Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Thanksgiving Warm-Up

The news of the day – People still treat each other badly, and nature remains the force that mercilessly flattens us with little warning!  Although her panic helped neither herself nor those she alarmed, Chicken Little may have had a point – some days it really does feel like the sky is falling! But she ignored what could be plainly seen about the sky, and what was known about her companions.        

Recent and current events, coupled with some reading material have felt like “some things” falling on my head:

·      Four years of campaigning
·      The looming fiscal cliff
·      The Middle East’s issues
·      “Sandy ”
·      The morphing of the West Nile virus into a more virulent strain, and
·      Troubles in the lives of those I love

And books by my bed describe how bad things were for the Russian nobility in the early 20th century and how challenging life is for women in Afghanistan*.

Blam! Blam! Blam!

A suffocating impression taunts me, “Life is hard, and then you die.”  Life hurts: if not from our fellow man’s machinations, then from the destructive capacity of nature; or, worse, from my own blunderings.

The good thing is that when I lookup from my computer – I see the sky: nothing is falling – though this morning gray-white clouds are blocking the marvelous Texas blue skies. Then I see the gigantic oak tree: brown leaves highlight its green.  And I remember:

·      I believe a power greater than myself -- infinite, personal and knowable -- created this world and all that is in it as “good.” 
·      And, I believe because man rejected God’s rule, we have trouble; Adam earned for us God’s wrath; the natural world and mankind suffer.
·      Because we can’t work our way back into His favor, I believe God sent His Son to take the punishment we earned.
·      And I believe that God accepted this perfect sacrifice as an atonement for all the sins of any who will come under it.
·      He authorized a few folks to offer these truths and act them out  – from the prophets to the apostles, to preachers and teachers, and all kinds of disciples. The most persuasive remain those whose deeds and words match.
·      One day, nature will no longer be a terror to those who turn to Him. 

Until then, though it may feel like the sky may be falling, these sorrowful tribulations are not random acts of wrath – not if they get our attention before God remakes the heavens and the earth. Many have believed Christ is Lord and God raised Him from the dead. Alas, this message still hasn’t reached everyone yet. Unfortunately, many who have heard, don’t or won’t believe it. Unhappily, some of the messengers have muddied the message; and God’s enemy can blind and deafen hearts. 

But this week we have a whole day to remember what that power greater than ourselves has done, or permitted – including the scary stuff. Well, we did until somebody got the bright idea to make money off our national holiday!        

Chicken Little’s panic helped neither herself nor those she alarmed.  Eating too much, power shopping at weird hours isn’t going to make Christmas merrier or the New Year more prosperous. But practicing an attitude of gratitude might. Thinking about who this “power” is  -- looking up, and seeing the stars – takes time. So does taking the time to look at our companions, and look out for them, especially if their lives seem under siege.  Time redeployed from worry and self-absorption to loving God and our neighbors as ourselves is time well spent.  

I am grateful to God, the masterful Gardener, who has preserved my life thus far. My hope is to finish well the life God has lent me.

Hope is hearing the melody of the future. Faith is to dance to it now. Rubem Alves (A Brazilian Theologian)

While it is wise to accept what we cannot change about ourselves, it is also good to remember that we are never too old to replace discouragement with bits and pieces of confidence and hope. -Elaine N. Aron,  The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You

I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
(Psalm 27:13 -14)

*Former People: The Last Days of the Russian Aristocracy, by Douglas Smith; In the *Land of Blue Burqas by Kate McCord)

No comments: