The Modern Obsession

I have recently made the decision that it is time to change my day job. I love what I do, but my heart and God are leading me to do something different. I have been searching for a job at my current salary and the more I look the more depressing it gets. There just aren’t any jobs out there at my current rate of pay. This lack of opportunity has caused me to look long and hard at my life and my finances. Why is it so important to want what we want and to have what we have?

The modern obsession is about things. The best car, computer, house, cell phone plan….you name it, we want the best. Why is that? Why can’t we be happy with the nice things that might not be the most expensive? Why do we have to live with so much stuff?

The need for things is derived from that human condition that causes us to be empty inside. We have a God shaped hole in our beings that we fill with everything we can. Now, we don’t know it is God we need, until we find him which is the beauty of the thing. We don’t’ realize this desire for happiness and fulfillment that we try to load up with stuff is our soul trying to tell us we need God.

I am always amazed when I hear stories of people who wake up one day and quit their job to follow their passion. Like the corporate businessman who wants to grow coffee and sell it at a corner shop or the doctor who sails half way around the world to treat sick kids in some dusty country and live in a hut. Why is this idea of doing what we love, doing what our heart desires so difficult? Why is the leap of faith so scary? It is that obsession of having the best things and what will we do when we can’t afford them anymore. Dont’ be fooled when you hear stories of people taking the leap into their dream life, don’t be impressed.  Somewhere in the story the truth comes out, the person has multi million dollars and can afford to just wake up and change their life.

What about the rest of us? How can we leap and not be afraid of what would happen? I don’t have all the answers but I am at the point in my life where I am willing to try, to leap and see what happens. I really don’t have a plan. I know what I want to do in my life and I think that the answer is small steps leading up to the leap. I am taking baby steps to the edge of the cliff then I am going to jump.

I am so over this modern obsession to want, have and buy. I want a simple life, a God filled life. These things we can’t live without cloud our mind and make it difficult to see God. We are spending hours looking in to the apps of our cell phones, driving our fine cars, staring at some lit up screen of the latest techno gadget  instead of looking for what God is doing in our lives and where He is sending us.

Would it be so bad to jump, take a leap of faith and let God work out the rest?

Band-aides Part Two

First I want to say that I am not going to try to sell you on the books and program I am mentioning here in this blog post. I just want to share the info with you so you can relate to the epiphany I had and it won’t make any sense if I don’t mention the books. I received my new “Take Back Your Temple” books in the a few days ago. There is a members guide and a journal.  I also bought the leaders guide in hopes that someone may want to do this with me. I even asked my church secretary to look into me leading a small group. My thinking is that it is better not to struggle alone or start a new journey alone.  Well, I let the books  sit for days. I was busy with work and then I was feeling awful. I went to my doctor who is also a Christian. He said two things to me that really shook my tree. He said, ” You must get the stress out of your life and you must lose weight, it’s killing ya.” I was shocked and at the same time I knew it. I knew he was telling me the truth.

When I got home and I picked up the Take Back Your Temple book, I was filled with peace. I know I am making the right decision to rip off the band-aid of bad eating and lazy habits by starting the new Christian based weight loss program.  I have not officially started it yet, I want to start on Sunday.

The first step in the program is “Anchor Yourself in God” That is a powerful idea. Not lean on God, you can always lean off of God. Anchor yourself in God. Firmly put your life, love, health, job, family, well-being, hate, anger, everything that makes you who your are in God’s hands, anchor it in God. Think about what that means. Every decision, every move you make, every word you say, every breath you take is anchored in the will, love and grace of God. How much better will my life and yours be if we anchor ourself in God?

What would it take to do that, to truly Anchor my life in God? I thought I had that kind of relationship with the Lord. I go to church, I pray, I study the Bible and I try to be kind to others. You know what? You can do that and not be centered on God. I have not been centered on God I have been centered on me.  To Anchor  my life in God I will have to pray, a lot. Before I get myself out of bed, before I life a finger to eat, walk, move or think I will have to pray. I pray, but more around my schedule than around God.  I know I am weak and I know I can’t do anything on my own. I am a mess now and if that doesn’t prove how I can screw up my life on my own I don’t know what would prove it? I give God my daily life and then I take it back, but I realized that there are somethings I do not believe I ever gave God. My weight and other things fall in to the “but God I can handle this one” category.

The other thing it would take to anchor my life in God  is to listen. Prayer doesn’t work unless you calm you spirit and listen for God to direct your soul. God sent the Holy Spirit when He took Jesus back to heaven. He left the Holy Spirit to protect, guide and love us. The story of Pentecost where the spirit come down from heaven was not a one time thing that happened for just for the Disciples. The Holy Spirit is alive and here today. We have to listen and accept Him. I know I have other blog posts here that say I have heard God, well I have, all Christians at one point have, but I have allowed the world around me to talk loud enough in my spirit to drown out the Holy Spirit in my life. I did that, not anyone around me, I allowed the life I have been living to take over my heart. God’s word tells us about the still small voice of God. It is still and small for a reason, the peace of God is powerful,  still and small is all we humans can handle. God will never force us in to doing what He wills for us. We have to listen and act. I have not been listening. I have been going at life the way I thought was best, and that, my dear reader is why I am ripping off the band-aides that I used to fix my life.

I am going to anchor my life in God. I am going to stop floating on the sea of uncertainty and take back my temple. I am making a public commitment here and now to anchor myself in God, who’s with me?

Yet, Lord?

