2011

Patterned

Romans 12:2
New International Version (NIV)

2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I just love our small group.  It is so good to connect weekly to a group of people who I can learn from and share my life with.

This week we were asked what patterns of the world we had taken on in our lives.  Sounds like a simple question but it really stumped me.  I consider myself someone who is pretty careful about my decisions so it was a little difficult to come up with an answer.  Then it came to me.  Busyness.  Going here, and then there, and then back to here again.  That has become my life.  Continuing to cross items off my never-ending list.  If I’m not busy, then I must not be doing a very good job at “things”.

Immediately, in the middle of small group my mind started wondering to high school when learning about priorities was number one priority.  It was something that was so aggravating to me because it was impossible for me to make my list of things that were important to me and then number them in order of importance.  But, like all teenagers, I had to learn how to decide how to spend my time.  Now, as an adult if I were to sit down and make a list of my top ten I’m afraid that I’m spending  most of my time on the bottom seven things and doing the top three in my spare time.  It should be the other way around!  How did I get so off?

Busyness is a lie of the enemy!  It is a pattern of the world.  We don’t have to be busy…we choose to be.  I’m tired of feeling like I’m spinning my wheels in mud only to get out of that hole to then start sinking in quicksand.  That feeling of getting nowhere is due to spending my time on important things, but not the most important things.

Why Wait

God gave me a little gift this morning.  I woke up an hour and a half early unable to go back to sleep.  I had so much anticipation the moment I opened my eyes.  It’s as if I were traveling to Disney today. Normally I wouldn’t look at this as a gift.  I like my sleep.  I like waking up at the same time.  I even like setting my alarm early just so I can hit snooze for the feeling that I’ve somehow cheated the day out of ten extra minutes of sleep.  I lay there, forcing my eyes shut just to notice a moment later that they are wide awake staring at the walls.  Why?

I blame Erwin McManus.  Last night in small group we discussed chapter two of the book Wide Awake.   So far, it has been about dreaming big so your life will be big and letting obstacles become springboards for a fresh start.  The author of this book is, you guessed it, Erwin McManus.

Now, even though the book has been about springing off into your dreams, God always has a similar but different lesson for me.  Last night I couldn’t stop thinking about how much time I spent waiting.  My life is past the point of doing the same routine day-in and day-out.  One member of our small group shared that her big decisions for the day was what to make for dinner and what show to watch at night.  While I completely relate to that, God took it a bit farther.  I kind of examined the surface level of my typical week.  I found that I pretty much spend Monday through Friday waiting to live on the weekend.

There are many reasons for this.  I figure there is not enough time in a “normal” day to do anything extra. Or, I tell myself that I’m too tired.  Or, I say I’ll do it Saturday so I won’t add to the stress of my current day.

Well, I say…WHY WAIT???  Do I really want to spend 250 days of the year waiting to live the other 115?  That’s 64% of my year waiting!  That’s just ridiculous.  I will not let stress, tiredness, or daily frustrations dictate my zeal for life anymore.  Thank you God for revealing this to me!

Living everyday doesn’t mean shirking responsibilities at work so I can go to the zoo and just spend the day watching the baboons.  (Yes, in my mind that would be a great way to spend a day.)  For me, it means to

do something today that I didn’t do yesterday.

For me, it’s that simple.  I’m not going to make it hard.  Just do one thing different than yesterday.

So, when I woke up early today, instead of forcing myself back to sleep only to be jolted by my robot alarm ninety minutes later, I got up and blogged the first time since May. It’s one of the things I’ve been putting off and waiting to do for a while.

No more waiting for life…I’m going to live it!

Not the Reason I Married Him, but Close

Twelve years ago, when I married Shawn, he didn’t know anything about computers.  Now, thanks to good friends, sleepless nights and endless patience, I would call him a whiz.  He can build computers, build websites and help his helpless wife with her blog (eventhough she is being stubborn and not switching to tumbler).  So, thanks Babe for making this look so good.  I love you!

Is Understanding Over-Rated?

Understand:
1. To perceive and comprehend the nature and significance of; grasp.
To know thoroughly by close contact or long experience with

I think as humans we want to understand things. Not just know about them, but to understand them. Scientifically, I can’t say where this desire comes from, but we all have it. The strange thing is, that as time goes by, and life happens, we begin to accept things as fact and are satisfied with knowing without understanding.

For instance, I remember studying biology and how life is created. I know that two cells, one from a man and one from a woman, can come together and somehow form another human being. I can’t begin to understand how that works, but I know that it does. Electricity is another example that comes to mind. I know how to use it in my home. I know that when I plug a lamp cord in the socket I am tapped into a source of electricity. I know, the light is able to be turned on. However, I don’t understand where the electricity comes from. In my mind I picture Ben Franklin holding a kite with a key, but I know we’ve advanced farther than that now.

So, why is it then that we accept all of these day-to-day things we use and know about, even though we don’t necessarily understand them? Is it that we have used them or known about them for so long that the desire to understand has been lessened? I’m not going to go up to someones baby and say, “That’s not a baby, because I can’t explain it or understand it. And furthermore, your baby doesn’t exist.” I don’t see anyone refusing to use electricity because they don’t understand it. As far as electricity goes, I’m currently typing on a laptop, listening to my neighbor mow his yard, drying laundry and I can feel the cool air blowing from my air conditioner. It’s obvious I’m not abstaining from electricity due to my lack of understanding.

As a believer in God, I must ask, why do so many refuse the existence of God and refuse to tap into his power in their lives? People can’t explain God fully, can’t understand him fully. But, I know him and he knows me. I’ve walked with him in my life for several years now and it does get easier to not understand him but still know him. For some reason, some use the lack of understanding as a reason or excuse to not believe in him.

I read today, “If anything is a mystery to you and is coming between you and God, never look for the explanation in your mind, but look for it in your spirit, your inner nature-that is where the problem is.”

Some would say the author is telling us to be ignorant. But he’s actually saying that the things of God are not able to be explained in our minds. God uses our spirit to speak to us, not our minds. So, if we wait to understand God, we will be waiting a long time.

Just accept him. Accept him today. Don’t wait. Don’t make excuses and label them as reasons. Start knowing him now.