Tag Archives: Jesus

One minute

You know when something happens and you forget about everything else to focus on that one thing?  It could be bad news, like someone is sick or a child has an emergency or you yourself have a medical crisis or a host of other things.  Or, it could be something happy like you just found out you are expecting a baby, you have to give a speech, or you’ve won the lottery (don’t we all wish?). 

Well, the point is, for a period of time, your attention is laser focused.  You have the ability to shut all else out and focus on this one thing.  It’s amazing how our minds work. 

But usually, we are not in this state.  I know that I am usually trying to do many things and not doing any one thing 100%.  I mean, how much have we heard lately about people texting while driving! Scary!

I think this is what Jesus was referring to when he said , Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.           –Luke 10:27

We shouldn’t love God the way we tend to listen to the kids; half listening, half writing lists.  I heard a quote from a child that said, “Mommy, I want you to listen to me” and the mom said, “Oh honey, I’m listening” and the child said, “I want you to listen with your eyes.”

We shouldn’t love God sort of, sometimes, when it’s convenient.  We should always love Him.  We should be present for Him, pay attention, stop multitasking to thank Him.

HOW IS THIS HUMANLY POSSIBLE?

Who has time with Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, MySpace…the internet can be like the black hole for me.  I sit down for a “minute” and two hours later I’m still sitting there.  So that means I actually do have time to pray, read the Bible, go to church, whatever it is but I’d rather change my profile picture on Facebook????

I go for days being busy and wrapped up and hurried and then something makes me stop and think.  When I’m aware, I see how ridiculous this is but I keep doing it.  It’s kind of like food.  I mean, seriously, after Halloween, I was acting like I’ll never see another miniature candy bar again so I should hurry up and eat them ALL!  Even when I’m eating I’m hurrying…I’m not sure if that’s so no one sees me stealing their candy or if it’s because I know if I stop and bring awareness to what I’m doing, I’ll have to change. 

I remember learning about “soft addictions”.  These are things that you may be “addicted” to that don’t necessarily hurt you physically or cause harm to your family as drugs or alcohol may do but they steal your time, your attention, your mind.  They keep you from being aware.  They are an escape – a way of self medicating.  Some of these things may be (but are not limited to) over shopping, over eating, procrastinating, watching too much TV.  These things can keep us from living the life we were meant to live. 

So, here’s the challenge –let’s do this together.  I know I need it so maybe it could benefit all of us.  Put down the Diet Coke, the Starbucks, the water bottle…do NOT have food anywhere near you…put the cell phone away where you cannot hear the little “dings”…ARE YOU STARTING TO TWITCH?…Do not pick up any reading material…there should be no sounds (tv, radio, music) …now, when you are done reading this, turn off the computer…power down… No, actually turn it off…you can do it.  Now, for one minute, close your eyes, be still.  Just one minute.  You can do it.  It’s a start.  Ready?

Now I Understand

My friend’s Dad died today. 

It makes you think.

Yes, he had a long, wonderful life.  Yes, he had children and grandchildren and lived to enjoy them.  Yes, he had a happy marriage and a good job and he was a good person.  Yes, my friend should be pleased that he showed love and gratitude and took care of his Dad.  He’s a good son. 

 None of this changes the fact that his Dad is gone. 

No reassurance, no offer of condolence, no acknowledgement of a life well lived will bring him back.  He is gone. 

How brief it seems he was here. 

I remember complaining once to my mom about the days going slow when I had babies and diapers and chaos.  She said, “The days go by slow but the years go by fast.”  Now I understand.   

My dad once said, “You wake up one day and you’re 50”.  That seemed so far off for me, I just shrugged and went about my business.  Now I understand. 

Maybe it’s like this for everyone.  All the things our parents told us start to make sense.  We too, say things like “Don’t wish it away…”

This is good news in a way.  Maybe all the things we’ve been told end up making sense to us.  I like to think this is true about the things we are told about God and the afterlife.  I picture my friend’s Dad, when he got up to Heaven laughing as he saw St. Peter at the gate thinking, “Really, you are here?”…the gate is open…Jesus is there too, waiting, ready, welcoming him home. 

I can almost hear him saying, “Now I understand.” 

Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. 
In my Father’s house there are many mansions: 
If it were not so, I would have told you. 
I go to prepare a place for you. 
-John 14:1-2

Growth spurt

Can you agree that some of the toughest experiences in life end up teaching us the most? 

 I remember I was going through a tough time of a lot of changes and my wise friend listened to my woes and then said, “Oh, this is exciting.  Great spiritual growth happens in times of change and challenge.”

 Easy for her to say…

 Of course, now looking back, she was right.  I can’t say I welcome those times and say, “Oh this is so exciting, I’m in pain and feeling unsure of myself and my life.  Oh GOODY!  I’m in the midst of a spiritual growth spurt!” It’s not like that.  But I do see that when we are challenged, we are forced to look at ourselves, our lives, our choices, and think about who we want to be.

 Part of the challenge in life is to be okay in the times of questioning…to not panic or as it’s popular to say now, to, “Keep Calm and Carry On”.  To rely on your inner knowing that your life is as it should be.  Wouldn’t it be great to actually love the questions?  Wouldn’t it be great if you could embrace change and welcome the new and unknown?  (And I don’t mean a new car or an unknown vacation spot.  I mean the tough stuff.)

 Maybe the way you saw things happening, the way you “pictured your life” isn’t the way it is.  Maybe it’s better.  Maybe different is better.  Maybe if you let go of the way you think it “should be”, you can make room for acceptance for the “way it is”. 

 God never stops working on us.  He never decides he’s too tired to deal with our lives, our uncertainties, our fears.  He never sleeps.  He’s ready to use what we are dealing with to create growth and abundance in our lives.  He is ready and planning on us learning and getting closer to Him with every step we take.  He’s watching.  He’s watching the tears, the questioning, the decision making, the hand wringing.  He’s with us when we go to bed with doubts.  He is watching when we open a new door.  He’s encouraging us to walk through it. He’s with us when we change.  He’s cheering us on and rooting for us.  We are in this together.  We are not alone. 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

                                                                        -Philippians 4:6