I am writing this with sincere humor. Sometimes, we earn the right to just giggle at ourselves and the progress we make over periods and stages of our lives. So here is one from my personal growth files:
I am not a morning person. I almost felt guilted into saying that God has made or is making me into a morning person, but that would be me forcing a truth. (That’s a clear setup for failure.) So I stick with who I am. I come from a nocturnal bloodline. We can hang until the wee hours of the night, but leave us alone at dawn. Trying to have a conversation with me at the beginning of my day is almost next to impossible until I can get my mind set to concentrate on those in front of me. Or so I thought. For years, I have trained family and close friends not to call me in the morning unless it is important, such as life threatening, extreme circumstances, etc. So needless to say, for may years now, if I receive a phone call or message in the morning I automatically know it is very important and get to the phone right away.
I have been dealing with old feelings surfacing over the past few days. As I came in contact with some old demons, as we say at times, I began to feel something new rise up inside of me. Not new as in never experienced, but new as in I never associated this emotion with this type of situation in the past. I began to think back over my past and the ways that I used to handle situations that did not work in my favor. I was horrible at it. The thing that hurt the most was that I used to feel like I would never change. I always felt as if I would be stuck with the person I thought I was for the rest of my life. I felt as though I would never grow into that super saint that I would see every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday each week in church. I did not like myself. The sad part was, everyone else always had a great time around me. I wanted to join in the fun of “me”. I just didn’t know how to. And it just hacked me off daily. It made me angry that other people loved me, and I did not feel the same way about myself. Why can’t I see what they see? Better yet, why can’t I accept about myself what they clearly have?
It was a good time to be King Saul. A descendant of a small tribe, he was recently appointed and anointed king of Israel, the Spirit of God had come upon him, and he had won some impressive victories as commander of the army. After a comprehensive victory, Saul spared the king of the Amalekites, and the best of the livestock was set apart. He then erected a sacrificial altar to the Lord. All of this would have been perfectly in order but for one major issue. In 1 Samuel 15:3, God, through Samuel, tells Saul to totally destroy everything of the Amalekites. Saul’s lack of obedience leads to him being removed from his rightful authority.
We all remember heartache. We remember our first failed romance (in some cases our second, third…sorry). We can vividly recount instances of people in our lives who used us, betrayed us, and cast us aside. We can chart our growth by the times we have been disappointed in people around us. Through these experiences we learn not to trust. We stay secluded, because if we don’t open up to other people, we will not feel this loss again. These losses usually happen when things are going right, when we are making progress in our lives. They stymie us, and in some cases permanently stop our growth and development.
A few days ago I was in the middle of explaining to a very good friend why his current actions were bad for him, and attempting to show him the wisdom of an alternate plan. My friend is a very smart man, and grasps many concepts swiftly, but struggled to let go of his way of thinking. Even though he could see the wisdom of my point, years of training still held him in a firm grip.
“How could such a smart person be so stupid?” I asked myself inwardly.
“Ahem!” interjected the Voice of The Lord. He always enters these conversations when I’m not looking.
Have you ever watched a movie with a battle scene that involved weapons and/or armor? I’m talking about movies like 300, or Troy, or The Lord of the Rings? Most of those movies have one scene that I always find fascinating. In a full-scale battle, we see the good guys, beset on all sides by enemies, fighting valiantly. Despite the effort and skill they are exhibiting, they are being driven back, slowly, inexorably. They continue to fight, defending, while dealing what damage they can, being forced to be aware of everything around them. The smarter enemies spread out, inching around to flank them. The heroes become more resolute, more valiant, twisting and turning to deflect and avoid the new strategy of attack. They can never establish a comfortable position to fight from, as they always have to re-position themselves to fend off a new attack from a new area. As they continue to slowly be driven back, something halts their progress. They whip wildly around, ready to confront this new intruder. A sudden realization dawns on them. It is their ally.
Carl Lewis is an American former track and field athlete, who won 10 Olympic medals, including nine gold, and 10 World Championships medals, including eight gold. During the 80s to the mid-90s he was track and field’s monarch. His dominance was unquestioned and unchallenged. For the majority of that time period he was simply the master of his discipline, respected by the enthusiasts and the novices alike. His form and technique were applied and attempted and many of today’s track stars still reverence him.
Now look up “Carl Lewis sings national anthem” and watch the resulting video. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Never mind. Here you go!
Vashti vs. Esther
Hubby and I were discussing some spiritual things this evening, and in the middle of me making MY point he says, "At the height of the situation God didn't walk in and call both names, He called mine. When He walked into the garden (fully aware of what happened, may I add) He called for Adam and not Eve." (Gen 3:9)
And then it happened. The words stopped me in mid thought, honestly. We have to pray for the weight of responsibility that is placed on our husbands even "when" we're the cause of the fall. Our attitudes and feelings can get us into some pretty detrimental places, especially when we're acting more like Vashti and less like Esther.
For quite some time I refused to attend church. I did not renounce God, nor did I stop serving Him, I just didn’t go to church. I had a lengthy list of reasons, which I needed to defend against the lengthy list of saints who feared for my immortal soul. Every Sunday and the occasional Wednesday my friends would gently suggest that I accompany them to their various places of worship. Initially I relented, and sat through a variety of services that ranged from the frightening to the enlightening, with frequent stops at the entertaining. In the majority of these services I did not see or hear what I truly sought, which hardened my resolve to not waste any more time in church. But there was a problem. All my life I had been taught that you go to church to hear from God. So even if I claimed to love God and serve God, how could I hear from Him if I didn’t go to church?
Have you ever seen that couple together? You know, the two odd and completely polar opposite individuals who walk past you in the mall or the park, lovingly talking back and forth with one another probably holding hands. You began to wonder to yourself what brought “these two” together? It’s not a secret. In fact, we as believers should be the ultimate display of such acceptance. Why should the secular population have a better grasp of a concept when it is supposed to be a requirement for the “godly” lifestyle we often claim to have mastered?
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.