Life Just Won’t Go My Way…or Lessons from Life’s Problems

My early morning walk looks something like this…

 

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To start my day with quiet, beat the heat, and see wildlife is a plus. It’s mostly the same thing everyday, like much of life…just ordinary.  What would we do without the ordinary of nature?

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We think we don’t like ordinary; that life should be full of adventure. But wait—just imagine keeping pace with Spiderman or Ironman for just one week?

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Are you stuck with troubles, my friend?

What a question!

It would be more likely that you would say to me—when do I NOT have troubles?

 

And what do we do when we are troubled, but work harder at it? That was me last night…letting all life’s negative “things” pile on top of me, constricting like a vise, squeezing the joy out of me and replacing it with FEAR. So many troubles take over pressing down on the spirit until nothing makes sense…not even God.

 

We let them!

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I wonder how that small grade becomes a steep cliff where things pile up and we can’t see God in our midst because our troubles become so big they block God right out of our tiny little life.

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Yes, we have such a small scope in this infinite universe. It’s like being in a fog…our vision is limited.

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Ours is nothing compared to the Infinite Creator who made us because he wanted someone to love

He is long-suffering.

He waits for us to fall flat on our faces after we try to fix all things with our own puny efforts. Oh yes, we make our lists to suit our needs and don’t throw any monkey wrenches in the works, because of course our plan is perfect and it will all work out according to our plan…

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Not on your life.

This is exactly how we learn that we are puny, proud, and finite. This is how we find out how big God is and that leaving things in his hands is so much easier, never mind how much better things turn out.

So why do we torture ourselves with worry over small pebbles in our lives right up to the huge boulders that come upon us?

Somehow it seems to me that right when I think things are going well and I’m good with God…several things come my way in rapid secession and I crumple under the weight of it. I’d rather shove my head under a pillow until the storm is over.

I wonder…why am I not ready?

Trust God? We humans love control! Why would we want to bother God with such little things? Do we think he doesn’t want to be bothered with all those pesky little things? Or do we think he’s too busy to handle so much—so we can help. Yes, we like being in charge so things will go our way.

Then we wonder why he has to throw a boulder in our way.

Daily I read his word, daily I pray. He is my source…and I forget it still. I wonder if in this life I will ever be looking to him at the beginning of every crisis, instead of finding myself in total despair, throwing my hands up and saying—when will I really listen to you? Believe you?

 

I honestly think at times it looks like I have no faith at all.

 

Then He comes in the quiet, when I’m down and out… when I’m beaten by fear and loss…when I’m tired of trying and losing…

 

He fills me with peace I can’t get from anywhere else but the Father.

 

Last night I was reading some old hymns, and came across one traditional Gaelic melody with words adapted by James Quinn from St. Patrick:

 

Christ is beside me,

Christ is before me,

Christ is behind me,

King of my heart.

 

Christ be within me,

Christ be below me,

Christ be above me,

Never to part.

 

Christ is on my left hand and my right, he is all around me, while I sleep and when I’m awake.

This song sums it all up…Christ is me, the hope of glory.

Who or what shall I fear?

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How do we Look, America?

“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” Rev. 3:11

 

“Suppose your church was receiving 250 fleeing war refugees every day? It is happening at the Baptist Church in Berdyansk, a city on the Sea of Azov in southern Ukraine. God has not forgotten the afflicted!”

(Taken from Slavic Gospel Association, July 2015)

 

“Something is coming. I don’t know what. But we must be ready. Here’s the key question: Is America heading towards a terrible implosion or a great awakening?”

(Joel Rosenberg, Flash Traffic, June 20, 2015)

 

 

How do we look to the world, America? Are we showing our true colors, and what have they become?

For a country once founded on individual freedom and all men created equal, America has strayed from the original purpose of the Constitution. Can we trust our politicians? Is anyone telling us the truth…really serving the Nation…or serving their wallets and political power?

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One cold, rainy, and blustery day I went to a museum in Manhattan. I didn’t know the Statue of Liberty was just across Battery Park. As I walked with my friends through a quilting display, one woman mentioned the fact.

“I’ve never been,” I said.

They crowded around me, and knowing it was my birthday they insisted I get on the ferry. I didn’t hesitate, and was across Battery Park in minutes. Soon I was rocking in the rough waves.

It was a blustery inside-out umbrella day.

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I didn’t want to talk about what is happening to my America when I started to write this. In fact I put this away and took a break from blogging for a month. Instead of rest, I went from one event to another without thinking about my blog. My thoughts were anywhere but on writing, and I still don’t want to talk about this topic.

My blog is not about politics or world events, though I am very concerned about poverty and injustice in the world. I don’t want to write a blog where people have to take sides. It’s just that these things have been on my heart for a very long time.

What does the world think of America in 2015?

I am not a world traveler, but I have family in Europe and they are gracious and don’t talk about what they hear and see. But I wonder…I want to hear their honest opinion. Do they think we have our heads in the sand, doing nothing to right our problems? Do they think we have become idiots here?

I worry that people hear the slanted news that our media spits out and gets the wrong picture…lost morals, the narcissism, the racism, the shootings, the corruption in government, and the lack of care from the American people.

Our media plays on our emotions for ratings…yet are things as bad as what they say?

People seem confused about what is going on, how to fix it or a general lack of apathy. Social media is the personal world of escape from the chaos. Is this how we face things…hiding ourselves in a small little box? What do we fear? Why do we fear?

The President of the United States stated we are not a Christian nation anymore. Is he now forming our opinions for us? Should we believe him, or anything we hear?
Even Christians cry out the same…and seemingly have no effect. While a generation of believers sat in their churches doing programs, opportunities to show love were lost…and here we are.

Yes, there are believers in America. This nation can still say we are Christian. We are still people who pray to the One True God.

There are multitudes of opportunities for Americans to help other countries in need, whether it is poverty or loss in tsunami, earthquake or wars. We will help the downtrodden. How many other countries pour money into helping others? We should not stand ashamed.

So I say…take hope. Let’s pray our hearts out, and love like never before. Let’s stop the frenzied activities that keep us from helping others who are in need. Most of all take care of your own families.

When I stood on Liberty Island and looked up at her, I was proud. I thought I heard thunder as I rounded the back entrance to the base, and then I looked up.

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It was not thunder but “Old Glory.” She was flying straight out in the wind. The largest flag I had ever seen.
You can imagine a very short line, and as I climbed to the very top of Liberty I could see the rushing waters below. I did it! And as I stood with others, we shyly smiled at one another.

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Part of Liberty’s arm, to prove to my kids I was at the top!

“Are we moving?” a woman said suddenly.

“Yes, we are. There has to be some sway built into tall structures,” I said.

She seemed to understand; yet I think, a bit afraid. The sway, the constant movement of America’s people…we are ever changing.

America has her troubles…but she has her prayer warriors. However many we may be, we will never stop praying for our country. We will never give up.

We can chose to love and not hate, we can chose to help and not sit back.

 

 

 

“So chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”

Col. 3:12-15 MSG