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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dramatic lives mean what in the end?

Stepping on egg shells-symbolic?
 As a child, everything is a big deal.  Temper tantrum for not getting the toy first, having less candy than any sibling on Halloween, going to bed earlier than your friends, etc.
As an adolescent, you're learning some things are not all about you, but you're still focused and freaking out if you're getting taller/not growing at the rate it seems everyone else is, or being in a higher math/English/ and/or social studies class than your friends (well...used to be your friends as you may no longer "fit" or see them).

Teenagers, you know not everything is about you, but you love when they are.  Having your friends throw you a party, a boy/girl liking you, getting a license/phone/computer/ car/job, and all the drama in between.

 College, hopefully by now either a pastor, friend, or God Himself has made it pretty clear life is NOT about YOU.  Sure, it feels good when it is, but dang is that temporary and drained out like sand in a hourglass only leaving us wishing there was more.  You may learn this the hard way through "living the college life" like I did, or hopefully you were wise enough to learn from people's mistakes.

John 4 tells the story of the woman at the well where Jesus concludes with “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
How powerful and comforting that SHOULD be!  But learning to grasp the true meaning behind this, and the so many other times Jesus tries to explain how we should live our lives, isn't easy.  It isn't a dramatic 180 change either.

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you." Psalm 26:3
Perfect peace?  That sounds nice! But first I have to trust in Christ :/...once again not this dramatic "oh Lord I trust you and all is well now!"  It's the little things that may even go unnoticed by the outside.  Like our attitudes.  Body language. Quick responses.
Nathaniel "at peace" for a moment

I've been reading in a book called Loving the Little Years by Rachel Jankovic about how we as the parents are responsible for exemplifying grace, love, and walking daily with Christ.  One chapter is about our language.  Like any adult around children, we have to watch the words we use, but I am afraid that sarcasm, jokes, and slang are becoming "respectable sins" (the title of another great and convicting book) to make huge of a situation that should be small.  She shares of a morning trying tend to her 5 children under 5, and how the chaos of it all is "overwhelming".  For her, she has decided to cut that word specifically from her vocabulary.  Kinda silly sounding, huh?  But it gave her room to say "But I can't" when God wants us to have joyful hearts always.  It doesn't mean moments weren't overwhelming, but the words we say have so much more power over us and those around us than we realize.
I'm sure you know people that exhibit overly dramatic responses to life, just so, in turn, someone will agree with their dramatization.  After all, what's wrong with venting?  But, I wonder what would happen if we spent more time venting to Jesus, and venting to the people close to us who can then point us to Jesus?  This may be a much better approach than publicly venting and looking for affirmation, because it is far less likely that our source of true strength is going to come from our public dramatizations. Heck, I've been tempted to publicly post some thoughts just because I'm ticked, tired of, done with x,y, and z. But instead, I have found a great reward of peace from Christ when I am able to depend on him and vent directly to Him, or my husband or close friends, who, in turn, encourage me back to Jesus.

1 Thess 4:11 and 1 Timothy 2:1-4 talk about the value in living quiet lives.  That we would reach out to those around us in love, but quietly.  Any attention drawn for selfish reasons is drawn away from Christ.

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