“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life” (Philippians 2:14-16).
The snow flakes were HUGE and numerous but falling ever so slowly. I would watch one flutter from two or so stories high and spin down until it would land and instantly melt on my windshield. Aaaand then another, and another.
Green light! Slowly the traffic moved as the after 5 o’clock rush was in full effect. Then it happened again:
“Wow! Heavenly Dad, you don’t have to speak so LOUDLY… ”
Last time I shared about how Taylor saw need all around her and this year I am hoping and praying to get off my butt–let’s say cushy spot, at least that’s the way I describe it to the kids–and help the individuals in need that heavenly Dad brings into my life.
This week heavenly Dad seems to be talking to me FREQUENTLY and LOUDLY about taking that one step farther: not only to get off my cushy spot but my attitude when I do.
There was once a person who each time they took out the trash grumbled and complained,”Why is it the trash gets so full so fast?” “Don’t these kids see that the trash is full? Why do they continue to put trash in and then it falls on the floor?” “The trash is full AGAIN?!?!?!”
After several weeks, even though the family tried to be more aware, the complaining became a cancer and started eating at the everyday attitude of this person. One day an individual in this person’s life said something like this,”You know, you have a lot of people in your house that you love and love you. Lots of people means lots of trash because life is messy.
If all of these people would leave, your trash can would never be full. You would never have to take out the trash.
You have a choice: You can have an empty trash can and no one to share your life or you can thank God every time you have the OPPORTUNITY to take out the trash. This is the evidence that your home is full of people and love.”
The person did not complain again. Their house stayed full along with the trash cans but the “trash cancer” was gone.
In church today we discussed the cycle of trials: you are either going in, are in the midst, or coming out of one. He spoke of, with heavenly Dad’s help, coming up with “default mechanisms” to use when in the midst of the trials to help remind us to lean on God.
In small church we discussed what our “default mechanisms” are currently. I am approaching my two year mark and am definitely not on the “other side.” My biggest enemy is my own thoughts and desire for control. I had no control as to how the trial started but have relied heavily on trusting heavenly Dad to light my path one step at a time. I think if He would have revealed anymore than that I would have frozen in the “I can’t do this” mentality. “One step? That’s all your asking, right? Just ONE? …yes, I can do that.”
What I am learning about myself where I am NOW on in this journey is that it is easy for me to over think that next step causing fear that I did not have a year ago. It was solid trust. Now I try to figure out all of the angles and the negativity and fear of failure is near paralyzing.
My relief comes, at least temporarily, when I get off of my cushy spot and seek to help someone else, giving help…or maybe hope. Actually, the same usually finds me when I am done.
This brings me to the attitude. It’s easy for me to feel like I am racing to keep my head above water. When the opportunity to serve someone else arrives, my mouth may say yes, but my head and heart are justifying the many reasons why I should or could say “no.” What does heavenly Dad say about this? Oh, that’s right,” “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure,”and I think that also means grumbling or arguing in my head. That’s what eats away at my heart and soul. It will come out in my actions toward other people, like the story of the “trash cancer.”
So why was heavenly Dad speaking to me so loudly in the fluttering snow? I had my back adjusted a few days ago and was feeling pretty good. There was no reason I could not, make that should not, share my good health with someone who needed it. Someone was out of town for several days, during our bad weather. Their driveway had not been shoveled for the duration and they were not going to get home until 1 am and would not be able to get into their driveway.
Unfortunately, a layer of ice had built up under that pretty snow so after one (or two…or so) “Really God?”‘s as I was chipping away at the ice, the attitude adjustment reminder came through loud and clear AGAIN. I stood up, with a pop my back went back into place (ahhhhhhhhh) and I smiled about how grateful I was that I was physically able to do this! Four days before I would not.
I snapped a picture and sent it to the person. The picture of the snowy driveway’s caption was,”Life.” The picture of the shoveled driveway was,”Life with the church.””Hi, my name is church.”
They thanked me and asked if I had done it. I said,”…maybe..I’m thinking if when we serve/bless someone maybe we could just leave names out and that way Heavenly Dad gets the credit.”
Maybe we should just do things for others and when we shock them, shake their hand and say,”Hi, my name is church.” Since everyone has gotten away from that term because it is associated with judgment, condemnation, and pain, we could bring healing to the word and become one under the love of Heavenly Dad. Hmmmm…that just might preach (but not by me!).
Until next time: Blessings!