Monday, November 28, 2011

Life As You Know It

I met a man a couple of weeks ago by the name of Robert.  He was skilled in electrical work, plumbing, and even something he called "laser guided missile repair." Though I have no idea what the latter is, I found myself impressed just by the fancy and highly skilled sound of it. "What a smart guy!" I thought to myself as I tried to picture him in the line of duty.  When we met, it was cold and rainy and Robert sat bundled up on a bench outside of my local Albertson's grocery store.  I didn't see him as I walked out because he was off to my left and not even my peripheral vision picked up his presence.  Plus, I was in a hurry to get home so I could kick back with the family to have popcorn and watch movies. On cold, rainy days there's nothing I like better than snuggling up under the plush blanket that my mom gave me for Christmas three years ago.  The picture you see doesn't do it justice because this thing is velvety soft and oh so warm.  I like it so much that it took me two years before I would even allow my son (who is now almost 7) to touch or use it. It was just a generally accepted rule in our home that no one, under any circumstances, was to touch "mommy's blanket," and this rule extended to my husband, friends, family, and anyone else who happened to stop by. "Don't touch it now, don't touch it ever," was the unspoken message anytime it was sitting out. I could be in another room of the house and still know if someone ran their unworthy finger along it to cop a feel of it's satiny soft lining.  I love this blanket, but... today's entry isn't about my blanket, though you no doubt see now why I love it.  Back to Robert.  As I walked to my car, popcorn and seasonings in hand, and hood over head, I shivered under the falling rain. I couldn't wait to get back home, so as I turned on the car and began backing out I had only blanket, popcorn, and movie in mind. And then I saw him.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Change of Heart

I read a story recently about a young Christian girl who went out of her way to close the door on a love she shared with someone to whom God denied a union. It simply wasn't their time to be together and as far as she knew it may never be, so to consecrate her relationship with the Lord in this modern day love story, she installed dead bolts on every door that opened into this man's life.  From creating social networking blocks to the vow of closing email accounts, she covered every step and shut every door - except the one in her heart.  Love stories today take on an entirely different form from those of days passed. While lovers from 30 years ago wrote letters and sealed them with a kiss, those of today send emails and chat on Facebook. It just isn't as easy to shut doors today, and in this story's case particularly, no doors were ever really shut. For every social networking connection she had blocked, all she had to do was create another, and for every email account she vowed to close all she had to do was never close it.  Nothing was final, nothing was over, and nothing had changed.  Bolting doors and drawing the curtains wont cause the heart to stop beating for another person if love is pumping the blood. What she soon realized is that she didn't need closed doors; she needed a change of heart.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Here and Now

I recently found myself in a moment of despair when I was greeted by the humbling truth that no matter how far I progress in my walk with God, I will always be subject to temptation and battles of the flesh.  It's not that I expected to suddenly be free from it all at a certain location on my life's road map, yet I suppose I had subconsciously hoped that one day I would arrive to destination purity whereby I would be miraculously immune to the seductions of the world around me.  Seems I forgot the parts in the Bible when even Jesus was tempted, and I'm not sure who I thought I was to hope for freedom from spiritual warfare, but for a minute over the last couple of months I almost became too confident in my own strengths.  I was given a reminder recently that I'm of no strength at all, and today I'm intimately aware of my own shortcomings as a servant of the Lord. However, as disheartening as that truth has the power to be, instead I find the cognizance of my own tendencies toward temptation a beautiful commemoration of God's grace, mercy, and compassion. This morning during my staggering moment of realization, my knees hit the floor and I asked God to give me strength to choose Him, His ways, and His will, and as I heard the words that came from my mouth I realized the significance of what I asked - I specified my request to the exact moment I was in.  I was so overwhelmed with emotion and heartache that I didn't even have the strength to ask Him for anything beyond the here and now - which is exactly what He wanted.