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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Outgiving God

Yesterday as I was out meandering with my friend Lisa, God prepared for us the most spectacular scenery. Daffodils and breathtaking tulips dotted the landscape like gumdrops atop a piece of Grandma's made-from-scratch devil's food cake. Clumps of tiny purple hyacinths danced on one lawn, daring the owner to even think about mowing. Forsythia, now in its changeover phase from canary yellow to newborn green, stood tall and proud as it waved to its creator.

In the midst of all this beauty, I marveled at God's imagination to have dreamed all this up, and His kindness in sharing it with His unholy children. I paused, recollecting that I had embarked on this jaunt, I thought, to assist my friend with a project. My "noble" purpose had miraculously morphed into a reward of unspeakable proportions as Lisa treated me to an early morning swim, scenic car ride, and delicious breakfast!


"Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:38)

It really is true. You can't outgiveGod.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Circles

While walking last evening, my neighbor's dog, Dusty, did her usual stop-and-sniff routine till she found just the right spot to "do her business." Only thing is, instead of assuming the "business squat", she repeatedly circled her way around a clump of leaves that had caught her eye. I found this random circling very annoying, as I had designs on my freshly changed bed and a good book, rather than watching the dog make meaningless arcs on the landscape. There was only so long I would allow this nonsense. I finally gave a tug on Dusty's leash and took her off to fulfill our mission. She complied, but not without letting me know we were not of one mind on the subject.

I began to wonder if God feels this way when He watches me flounder in indecision and purposeless activity. I admit to being caught in a cycle of overeating that doesn't serve me well. Other areas of my life are made up of non-productive patterns, like Dusty's circles, that take me nowhere. Will I follow my Shepherd's leading when I get stuck in my ways, or, like Saul, will I "kick against the goads?" (Acts 9:5)

For more like this, check out: Morsels for Meditation...: Senseless

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Better Things

Today I am puppy sitting for my neighbor, Anita, who is the "guardian angel" that God sent four months after my mom died to "mother" me and "grandparent" my boys. Dusty Miller, her 10-year-old Shih Tzu, is our family's adopted dog.

Borrowed pets, like grandchildren, share the love while saving the borrower the expense and care of being an honest-to-goodness pet owner. Anita has been loaning Dusty to us, at times to help her out, but often just to meet our family's unfilled furry friend needs. On this particular day, Dusty migrated right away to the water bowl we keep around for her and began lapping away. I quickly realized this was old water, having been here since her last visit nearly a week ago. Apologetically, I nudged her questioning little face away so I could refresh her dish with fresh water.

This 30 second exchange reminded me of how God often deals with me. Countless times He has refused to give me what I asked for, only to follow up with something much healthier and safer. Like Dusty, I often feel deprived, as if He is withholding something which seems to be, my limited perspective, in my best interest.

I must resort to the words of Isaiah 55 if I am to relinquish my flawed will to His supreme one: "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" (vv.8-9). Still, when that attractive but stagnant water beckons me, it's hard to renounce it for the Living Water. So worth it, though.  
               

For more like this, check out: Morsels for Meditation...: Better Things Part 2, AKA, Puddleglum's Save