Wednesday, October 19, 2016

because he brings a felt difference

It is impossible to wake up and take one step out of the bed without seeing, hearing, or remembering something that is trying to get your attention.  If you are lucky, or maybe just more than human, there may only be one in the forefront of your mind, but for the majority the first opening of the eyes, the first sound that comes to the ears starts the assembly line track of responsibilities, needs, wants, distractions, and rabbit trails of the day.

Though a vague example to many, my deep in the throes of parenting young ones who watch cartoons self can, on countless mornings, hear in her head the deep overly dramatic voice of dear Mr. Pricklepants in the Toy Story Terror special saying "And so it begins!"  And so it does indeed, life in all its helter skelter, hurry scurry, hustle bustle beauty.

It never fails that by the end of the week there is a long list of items that were started and not finished, put on the back burner, or ignored completely.  Yes, yes it is not a secret that lists are my one weakness--please someone know that reference--but this time I am not referring to the tangible to dos of errands, appointments, and chores.

Instead, I am looking on the inside, thinking about the needs of the heart and soul, of what should have been and always be the main event being purposely pushed aside or accidentally left in mid meeting because something else popped up in its way.

A like minded chat was had about such a thing during a visit with family.  Outside in the almost fall like weather of North Georgia, I sat with my sister in law watching the children play, and doing what good southerners do, listening to a football game.  

This specific game did not capture my attention too much as it was a Bulldog playing instead of my Tiger of choice, but nonetheless I understood her thoughts because had it been the other way around those shoes would have definitely been filled with my feet.

As it became a little more possible that there would not be success for her group of boys on the field she asked her husband in a not at all freaking out and demanding voice to turn off the radio so that she could just sit in peace because what was blocking it had disappeared.

Empathetic to her dilemma, we discussed how relaxing it was to NOT watch and listen to football games.  To be sure, there are some who are able to sit and watch with no spikes at all in blood pressure, and while I no longer passionately and lovingly scream at the TV since my children were old enough to copy the behavior, I completely understand the peace of finding out later.  

When you are told after the fact that your team lost you can feel disappointed for a moment and go about your day, when you are told that your team won you can feel elated, maybe watch a few highlights, and then carry on.  But being in the middle of the stress brings to surface those emotional distractions and already said rabbit trails that knock you off course for longer than I'd care to admit.

Likewise, it is for these reasons that I will never write about politics, or to forewarn, any trending topic.  To share a well versed and educated view means research, engrossing yourself in the issues. All responsible things to be sure, but somewhere a twist can happen and the desire to keep abreast of current events turns into a desire to prove another wrong, to shout with a louder voice to prove your correctness while proving another's error in judgement.

Please hear me when I say not every football fan is mistaken in watching a game live or even taped, not every citizen passionate about politics is trampling on other's voices in a desire to make their's heard.  One is not holding sin in their hand by showing enthusiasm for their interests, but when that interest overtakes their thoughts, when that topic drives them instead of the other way around, when the moment your eyes open it is the first thing to demand attention there is cause to step back.

There are monumental times in my life where I restrained from dealing with issues that needed to be addressed and where I pretended everything was ok when not so deep inside I knew trouble was growing faster than I could stop it.  

I have learned, the hard way of course because is there really any other, what avoidance is and it is safe to say that that is not the problem my heart is feeling today.  The issue instead is prioritizing.  What comes first?  Who should I be shouting about instead?

"The best thing I [we] can offer this world is a well tended spirit, a wise and brave soul" says Shauna Niequist in her most recent book, so why is it that instead we so often offer up haphazard, depthless, brief and careless versions of ourselves in its place?

The quick and easy answer is because the focus is on a million other things instead of the One True need.  This is a Truth that not many already believers can argue with and that other non believers might be able to understand easily as well, however as my pastor would always remind us hearing and understanding is only half the goal, there needs to be that conviction in your gut before that Truth comes out in your life.

Please say it's not just me?  However if it is, then let this be another step of growth along the path coming closer to Him.

My father-in-law spoke of it this way in the sermon we were able to hear on our visit this past weekend, "For us to hallow, or sanctify, His name means that we give God the supreme place, that we set Him above all else in our thoughts, affections and lives."

Placing the bulk, the first fruits if you will, of our attention on God, our loving Father and Comforter, means He takes His rightful place in our lives.  He becomes Center Stage and those laundry list of items that come with life on this earth lose their neon signs demanding immediate attention or else. Even those stressful events or topics of conversation that some can not wait to argue about while others can't wait to hide from can be enjoyed or experienced from a place of peace, a place of compassion, because instead of your human heart leading the way, your spirit filled one is guiding instead.

There is a noticeable different in conversation, in heart's desires, in relationships, in blood pressure for goodness sake, when He is first.  It's not just a Sunday School answer, though it's a good one, it's a felt difference.

I sat across the table from a woman recently who in a mere ten minutes of sharing stories taught me more about following God's call in a life than the 34 previous years of mine. In a sentence, spoken with love, delivered with tears brimming, she said "There is no more perfect place to be than in the center of God's will"  I'll be unpacking that one for awhile!

My heart aches for many in this world, but none more than someone who doesn't know, who hasn't felt, the complete presence of peace that comes through Christ.  Regardless of the road you are walking, there is no more perfect place to be than with Him.

While we are all learning the same Truths from the same God, each of our hearts understands and is pricked by different things.  It's the amazing way He works, using our individual loves to bring us closer to Him.  Think about your hot button issues or your cold shouldered ones and place them lower where they deserve to be while asking Him to bring your attention higher where your spirit needs it to be.  It's not an easy task so

Pray for me, I'll be praying for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment