Monday, October 24, 2011

Suffering...

The apprentice added the final touch to the mural on the wall of the chapel and stepped back to admire his work. The scaffolding creaked and shook under his weight, but as absorbed as he was, he noticed nothing. The first 4 years of his apprenticeship were spent washing brushes, setting up scaffolds, mixing paints, washing brushes, taking down scaffolds and washing brushes. This was his first opportunity to prove himself, and he’d done it.

He examined his masterpiece with a practiced critical eye, turning his head this way and that to find any imperfection, any room for improvement.

The Artist watched his student with pride. It’d been a long 4 years, but he’d trained the apprentice for this very moment.

The feeling of pride turn to one of alarm as the apprentice took another step back and then another. The end of the precarious platform was inches away from his heels and in that split second the Artist realized that to cry out a caution would only startle the young man, and probably send him to his death on the marble floor, twenty feet below.

The Artist took the brush from the paint pot in his hand and in one swift movement, flung it up at the fresh mural. Blue paint splattered and streaked down the perfect depiction of Christ washing the disciples feet, dribbled down the wall and dripped on the floor.

The young painter ran forward in shock towards his masterpiece. It was destroyed!
He turned angry eyes full of hurt and betrayal towards his Master, never realizing how close he’d come to plummeting to his death.

“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.”

Suffering is a gift for us! I want to be able to see it that way and thank God for it in faith, knowing that I can’t see the whole picture.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

About my relationship status...

"Ahh.. This is the life. I could stay right here forever," curled up on the couch with my cute aqua/brown Bible, my journal and a cup of tea. Dress clothes are out and sweats are in. Conversation flows around me about different events. Not enough to distract me, but just enough to remind me who and where I am. Its comforting. I'm at home, and home is good.

You want the truth? I haven't opened that Bible yet. Actually, until I brought it to the couch, I hadn't picked it up since last Sunday. I could give you a million excuses but the truth still remains. The only scripture I've read this week was texted to me by a precious friend.

I've found time to peruse facebook and watch Pan Am, but I wasn't able to get into the word of God. Out of the 24 hours in the day 10 1/2 go to my job, (including driving there and back, and getting ready) 8 of them are spent sleeping, 2 or 3 visiting with my family and the other 2 1/2 killing off brain cells.

I haven't dedicated any time to feeding myself spiritually and here I am, wondering why I've felt so drained.

So, enough with the social media for me. (Well, tonight anyways.) I've got to catch up on a relationship way more important than facebook.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

So, being real about who I am for a minute....

I was filing a 3.5 inch stack of completed orders when my boss walked into the office.

"Well that was interesting. I just did an estimate for a lady who is buying her husband a house..."

As ashamed as I am to admit it, I smirked to myself, judging her.

"Doesn't that seem a little backwards?" was my smug response. In my defense, I was still hashing over an ongoing discussion about women in the work force and their place in this world, and how it affects marriage dynamics and men's egos. I type-casted and judged her. Instantly. Just like that.

It turns out she's setting up this new house to bring her husband home from the hospital. He was hit by a car while riding a bike. He hasn't spoken since, and is just now learning to write. He can't even sit up in a chair which is why she's buying a new house that she can set up to accommodate his rolling bed. She's excited about spending the rest of her life taking care of her invalid husband.

I judged her instantly, and I was so wrong. What a jerk.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stuck

Every muscle was straining, my toes were almost numb. Sweat began to drip into my eyes. I had as far to go as I had already come, and I was stuck. My fingers were starting to hurt, gripping the narrow ledge. My feet were planted on mere nubs of rock, and I wasn't moving.

Above me to the right there was a crack that I could fit my whole fist into and a little higher than that on the left was a beautiful bucket hold. Beautiful and worthless. They might as well have been a mile away for all the good they were doing me. To reach either of them I'd have to let go.

Let go of the safe, secure and solid. Let go of the familiar and reach out of my comfort zone. Where I was at was good, but it wasn't getting me anywhere.

My climbing buddy called up to me, "Reach up with your right hand and follow that crack to the top!"

The breeze sweeping through the canyon was drying the sweat on my back and freezing my ears. I wondered how cold it would get spending the night up here, since I obviously wouldn't be moving anytime soon.

Let go? Are you kidding me? What if I can't find this safe postition again? What if I can't reach the bucket hold? And what if I FALL!?

"I can see the grass growing! Wake me up if you decide to move!"

Yeah, thanks for the encouragement..

Out loud I said something like, "Just let me enjoy the view for a little while!"

I'm above the tree tops. I'm sure the valley behind me looks spectacular
. (I wouldn't know. If I looked over my shoulder I'd probably wrench myself off of my precarious perch)

"Seriously, what's the worse that could happen?"

"Um, I could FALL, duh!"

"Then I would catch you. I'm not gonna let you hit the ground."

Oh yeah, duh.

One finger at a time I released the ledge from the death grip I held on it and moved my right hand up, slowly shifting my weight, slowly stretching, reaching and balancing until finally, I wasn't stuck anymore.

I've learned a lot of things while rock climbing. That day I learned that sometimes when I'm not going anywhere I just need to let go.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Moment....

The little girls are running in and out, hopping over my feet each time they pass by. Snippets of lively conversations waft through the house along with three different songs being sung as my family is getting ready for church. One sister cooks up eggs and wise relationship advice for a brother simultaneously.

The adventures of yesterday are being discussed in the living room along with plans for today, happenings over the past week and politics are coming from a bedroom. I'm tuning into each conversation as much as I can, I love just being here. In this moment, in this place. This is where I was meant to be, where I want to be... right here, right now.

"What other people think of you shouldn't matter at all! Why are you trying to get approval? You know what you did, and that should be enough."

"The straw poll in Iowa...Ron Paul....."

"What's the percentage... one and a quarter....fifteen....calculator"

"What? Oh, I know... that's a good question.."

Two sisters caught up with each other and are now singing the same Bruno Mars song.

"You can count on me like one, two, three...I'll be there!"

I don't want to leave this moment. I don' t want it to end. Of course it will though. Everything has to have an end, except... an attitude. A spirit of thanksgiving. Peace and joy, a spirit of blessedness... The moment will end maybe already has, but I realize that I can take these with me always.