Accustomed to the Dark

>> Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I avoid the intake of caffeine. Yet on a recent trip to Boise, I indulged…at Starbucks in the morning with chai…and then when I ate lunch. We arrived back in town at 2:00 and by the time I was served my Mexican food it was 3:00. I can’t eat Mexican without pop…so I partook of a diet Pepsi. And then a refill.

I should have known better.

That evening, for the first hour after we went to bed, I lay there wide-eyed, staring into the dark. Enough of that. I snuck from the bedroom feeling my way to the door. Traversing the living room I discovered the suitcases were still there. Finally I arrived at my office and turned on the light.

A blog was written.

Time to try the bed again…but this time I went through the kitchen to avoid the suitcases. Even though I had turned the lights off when I left my room, I paused at the bedroom door.

“I need to let my eyes get accustomed to the darkness so I can make my way to the bed.”

So I stood there. When I began to see shapes in the dark, I entered the bedroom and went to bed.

As I thought about that experience, I realized that life could happen just like that. We spend time in the light…doing good things…having high integrity…great morals. But something occurs to cause us to be in darkness…feeling our way. If we stay in that darkness long enough, it becomes familiar. We can find our way around without the light.

It’s easier to get away with bad behavior in the dark. Some people like it there and choose to stay.

For me, as a Christ-follower, I choose the Light.

“Make sure the light you think you have is not really darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you” Luke 11:36 (NLT)


Dirty Hands

>> Sunday, November 24, 2013

When my kids were little…after a day of playing outside…I would tell them to wash their hands before dinner. From the bathroom would come sounds of water running and various conversations.

“You didn’t wash your hands good enough. There’s still dirt right there.”

“I got my hands washed first. You’re just slow.”

“Your hands are clean enough. A little dirt is okay.”

Competitions. Comparisons.
Isn’t the same true in life? There’s always someone who will tell you exactly where your dirt is. Or maybe they take life as a competition and they want to finish first. Others are quite willing to keep a little dirt. It won’t hurt anybody.

As a Christ-follower, I want to be careful about that kind of behavior. Even though I have washed my life with God’s love, it’s not my job to tell someone else where their dirt is. They are already all too aware of the issues in their life that are dragging them down. Nor should I go around expressing pride in my status as a Christ-follower…with the attitude of what’s wrong with you?

Then there are those who want to get by with as little Christianity as possible…just enough to make it to heaven, but not interfere in their earthly passions. My heart goes out to the empty life they lead.

Jesus is in the hand-washing business. No competitions. No comparisons. Just clean.

“Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus” 1 Corinthians 6:11 (MSG)


Good Eye…Bad Eye

>> Sunday, November 17, 2013

My right eye used to be my bad eye…not functioning properly. In fact, my vision was so blurry I was declared legally blind in that eye. My left eye became the dominant one…taking control of my focus. And then I was given a lens implant in my right eye. Immediately the vision in that eye was much sharper than my left eye.

So my left eye rebelled.

For several years now, my eyes have not worked together. They both want to be in charge. That causes issues such as double vision and slower tracking of movement. But recently my Optometrist mentioned I have developed a cataract in my left eye. The manifestation of that film over my eye lens has resulted in inferior quality of vision in that eye.

So who’s in charge now?

As Christ-followers, we face the same issue of who’s in charge. Sometimes the lines of right and wrong can become blurry. Due to factors in our lives, we may find it difficult to focus. There are forces within us that are at war.

We are not helpless in this battle. Just as a lens implant restores clear vision, our God can remove the cause of indistinct vision. We don’t even have to make an appointment and endure countless tests. He made us and knows us from the inside out.

We just need to allow Him to do His work.

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT)


Chicken or Eagle

>> Thursday, November 7, 2013

A folktale handed down through the years is of an Indian who found an eagle’s egg. Unable to find the nest it came from, he slipped the egg in the nest of a prairie chicken. When the eggs hatched, out came several chickens and one eagle.

But it didn’t know it was an eagle.

So it scratched in the dirt, pecked for seeds and fluttered its wings to fly a few feet above the ground. Occasionally it would raise its head, spot an eagle soaring high in the sky and wonder what that would feel like.

But it was a chicken, so it would lower its head and return to pecking in the dirt…never delighting in that glorious feeling.

I grew up in a chicken pen.

Due to a combination of older age, too many children and religion, my mother filled my head with rules and judgments that kept me scratching in the dirt and eating seeds. At school I would see a group of children…laughing and playing together…and wonder what that would feel like.

But I was an obedient daughter and a Christian, so I would sit alone. It was my lot in life to stay true to God. There would be no soaring for me.

How grateful I am for the people in my life that saw my eagle’s wings and asked questions about why I wasn’t using them. What a surprise and delight to discover God had endowed me with the capability to soar.

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)


The Knock on the Door

>> Thursday, October 31, 2013

The plans had been laid. Romantic music at the ready. Scented candles lit. Dinner on the table. John was ready. The big question would be asked tonight. I saw it coming. And I knew something apparently he didn’t know.

He had planned this evening on Halloween.

We sat on the couch, wine glasses in hand and it was about time for that question. There was a knock on the door.

“Who in the world could that be?”

The sweet little sound of “trick or treat” wafted my way. The look on his face was priceless. 

“Is this Halloween?”

So much for plans. His fell apart 34 years ago today.

But life is just like that. We plan our career, marry our beloved, build a wonderful home and we think we are set. And then comes the knock on the door. It’s not a sweet little voice. It comes in the form of layoffs, divorces, foreclosures or death.

So much for our plans. They can fall apart.

But that’s where God comes in. Nothing surprises Him. He can handle whatever the situation. As a Christ-follower, the peace remains no matter what the knock on the door brings.

His plans never fall apart.

“But they do not know the Lord’s thoughts or understand his plan.” Micah 4:12 (NLT)


Another Passage

>> Saturday, October 19, 2013

Back in the dark ages…growing up in Kansas…going to movies was a BIG sin. The doctrine of our church denomination said it was of the devil. If you gave money to attend a movie, you were helping Hollywood encourage the degradation of the world. Those men and women kissing on the screen weren’t even married to each other.

We did not go to movies.

I married and had children. Since my husband was a preacher of that same denomination, the dogma remained. No matter how badly one of our girls wanted to see a movie…even a children’s movie…they were denied.

My husband left…I became a person…and sorted through my beliefs to decide for myself. In my early 30’s I chose to take my children and go to a movie. They probably enjoyed it. I waited for the roof to fall on me.

We lived.

Attending movies became a delightful way to spend time with the girls. As they grew and went their separate ways, I continued to take myself to movies. It was such an enjoyable way to spend an evening. When I married again, we set aside Friday night as our date night. Many times we chose to go out to eat and then see a movie.

We went to a movie last night. I sat with my eyes closed through most of it. My nausea lingered on for an hour after we came home. As I waited to be able to open my eyes, I pondered my choice. I could continue to go to movies…get sick…and wait to get better. Or I could decide that going to movies was no longer an option for me.

It was a hard decision.

I have a problem with my vision. If there is a lot of sideways movement, my eyes do not track together. Thus, the nausea. Many times I’ve been able to just listen to the show and know what occurred. But last night much of the conversation was in a different language with the words on the screen. Too bad for me. My husband tells me that Captain Phillips is a very good movie. I’ll have to take his word for it.

Life is full of choices. This passage has brought me full circle…no movies.


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