One of the joys of living in Idaho is that things start to cool off in late summer. Yes, the sun is intense and can be very hot, but the air is dry and as soon as the sun goes down, it becomes quite cool. So, here it is late August and I’m sitting on my deck at 4:00 in the afternoon. The sun is warm but the breeze has been cool all day, and when the sun goes down it will be cooler still.
I love my deck, ramshackle as it is these days. It desperately wants paint, for one thing. Worse, some of the boards really HAVE to be replaced – this is one of the many projects that will have to be done before we can sell this place and move onto some acreage outside of town.
So, on to some musings about life (from the deck, as I write this).
Last night we went to a minor league baseball game in Idaho Falls (which is about an hour from us). I haven’t been to a live baseball game since the early 80s (the one and only time I went to Yankee Stadium). I used to like watching pro baseball on TV, until the media decided that their preferred filler shots were close-ups of the players in the dugout, spitting enormous streams of tobacco-colored saliva and scratching places that shouldn’t be scratched in public. Yuk. I stopped watching pro baseball a few years ago because it was so gross it distracted from the game itself.
I didn’t realize we had a minor league team nearby, so when one of our kids called and asked if we wanted to go, we were excited! The team is the Chukars, which, in real life, is some kind of bird, apparently. Unfortunate name.
At $6.50 a seat, the game provides a relatively inexpensive evening for a family. The crowd is nice and the playing is fun to watch. They cater to families – there are many fun contests and activities that go on during the game. The mascot comes around and greets the kids (not my grandson, though – he thinks the feathered mascot is ‘creepy’). And it’s just truly relaxing to sit in the bleachers on a late summer evening. We lost, but who cares? The fun was in being together and watching the game live.
The ballpark even has an organist still, who duly played “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch. My husband looked at me as we sang along and swayed from side to side, and said, “Is this a tradition?” I smiled. He didn't grow up watching the game on TV, as I did, and doesn't remember the flourishes and embellishments that organists provided to the games.
I never cease to be amazed at the way God works. This morning one of the keys on the church’s electronic keyboard broke as I was practicing for this morning’s service. The spring action of the key, specifically, is what broke: I pounded it down with my thumb and it never came up. In and of itself, everything else was still workable, and all I had to do was move my chord phrasings to other keys in order to do the music – a very simple fix. But it rattled me to see that pathetic G key lying, as it were, on its back with its little legs in the air. My friend and colleague whispered “key killer, key killer, key killer” as I fretted over it. He’s such a comfort.
Anyway, I ended up struggling for each and every note that I played during the service, I swear. Felt like I’d lose my place if my attention wandered for even a split second. Occasionally found myself wondering how to actually play the next chord that was coming up on the chart. It was a real effort, this morning, to do something that I usually find both enjoyable and relatively easy.
Thank God for the “Holy Spirit Filter.” That’s the filter that causes people to hear good music when, in fact, the musician knows it ain’t so.
Not to cast any aspersions on my colleague – he played well, as he always does. But I felt like things behind the keyboard went badly. And yet, more people raised holy hands in praise than I usually see out there. And more than one person came up to me later and said that I play the keyboard well. Huh? If they only knew that the Holy Spirit had spread His very own filter between us this day! They heard what God intended at their end, even if I couldn’t quite play it at mine.
So, I’ll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned,
In awe of the One who made it all.
I’ll stand, my soul, Lord, to you surrendered,
All I have is Yours.