Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A few days before Christmas Darcy received this note from Brooke.  He had been working 6 days a week and 4 late nights a week for a few weeks straight.  One evening when he was home she wasn't particularly being that kind to him.  Before she went to bed, he asked that I talk to her about the way she was treating him.  So I did, explaining that it hurts daddy's feelings when he is gone so much and that she doesn't consider his time home a blessing. Before we turned in for the night, Darcy found this note from her:

We laughed when we read it.  How funny that in the midst of her apology she injects her Christmas list.  For a few days I thought about this.  How in reality, we aren't all that different at times.  We pray to God, our Father, admitting our wrongdoings, the ways we've fallen short, and ask for forgiveness.  Then we give a long laundry list of all the things we want Him to do for us.  We bookend our prayers with what's important, but spend the bulk of our time focusing on all our needs and desires in between.  Life can be that way too.  We can spend too much time focusing on our lacking, on the voids of our hearts, homes, and lives.  And too little time focusing on all we've been given and blessed with.  

This morning Brooke was gung-ho on doing chores so that she could earn an allowance.  She was independent, pleasant, and obedient as she brushed her teeth, made her bed, put dishes away, and showered.  As I was showering she came into my bathroom and said, "If this was the week before Christmas I would definitely be on the 'Nice List'."  I explained to her that there's an even more important list to be on with that with every little choice we make during the course of our day, we can choose to please Him or please ourselves.  When we do things solely to please ourselves, we make our own list.  That list is shallow, fleeting, and ultimately unrewarding.  We talked about the way it made her feel when she was doing her chores with a cheerful attitude.  How this is the blessing and reward we get from God too, when we choose to obey, follow, and please Him.  Somehow, in the midst of this, He blesses us with a peace and joy we can't attain from anywhere or anything else.  It's amazing the blessings that "flow" when we focus on the blessings.  When our eyes are open to them.

I'm almost finished reading C.S. Lewis', "Mere Christianity."  It astounds me that although the world has changed so much in the past 70 years (since these thoughts and truths were first shared by Lewis via talk radio), God and His truth have not.  It's just as relevant and fresh today.  C.S. Lewis writes about how "good and evil increase at compound interest."  How if you are kind to people, the more you'll find yourself liking people, and the kinder you'll become in return.  Similarly, the more cruel you are, the more you will hate, and the more cruel you will become.  A blessed or vicious cycle.  It's much the same with our perspective.  Focusing on the overflow versus the lacking.  The blessings and gifts versus the brokenness and worry.

We were made in His image, created by Him and for Him.  A life lived without this purpose will always come up empty.  It's a new year.
A fresh start.
A time to look ahead with expectant hope.  
To give moment by moment, a heart of gratitude
(without smooshing in our "wish list" between the lines).
Keep your eyes wide open.

1 comment:

  1. This made me giggle, but it is also so real that it stings. Wow. Lord, let me come to You in thanks for all that You have provided, and not in want of anything other than MORE of You!