Saturday, February 19, 2011

If I Were an Animal I Would be...

A couple weeks ago a very special lady asked our small group, "If you were going to be an animal, what kind of animal would you want to be?" This is an icebreaker I have known from childhood and have always really struggled with my answer. Each time I probably answered something drastically different: tiger, giraffe, monkey - each representing some particular trait I was admiring at the time I guess.

I have really been mulling over why this is such a difficult question for me. Scott answered right away - a grizzly bear. Why? Well because they have no natural enemies, they get to live in the woods, they hunt and fish every day, and they sleep all winter. It makes perfect sense for him. Why can't I think of what I want to be; the truth is the closest animal I can think of to myself is a cat (sigh), and I also happen to think that cats are probably the most useless animals on the face of the planet (unless, of course, you happen to live in the country and the cats eat snakes, mice, and rats - none of which are traits that I can relate to).

It has occured to me that perhaps the reason this is such a challenging question for me is largely to do with the fact that the things I hold closest to my heart are unique to humans. I love communication, a word well written, the way a song can transform your mind. I am introspective, mostly, but I am passionate about relationships with my family. They are almost like breath to me. None of these things can be found in any animal, and unfortunately the cat is the only animal that I can think of as being "reflective" perhaps - maybe coy is really a better word for them. But they are inconsistent, loyal to no one, and house cats are lazy (a little wink to Tammy) - so this is not me or anything I aspire to be.

Aha! I thought of it! Just now! Outside of relationships and words and purpose and dreams, I really find everything else to be shallow and menial unless they are united with the purpose of people, excepting only one thing - singing. I love to sing. I love to dance. I would be a song bird, belting the cries of my heart from morning to night. In the morning I would sing up the sun and at night I would sing sweet lullibies to my baby birds. Oh how sweet!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

As We Walk, We are Healed

Luke 17:11-14
"On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. (12) And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance (13) and lifted up their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." (14) When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed."

The passage goes on to talk about that only one of the ten who were healed came back to thank Jesus, which is usually the focal point of this passage when it is taught. Last week Pastor Joe talked about that they were healed "as they went". I've been meditating on this idea quite a bit. In my own life, specifically this season of about the last seven months, I have experienced this truth. As I have let go of my own ideas of what I think I should be and released myself to close my eyes and just follow God's voice, it is in walking it out that He is healing me. I don't see at the time, but I look back and realize, I overcame that obstacle, and the cycles of trial are become shorter. In the walking it out, not pretending I have arrived, but the really walking it out, nomatter how painful, I am being healed.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men... were free."

--Ronald Reagan