Dear God I know you said that

“those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40-31)

What I want to know is, have I waited long enough yet? I’m ready for the mont up with wings, not weary, not faint part now.

Band-Aids Hurt

I made a decision to improve me. My life has spiraled out of control. I am  fat, tired, stressed, depressed, and just down right not right! It has been a crazy few months. My job is stressful, my grandmother has practically forgotten much of her life, one of my dear friends dropped dead of a heart attack at the age of forty-five, and there are other things that I care not to mention. So, what do I do? I wanted to check myself into a treatment center. You know the ones with the nice white padded rooms and friendly people in white coats with shiny needles full of happy drugs. Yeah, I wanted to go there. Instead I went to a therapist, she helped, some. The one thing she said to me that made sense was, “You can control your life.”  It made sense but in my current mental sate, I did not believe her. I left there feeling good about some things she said but that one thing kept slapping at the inside of my head.

No, I thought. I am not in control. I can not control the stress in my life. I can not control what others do to me and around me. No I am not in control of a thing. My life is in the control of my job, my family, my responsibilities, not me. Then it hit me. Wait a minute. I can not control them, but I can control me. I can give the rest of that nonsense to God, I did give Him stuff before….yeah, I took some back yet again! Why do we do that? Oh come on, I know you do it too!

I can control who I am, where I am , what I do, and how I react to the other influences on me. God gave me will power to control who I am, what am I doing giving that God given power to other people and things?

With that I took the bull by the horns, steered away from the lab coats with happy meds and began to look at all the things in my life that are controlling me. I have started to pull them off of my life in one fell swoop like a band-aid, yank! I am getting rid of what is not good for me. Oh, and like a band-aid this is gonna hurt!

I started with prayer, I always start any thing I do with prayer. Then following my heart, God’s word and advice from my mother I made some lists.

List one: What can I change? I can change me.

I am fat, lose weight.

I am tired, get more rest.

I am stressed remove the cause.

I am depressed, seek help.

I am just not right, then get yourself right!

Over the next few posts I am going to tackle each one of the items from my list. Why am I sharing this with you? Well, just maybe one of the things on my list is on your list too. I am nobody special but if one of my whacky lines of thought that I write in a blog post helps one person, then good. I have succeeded in life!

The first item is “I am fat” Oh boy, this band-aid is really gonna hurt….yank….

I am taking back my temple!……..

1 Cor 6:19 didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you.” (The Message) In the NKJ version it says “your body is a temple”.

I took part of  that verse, plugged it in to Google,  “your body is a temple” and got the following result.

I ordered the book and took, Kerby, my beagle for a walk!

So stay tuned…this is gonna be a crazy ride into Band-Aids and prayer!

Is that a train?

I have said this before and now I must say it again. I have to remind myself over and over that I am not in charge. I am not going to fix this on my own and I am NOT taking things back from God that I gave Him to fix. NO, I am not going to do that. I am going to do something new, totally new for me. I am going to wait on the Lord.

I am the most impatient person that I know. I have a tendency to give my concerns to God then when I see the light at the end of the tunnel of a long wait, I act. I grab my shovel of great ideas and dig out the side of the tunnel, usually to find myself fanny deep in alligators. My ideas always seem right at the time. Better than waiting for something to happen.When will I learn to wait? Wait on the right answer. Wait on God to act. WAIT!

I can’t find the strength to wait. It is hard to wait. Especially when you are not hearing the answers and God is silent. My grandmother always said, ” God ain’t talking because He is busy working!” Then she would tell me to pray about it and shut up. “God doesn’t want to hear you whining about it. Trust him.” I wasn’t too much of a whiner, maybe a little bit. I was a bossy impatient child who hated to wait.  When I was a child I was always tapping my foot at my parents wanting them to do some thing for me, Now. Like Vercua Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, ” I want it NOW!” I want instant relief, satisfaction and happiness. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part I am a happy person, I am just a happy person in a not so happy situation. I don’t want to wait any longer for the answers I need. I want them NOW! I do not want to wait!

Another gem my grandmother said to me was, “Waiting is not a sedative thing.” She meant sedentary, of course. Then she explained how when God told someone in the Bible to wait he also told them what to do while waiting. “Watch” Keep you eyes on God and on the world around you. Just because you are waiting doesn’t mean that you have nothing to do while you are waiting. Pray, read God’s word and watch. You have to watch to see when you are to move and act. God will tell you when the time is right. This wisdom was usually followed by her speech about  “God don’t’ help those who don’t help himself.” and with that she found some chores for me to do.

For once in my life I am taking my grandmother’s advice. I am going to be patient. I am not going to spoil whatever blessing God has for me in the very near future with a plan of my own. I can not be in this situation forever, years maybe but not forever. Stop tapping foot, I say. I have put down my shovel and I am waiting for the light to get closer in this tunnel. I am going to trust God that it is not a train.

A word of Caution

I am working on several writing projects for publication. Articles and fiction. I ask friends, family and strangers to read pieces and excerpts to give me some feedback. Some times when I get stuck by my evil friend Writer’s block feedback helps me change direction or move forward. One word of caution, not just for my readers but for all readers, when you read a piece of work, unless the author tells you in the piece “This is about me.” do not assume what you read is about the author.

Most of us who write will write about ourselves when we write a non fiction article, but we will say “When I….I did….I went.” whatever. On the flip side when we write fiction, we rarely write about ourselves, but we draw from experience or from observations.

It is not good practice to assume that what you are reading did happen to the person who wrote it. Fiction is fiction. Plain and simple.