Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Following the directions

It was NOT rocket science. I only had to follow the directions. But for some reason, this was incredibly hard.

The craft before me was simply to print and iron-on a decal on a tote bag. I was reassured by those who have done this craft that it is not difficult, that you only have to read the directions on the box and then do them.

WELL... I read them, but then decided to take a short cut. And I had to buy another box of iron-ons because they um... didn't work. A second attempt went flawlessly after I was attentive to the detailed instructions. Who'd a-thunk it?

You'd think I'd know by now. Directions are not a subversive plot to drive me nuts! They are there to make things easier, to give me such a positive experience with a product or service that I would GLADLY use them again. But the human, prideful part of me tries to do things my own way.

OK, so maybe you always play by the rules. I'm envious. And maybe a little surprised. But hear me out...

Too many times these days we try to take shortcuts when we think it does not matter, or when no one will see. Many things it does not matter, but on matters of honesty and integrity, in areas of spiritual 'rules' such as the Ten Commandments, it does! The cost in human pain and suffering when you don't follow them is enormous!

Yes - Following directions is always a good idea...

From our home to yours -

Tuesday, March 15, 2005



Towards this person who is irritating me?

I don't feel it. I don't WANT to feel it. I'm mad at someone, and my first honest response is to nuke. To blame. To yell. To whine.

Unfortunately, I am also called to be a peacemaker. To walk an extra mile. To exhibit kindness as a fruit of the Spirit. Oh yeah, along with gentleness and self control.

Great. Just great.

So, what to do with this anger? This indignation that is welling up inside me? This desire to have MY side of the story heard, to set people straight? This need to justify my actions and reactions?

All of it blows off like so much fluff in the wind when I read in Romans 4:1-4

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?

Setting myself up as a Christian in a public forum means that I get judged, but can not respond in kind. It is very hard not to make my case. The funny thing is, though, the less I defend myself, the nastier the other party appears. I don't look "good" or "holier-than-thou" for not responding. I just look a little less stupid.

That is probably a good thing.

From our home to yours...