things that we can do to control and even cure a few of them. We do have some ideas about how to fight things like racism and we have some idea about how to deal with the horrors of war. The reality is, however, we can do none of those things on our own.
GodsPower 400pxIt is God’s gift that allows us to discover treatments and cures for cancer, heart failure, and other dread diseases. It is God’s power that helps us overcome the hatred and despair that fuels racism and war. And it is God’s strength that gives us what we need to fight those evils. It is God’s wisdom that gives us what we need to cure and fix bodily ills.

These are our things – those we can, with God’s help, take care of and do something about in this world. All else is God’s stuff and we can only pray and ask God to take care of it while we pray and ask God to help us take care of ours.
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