We’ll know in about 6 months.
We’ll know in about 6 months.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:29-31)
I don’t know if your childhood was as surreal as mine; growing up as a pastor’s kid seems to set you up for a parade of odd characters to march through your life. And many of your recollections of the tender years have a curious, unreal quality. As I reflected on Isaiah’s words above, my mind drifted to one such recollection.
As a tot in Children’s Church, I was pretty convinced that God was real and Jesus loved me, etc. and many of my fellow church-going chums felt the same. The folks in charge, however, seemed to never truly feel confident that we understood their message. They suspected, I think, that we children nodded our heads and clapped our hands and gave clever answers in order to get candy. This wasn’t completely untrue. For whatever reason, church seemed to have mountains of the sweet stuff, generously dished out for good behavior or bright answers.
I see now that these pastors and teachers wanted us to know more than simple answers to get candy. They were trying to connect us to the loving God of the universe; a God with a personal and profound plan for our little lives. And that is why they invited huge men to come to our Children’s Church to break things.
Now, I wasn’t a large boy, and so these men with necks like oak trees and biceps like beach balls seemed to me like something from a nightmare. They simply marched in, muscles bulging, matching singlets glistening, and immediately started smashing things. Wood planks, cinderblocks, phonebooks, hot-water bottles…anything was fair game for these purveyors of mayhem. And one of them would get on the microphone and plead with us children to pray for these men as they did things our mothers would never let us do. I mean to say, if I were to come home from school one day, greet the family, pet the dog, and then begin mashing stacks of bricks with my elbows…my mother would have destroyed me.
But this was power of an untamed sort. These fellows wreaking havoc displayed strength in an exciting and Samson-esque way. Surely this was how that brawny man-of-old mowed down all those miserable Philistines? Certainly David showed a similar liveliness when he smote Goliath? Even Esther, slip of a girl though she may have been, must have had an intensity that could have inflated a hot-water bottle till it exploded?
When I reflect on Isaiah 40:29-31, my mind earnestly tries to consider it’s encouragements in an enlightened, grown-up way. The furrowed brow of a tough decision, the pious resolution to do the right thing…of course these everyday tests require God’s strength. But my mind continuously drifts to those mighty men and their wanton skills. Is it possible that God had something a little more robust in mind when He inspired these immortal words? Certainly the thought of attacking the enemy of our souls with similar ferocity, his lies broken into small gritty fragments under the crushing blow of God’s Word, holds a sort of charm?
Where I would stay:
What I would do:
But I wouldn’t wear a suit, that would just be silly. Right?
No, no…I would wear my wedding dress.
I am a bundle of contradictions. I want harmony but I find myself picking unnecessary fights. Why do I care if someone doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day or hates cats? I want to encourage people but I become judgmental and short. I want to have friends, see people, be social, but I make up excuses to not go out and stay home to hide. I call people back hoping I get their voicemail. I make plans and promises only to break them a couple days later. I admire people who are patient and soft spoken, like Marie from my C.R. group. She is long-suffering and I can’t imagine anyone really annoying her. I, on the other hand, am brash and easily tripped up. There are days where every living thing annoys me. Why do I care if a person has terrible taste in music or that some people pronounce libRary libarry?
Today in our staff meeting, we were talking about a family who is going through a really hard time. My heart was feeling only mercy for them, really wanting things to change for them, but somehow those feelings traveled to my mouth and came out as judgmental and almost mean. I don’t understand it. It’s like two people live inside me, one is sweet and tenderhearted, the other is rude and impatient. Watch out, because lately it’s a gamble at which one you’ll get.
In other news- my cat drinks out of the toilet. Look at this sicko.
Dustin and I were driving home the other day. When traffic is really bad on I-25 we take a back way that goes through a field and pass a golf course. We were driving with fields on both sides of us and saw a coyote on the side of the road, in the middle of the day, barking and howling with his nose straight up like some Santa Fe sculpture. We were surprised to see him sitting so close to the street with lots of cars passing and even some people walking by. We slowed down a little and rolled down the window to hear him howling. We turned the corner and saw across the field another coyote walking quickly toward the howling coyote. We noticed that the coyote coming from across the filed was limping badly and couldn’t wait to get to the howling friend. We watched them reunite, licking each others faces, and they headed off together down into a ravine.
There really isn’t a point to this story. I guess I could try and spiritualize it somehow, but it would make it even more cheesy. Actually, now that I think about it, this blog post kind of sucks. I guess you had to be there.
Each morning I wake up, sometimes shower, get dressed, and do my hair and make up. I look in our full length mirror and say to myself, “not great, but looks pretty good.” But, it does not fail, around 3 o’clock I catch a glimpse of myself in our office mirror and think, what the heck happened to me? Why am I wearing this stupid outfit and why does my hair look like this? How could I have possibly thought I looked good when I left my house this way? Is it that the lighting in our bathroom is so fantastic that it’s like wearing beer-goggles when I look in the mirror? Or is it that I am so tired in the morning that I don’t put much thought into what looks good or not? Whatever the reason I am sitting here in retarded jeans, a wrinkly shirt and stringy hair, having one of those days.
Dear Mr. President,
First off let me just say Congratulations on your historic nomination! I may or may not have voted for you, but it really doesn’t matter now, does it. I was thinking of ways to welcome you to your new role and to the White House, a plate-of-brownies-for-the-new-neighbor type of gesture. I personally enjoy receiving Mix CD’s from new friends, it helps to get to know them a little better. I decided I would create a Presidential Mix CD for you. It is quite eclectic, mixing a few things together. I’ve heard you really like “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones, so I made sure to include that one for you, Mr. President. Overall it has a political feel, but it doesn’t take itself very seriously. Kind of like me!
Thanks for serving our country. Wishing you all the best!
P.S. check out my blog thatgirlkate.wordpress.com
My “Welcome President Obama” Mix: