Yesterday was Day 7 on my Jericho March around the neighborhood for the Ferret Hunt. I put on my running shoes. For the last formal march, I was going to circle the neighborhood seven times. I did not hear a command from God to do this...I just want you all to be clear on that. I just wanted to do it, and I figured what better model for my attempts to secure victory for my friend who lost his ferret than to follow a Biblical story of victory. I realized after lap 3, two important things. One, I was going to be tired at the end of this. Two, I was going to lose track of how many laps I had run.
"Siri," I commanded my smart phone, "Remind me I am on lap three."
Siri computed this message and then said, "Why?"
"Because I am on a 7 lap march around my Jericho and I am already losing count."
"Did God ask you to do this?"
"No, but God is going to have to find the ferret. I am just making myself available."
"Have you ever been tested for mental imbalance?"
"Siri, just remind me, ok?"
"If you insist. When do you want to be reminded?"
"In 10 minutes."
"I will do this, but only under protest and with deep concern. Most people use this application to remind themselves to buy eggs, you know."
"But I don't need eggs...I need a miracle."
Part of that conversation was true, by they way. I really did have my phone remind me what lap I was on.
Meanwhile, as I ran my seven laps, I thought of the Jericho story. God wanted the Israelites to know in no uncertain terms that victory was not obtained unless God was with them. It is not recorded that any of the soldiers asked their leader, "Are you crazy? Why are we doing this nutty thing? Why don't we just bash down the wall and skewer the enemy?" Without grumbling, they seem to have gone along with this crazy battle plan. I find enormous comfort in this story. I have a battle looming that I am pretty sure we will not win on our own. The next two weeks we will be practicing the US History AP essays. I have required tiny essays throughout the year, but nothing like the practice essays I printed yesterday for Asherel. I had a small meltdown and wrote my sister, who was a history teacher long ago, and told her the task before me was impossible. She talked me down from my panic. What happens, happens. She will either pass or not. Use the few days remaining to prepare her as best I can. There is nothing else I can do.
Yes, there is. I am going to march seven times around our history book! And on the final march I am going to give a great shout, "The victory belongs to the Lord!"
On my seventh lap around the lost ferret neighborhood, I circled the ferret's house. Fortunately, the family was out of town, so they didn't call the police or the Psychiatric unit. I marched while calling the ferret's name, "Leo! Leo!" Leo didn't show up. I haven't lost hope however. After all, the Israelites also marched forty years in the desert before they reached the Promised Land. But in the end, they reached it. I think I will need new running shoes.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
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