Thursday, April 26, 2018

Unique Word - Coddiwomple

When we travel, our trips are all planned out. I make the reservations and an itinerary. We know where we are going and what we are going to do when we get there. Charles determines the best route using Google maps on his phone and the car’s inboard navigation screen as a backup. We do like some spontaneity, but hate getting lost. 

There are times when living the RV lifestyle sounds very appealing. Load up the vehicle and take off for points unknown. In other words,

Coddiwomple --- “travel in a purposeful manner toward a vague destination.”

We have been traveling toward a vague destination with our company for the past fifteen years. Charles filed his patent for his drag-reducing devices in 2003 and we have been on the road to uncertainty ever since. The plan was to receive Federal Aviation Agency certification during 2017, but that got moved to April and now to June of this year. So, we continue to coddiwomple along doing what’s necessary to hit a moving target—like the proverbial rabbit running after a carrot on a stick.

Coddiwomple also reminds me of the Old Testament story of the Patriarch Abram in the book of Genesis. The Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. (Genesis 12:1)

“So, Abram went as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.  He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.” (Genesis 12:4-5)

Abram received a major testing of his patience and faith. Abram and his wife were senior adults by today’s standards. They seriously disrupted their settled lives to follow God’s call, which is not something most of us want to do.  Not knowing where they were going or when they would arrive meant they had to trust the process and the One who sent them on their mission. Abram and his family arrived at their destination and they were abundantly blessed by God for their obedience.

And we are blessed today because he obeyed.  As Abram (later Abraham) occupied the land where God sent him, his family became the people of promise who centuries later would bear witness to the birth of Jesus. His life, death, and resurrection allow us to travel this life looking forward to not a vague destination but a heavenly one.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Unique Word-- Cattywampus


I like words.  As a writer, I try to use simple, ordinary words that everyone can understand.  Sometimes I run across words that are very interesting and fun to use. During the next few blogs I want to share some unique words that may or may not be familiar. Cattywampus describes things that are askew or awry, and can be used for intersections that don’t meet in a straight line. There are a lot of intersections like that in Georgia.  No wonder we have so many streets named “Peachtree.”

Fall Clothes 
Spring has finally arrived in Georgia—warmer temperatures in the 70’s. For weeks, the weather has yo-yoed from warm to freezing making clothing choices a challenge. The weather has been cattywampus and not what we normally expect during April.  Every April and October, I transition my closet to the next season. I am so done with cold weather by April, the dark colored sweaters and corduroy pants beg to be put away for the next six months.  In October, I’m not quite so eager to put up the shorts and sandals.  But as soon as I make the closet transition in spring or fall, the hot or cold weather returns making me dig back through my storage boxes. Someone who knows me well laughs and tells me not to transition my clothes or the weather will rebel once again.

Watching the news is unsettling. Unsettling and cattywampus events dominate the headlines. International turmoil and the threat of war are served up daily.  The political news close to home is even more worrisome. Another election in November will determine the direction of the country for years to come.

Our natural inclination in dealing with turmoil is anxiety, which can be helped by looking at the Scriptures and applying its truth to our lives.  For example, it’s been over two weeks since Easter 2018 when we celebrated the greatest event in Christianity. I often wonder how Jesus’s disciples dealt with their anxiety in the days and weeks following the crucifixion and resurrection. They had responded to the call of Jesus to “follow me” only to discover everything they had signed on for was now cattywampus and upside down. Jesus didn’t overthrow Roman rule and become a Jewish king like David. Instead he instituted the kingdom of God in the hearts and minds of his followers. It would have been much easier for them to make plans for a government takeover than model lives of sacrificial love and forgiveness that Jesus required.  When Jesus appeared to them before ascending into heaven, he told them to wait for further instruction. 

Waiting is very hard for most of us when everything is cattywampus.  We want to fix our problems and change our circumstances. RIGHT NOW.  Waiting for God to work is very difficult if we are action-oriented people. Perhaps that why so many of us are told to wait and watch to see what the Lord is going to do.

Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

It will be worth being patient when God acts and our waiting is over.