24 - 7

Early last Thursday morning, I drove Coleman out to Sand Springs to the American Therapeutic Riding Center for his weekly appointment with Buster, the Quarter Horse who faithfully and sure-footedly serves as a steady mount for his 30-minute therapy session.  Even though plenty of staff members and volunteers are always on hand, I’m grateful that the folks at ATRC indulge me and allow me to side-walk with Coleman.  It’s a father-son activity that we have enjoyed together for many years now, going all the way back to the early days at SpiritHorse Therapy near Denton, Texas.

One of the persistent challenges for Coleman while riding is keeping both hands on the reins.  It’s not that he is careless, disinterested, or unbalanced in the saddle; far from it!  The problem is that he likes to “talk,” which, for Coleman, involves the use of his hands.  He might sign “bird” (when he hears one chirping outside the arena), “rain” (if he hears it thunder or if I say “rein”), or “tickle” (for no apparent reason other than wanting to be tickled).  However, the signs that he can be counted on to make multiple times throughout the therapy session are “hamburger” and “soda.”  He wants to make sure that on our way home I don’t forget his obligatory reward meal of a burger (doesn’t matter where from, just plain with mustard) and a Dr. Pepper (has to be Dr. Pepper, although we opt for Diet whenever possible; our choice, not his!).

Where can you get a hamburger at 9:00 in the morning?  Jack in the Box!  As we pulled up to the drive-thru window on Thursday to pay for and pick up Coleman’s food, I noticed their Hours of Operation sign.  It was a standard sign that had a vertical list of the days of the week on the left, with parallel Open and Closed columns to the right.  In each of the available time slots, the sign simply read “24 Hours.”  I had forgotten that Jack in the Box was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  They never close.  If you want a Sourdough Jack at 2:30 a.m., they’ll make one for you.  If you have a craving for Seasoned Curly Fries or Stuffed Jalapenos in the middle of the afternoon, they’ve got you covered.  You can go weeks or months without ever thinking about them or visiting their restaurant, and they are still there, non-stop, all day, no breaks.

We serve a 24/7 God!

I lift up my eyes to the mountains –
where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. 

He will not let your foot slip –
he who watches over you will not slumber;
 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

Psalm 121:1-4

It is so comforting to know that, as the I AM, our God and Father does not waver, wane, diminish, or weaken, not in the least and not even for a moment, in His sovereignty, love, care, and provision for His children.  He is never distracted.  He never becomes disinterested.  As a Creator with infinite knowledge, presence, and power, He attends to my needs as if I were His only child.  He knows me just as intimately as He does the other 7.1 billion souls on this planet who have been created in His image.

When I busily focus my attention on my work, my family, and my comfort, and forget to acknowledge Him, consider Him, or speak to Him, He is there nonetheless.  I can completely ignore Him or even mock the notion of His very existence, and He still knows me and loves me.

When I sleep, He is awake.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:8

When I awake,
 I am still with You.

Psalm 139:18

I’m grateful for a 24/7 God!