Friday, December 05, 2008

Bright Shiny Paper

Maybe I spend a lot of time reflecting on life moments passed and not on what is going on right now... or maybe things happen faster now. It seems to me that the relational, church, political, and pop culture shifts so fast now that unless you make a career of it you will never be fully up-to-date.

It's been kind of a tough year. Lots of stuff has happened to me, to those around me, to things I care deeply about.

So my life, hectic as it is, is in the midst of a hectic culture. No wonder we all feel so tired... and at times, apathetic (because if we can't keep up then why does it matter?)

You know, that may just be it. For years I have thought to myself, "Wow, so-and-so really needs to let ________________ go. That just doesn't matter." All the while keeping a whole stack of stuff that was important to me but: a. shouldn't be; b. was not probably important to anyone else. Does anyone else feel like they are their own worst enemy?

So lately my heart's been a bit more open to God highlighting the issues that are real important and letting him chuck out my junk.

Christmas is a great example of this. When my kids were 1.5 they had their second Christmas... and everyone buys babies stuff even though (even as a parent of those kids) I thought it was a dang waste of presents... and was kind of right. As babies they were more interested in playing with the wrapping paper than the toy half the time.

As adults we chuck the paper and keep the "toy" (okay, I would take a PS3). But we do the opposite with our faith. We cling to the wrapping paper, the veneer, the outside stuff, and toss the heart of the thing- the reason the paper was there to begin with.

Seriously. We end up REALLY caring how seats are arranged, advent candles, music, Christmas performances, and lighting... and then treat the people in our families that junk or spend the holiday working or stop tithing to God because we racked up too much credit debt by those last minute gifts.

I hope that lately I have been focused more on the gift... and don't care even if someone chucks my wrapping paper.

1 comment:

Christine said...

These are just some notes of my thoughts after reading: "Bright Shiny Paper."

Throwing out the paper and focusing on the Gift:

Asking God to help me identify and focus on what is important. Make a short list of everyday changes or habits that will grow those aspects of my life. Meditate on these aspects of life and goals while I brush my teeth, drive to work, or exercise.

Thanking God for my job, the responsibility He has given me, and His guidance and strength. Not worrying that I won't meet my deadline or that I'll mess up the presentation, because God has given me the task, He knows I can do it, and He's there leading me.

Praying that God will provide the opportunity and words to have a conversation about how God is working in my life with a friend or coworker.

Praying that God will prove Himself my rock and comforter during this painful struggle, and not focus on the tragedy alone.

Being intentional about my words and listening to others instead of being self absorbed. Lord, you have placed me in this place at this exact time. Let your love and creativity shine through me. May you speak through me, so that those around me may be built up and encouraged. May I speak the truth in love.

Remember that I'm living and working for God
Keep the lines of communication open; always praying and listening
Renew my mind with the Word
Be a good steward of my time, money, and health
Invest in relationships