Not marking time

The people of God are not merely to mark time, waiting for God to step in and set right all that is wrong. Rather, they are to model the new heaven and new earth, and by so doing awaken longings for what God will someday bring to pass.

Philip Yancey

Can you imagine if people were so awesome to each other that strangers would come up to them and say,

“Hey, you rock.  I want to know your secret.”

I have acknowledged awesomeness in strangers, but now that I think about it, not often for the express purpose of finding out why they do what they do.  I praise parents for having polite children (especially on full airplanes), I comment on folks who do something nice for someone (hey mister you dropped a five-spot), I make known that superior customer service is appreciated (always appreciated), but I don’t think I ever asked WHY.   I’m going to start. The answers should be interesting.

Here is another great quote that should be a companion to Mr. Yancey’s.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi

We are not just marking time on this planet until we get to Heaven.   God has given us marching orders.   Go into the world.  GO.  Be my ambassadors He said.  Show the world who you are and then tell them why.

So I think we should be more inspirational!  Model grace, love and acceptance so well that people want to know why we embrace those qualities.   How?  GO into the world and BE yourself.

Help a friend, help a stranger, love the unlovable (that means some of your co-workers, family, etc.), start a rock band,  find the positive in a negative situation, listen, paint a picture, laugh-cry-work-play with others, be nice when someone is not, get through the hard times with grace/faith,  FILL IN THE BLANK____________________, Find your passion and follow it.  Be the change and awaken the longings for more than what this world has to offer.

Then when someone asks and they will, tell them why you do what you do.  Introduce them to Jesus.  I guarantee the conversation will be interesting.

I want to grrrrrowl!

Christmas morning with a 2 1/2 year old is quite possibly one of the most fun experiences ever.  My grandaughter got up Christmas morning to a new doll house.  She was so excited she started jumping up and down, yelling “my doll house, my doll house, yea, my doll house!”  She squealed with delight and then… she growled.  Grrrrrrrr!

I want to growl.  In a good way of course.  Not the very-hungry stomach growl or the kind of growling that old men are accused of when they are grumpy.  I want to growl with excitement.  Dont you?  I can remember a time when life was that thrilling.   I miss those days.   I think I am going to start growling.  Probably in my car when there isn’t anyone else around, but I’m going to do it. 

I’ll start with the drive home from work.  “I’m going home for the day.  Grrrrrr ”   Dark chocolate is next.   “Grrrrrr.”   How about  weekends.  “Sleeping In.  Grrrrrrrrr!”  Now that I think about it, there are lots of things I can growl about.  Don’t be alarmed if the next time you see me, I’m growling. 

What would you growl about?  Grrrrrrrrr!

What’s your experience?

I saw a great bumper sticker yesterday:

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, We are spiritual beings having a human experience. 

This little commercial break changed my perspective as I drove to work.   I wish I could say that I kept my changed perspective for more than a day, but alas, I am still having a human experience.  Right this minute in fact. 

What does this make you think about?

Delicious Ambiguity

Gilda Radner said, “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” 

Historically, I have not looked positively at ambiguity.  I definitely would never have called it delicious.  For me the word has been about communication.  When something is ambiguous it can be interpreted more than one way, it is vague, unclear.  I like clear, concise communication.  Knowing where I stand and what I am doing gives me a degree of comfort.  Don’t get me wrong, I like spontaneity and adventure as much as the next person, but when it comes to communication, I like clarity.  Say what you mean for goodness sake!!! 

The quote from Gilda Radner made me think about how ambiguous life is.  The future is not clear.  I look back over my life knowing that I could never have predicted where I am today and most people who knew me as a teenager would never have imagined it either.  (and that is really good).  I look forward and know that I can plan for some things, but I don’t know a lot about what will happen until I get there.  The possibilities may not be endless, but there sure are a lot of them.  And I am going to celebrate that.

Think about your life.  What about:

The situations you have learned from,

The things that have amazed you,

The people you have loved,

The things you have been blessed with. 

Lots of surprises.  Delicious Ambiguity.

Veteran’s Day

Veteran’s Day has taken on a new meaning for our family in the last couple of years. As I grew up, it was a time to remember the service of some for the greater good of the whole. I knew that it was a time to show respect for members of the armed services who have given their time, service and lives to our country. It still means those things to me, but now it has become more personal. And while I am glad for my new attitude, my new respect for the folks who have served in the name of freedom for the last couple of hundred years, I am also saddened that as an American, it took a very personal experience to get me to that place.

We are our country. America is not just a place, but a culture and attitude of freedom. We should celebrate that and the people who have made it possible for us. I applaud our freedom of speech in this country, but never at the expense of belittling the folks who made it possible for me to have it.

I sent the message below to some friends and family that have served in the armed forces.

“On this Veteran’s Day, I wanted to make sure that I thank soldiers and their family members for your service to our country.

I believe that we live in the greatest country in the world. Not perfect, but the best, and I believe that is due in part to our military. I want to make sure that the people I know and love, know that their service, sacrifice, hard journeys and the journeys yet to come are appreciated.

I also want the family members to know that I believe their service is important too. Just ask a soldier how important their family is to them. Priceless. I know what it is like to wait and pray for a soldier, for individuals, platoons, companies, our country and leaders every day. I also know that as I was praying for soldiers I didn’t know, there were people praying for my soldier as well. I am humbled.

No service is too small. Like a chess game, all the pieces have different jobs, some have more responsibility or power than others, but the game could not be played without them all.

Thank you for your service to our country, to me and to our collective future.
In honor, love and respect, Marie”

Thank someone today for their service. No matter how big or small the contribution, it is the effort of the collective that has made the difference.

Yes, I forgot my password

Irony takes many forms. I had to get another password. Why you ask? Guess!

And the password is…

…who knows! Honestly I couldn’t remember my password if my life depended on it. Which password you ask? To what? ANY of them. I have so many, its ridiculous. Imagine an old school custodian, (does anyone call them custodians anymore?) with a huge ring of keys that all look the same.
“Wait, wait a minute.” he mumbles, “I know I have it here somewhere.” he continues as he goes through the keys on the ring. I don’t think he ever finds it and neither do I. The only reason I remember my email address is because I use it all the time to retrieve my lost passwords. Every now and then I will put in the right password and I am stunned. I want to jump up and down and scream “I did it. I’m a genius!” Of course I don’t because besides looking like a complete idiot, I would confirm I was an idiot when I revealed my eureka moment was to remember my own password. Tell me I’m not alone.
Yes, just trying to write this blog I forgot my password. That is the real reason my blogging is so sporadic, I can’t remember my password. The silly thing is, the experts tell you not to use the same password for everything, but when you make up different passwords, you can’t gain access to your own life, because you forgot your password. I could type anything. I always think it’s a good idea at the time. “oh, I’ll never forget this one.” or “this is so outrageous, how could I forget.” I’ll tell you how, EASY.
Good thing that I was allowed to tell everyone my name and write it a few thousand times or I would have forgotten that too. No, I don’t want to hear that middle age is approaching. I know you forget your passwords. You can’t fool me. Well, unless you are a secure server that I am trying to access my own information on. Then maybe you can fool me. If you see me wandering the streets mumbling, “Wait, wait a minute.” you know I’m lost. Just give me a password.