Tuesday, April 28, 2009

allergies

This year has been one of the worst for my sinuses. I don't know to what specifically it is that causes my nose to run, my eyes to itch and water, and my head to ache... but whatever it is, there must be a lot of it out there because I'm having a really hard time.

It's amazing how clearly my physical condition affects my outlook, mood, feelings, and even thoughts. It's extremely obvious that we live in a physical world. We have physical bodies, we use physical things, and we need physical objects to live our lives. There is more though: beyond my corpse, I have a soul, which cannot be touched, seen, or felt. I am part of another world that has no physicality. For now, both of these exist at the same time and in the same place (inside of me), but it's not always obvious that they have a relationship with one another.

When my body feels good, my thoughts are processed through a healthy object "in good standing." But when I am not in good shape physically (due to injury, sloth, sickness, or just aches and pains), my soul knows it. Maybe my point of view gets selfish or critical, my remarks turn sarcastic and harmful, or maybe my mood becomes negative and depressed. Anyway you look at it, it's important to know that these to "worlds" are connected.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

welcome back

[It's been a little while, but I'm back. Holy Week and Easter were somewhat stressful, but everything went extremely well, and I saw God provide for me and for Nativity in many, many ways.]

One of the cooler events since my last post occurred yesterday morning when the staff got together for our weekly prayer "meeting." We focused our prayers on how we saw God work through the planning and execution of Easter Sunday. As I mentioned in an earlier post ("first john" 3/9/09), when I hear the same message in different contexts it gets my attention. As we started reflecting and thanking God for his goodness, it reminded me of a section from The Shack I just read and a concept that I've been trying to incorporate more into my life: devotion.

In The Shack, one evening before dinner, God asks to have "a time of devotion" (p 107). Jesus goes on to hold hands with the Father and tell him, "Papa, I loved watching you today, as you made yourself fully available to take Mack's pain into yourself... You honored him, and you honored me. To listen to you ... whisper calm into his heart was truly incredible. What a joy to watch! I love being your son."

Reading this brought a different level of intimacy to my concept of devotion. And as we prayed as a staff, thanking God for his faithfulness, it became very real to me what that prayer is supposed to look like, and sound like, and feel like. I don't think this is an effective blog post because it's hard to explain, but what a wonderful way to act and to live as a child of God.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

slowly but surely, part ii

The other part of this "give time, time" idea is to take things piece by piece. First, you have to acknowledge that change happens gradually, and once you've set off on that path, things must be broken down to bite-sized pieces (hence the Q&A from yesterday's post). God never gives us more than we can handle, and we were never designed to handle our loads alone.

This week has been an exercise in spreading the wealth. Why should I deprive those close to me the opportunity to help me, pray for me, and support me when I'm taking on challenges? For me it's simple: pride. I'd just rather do it on my own. Sure it's easier with help, but that's just not my style.

So I'm workin' on it! Now that I've woken up to the fact that life is a journey and that change takes place progressively, I need to simplify my obstacles by asking for help and thus chipping away at my pride.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11.1-3)