Something Gator always knew about drew him in this morning. The morning began like many others began. Arise and grab the robe off of the door hook along with the Walt-Mart shopping pajama pants. Sort of stumble into the living room, on into the parlor and dart into the bathroom. No one else in home awake yet. The early rising Gator, glancing at the wood stove for flame or glow. Turn on the coffee machine and sit briefly to put on socks and slippers. Gator is Now ready for the ritual that is stretchy to his old Gator frame. Open the bypass the front door to the stove and stir the coals. Put in the kindling laid out last night and urge on combustion. Close the bypass when the fire is looking promising and put a favorite cup under the coffee maker and put in the small K-cup, snap the top closed and select the size on the panel and let it go to work. Get the ½ and ½ and watch the swirl in the cup.
Ritual, feeling useful. Thinking of the rest of the Gators rising a bit later as they too, glance now at the wood stove and feeling the heat radiant and pleasant. Still in the dead of winter, still hearing the crinkle sound of the Pex pipes fill the radiators with hot water. Comforting, perhaps early morning sunrise coming over the pines and lighting the snow with frosty jewelry and creating art that brings a smile as Greta walks the dog and walks by Gator with her cup of warm brew. Ritual that we all do and do it with pleasurable service. A form of joy and satisfaction as Hosea the dog settles in at Greta’s feet. Checking in with the electronic newspaper and mail in her rocking chair.
Often, Gator settles in to his computer desk in the parlor and does the same checking in. Then, putting on his headphones, clicks on the icon for worship music. A glance at the music leaders name and listening and watching a team of singers and instrumentalists live from 500 miles away. Worshiping the living God. With skill and beauty, often Gator begins tearing up with the impossible commitment that has been going on non-stop for decades. A team of often ten or more in Love with God. They sing worship and create song to give the prayer given another level of beauty.
Gator relaxes and often begins to write and wonder with his ears and eyes. He contemplates being in the big room with that live worship as he has done years ago. A thought comes over him to just let go and live down there and walk into that big room and sit. Available 24 hours a day. The American dream of everything you need just down the road. The two dollar store of joy and relaxed pleasure.
However, not starting the morning fire and not being at home with his loved ones is not an option. Just seeing and hearing the fire lit by men and women that are already on fire is enough. Perhaps a vacation to visit friends near that prayer room and bask in the heat of worship. That would be a great trip! To hear that sound that rises into the eternal bowl of prayer and again, gives Gator unexpected tears of almost impossible to convey to Gator’s friends and fellow Christians. Gator has the wealth of his delightful life and the memory of the prayer room the Gator family made giving him a smile of an assignment well done. Many times Gator’s family team poured worship into that eternal prayer bowl.
That local prayer room is now gone but is firmly set in his heart. Delight indeed. Now there is overwhelming worship seen and heard as Gator sits with his headphones on and he is once again reassured with with God’s word in scripture; “Sing praises to Your name, O most high, to declare Your loving kindness in the morning and Your faithfulness every night..On the Lute, and on the harp with harmonious sound.1” It’s pretty good. Jack Gator 1. Psalm 92