They are Part of Us

I have spent the past few days with my grown daughter and her family. Yes her family. I have come to realize that though I am a big part of her life and family, she has established herself as the woman of her own house. This is as parents what we want our children to do. We want our daughters and sons to make a life for themselves. Even though this is the correct order of the universe, it is a bit saddening  No I am not having that empty nest thing, she has been married for seven years this Spring. What gets me is that  it seems in a blink that she went from being a  little girl to a mother.

As I was watching my grand-daughter play it hit be rather like a clap of thunder. I was looking at my daughter. It is not just that my grand-daughter favors her mother in looks, but her mannerisms, way of speaking and in many other small ways. She is my daughter’s mini carbon copy. Then she looked at me. As she did, she said something that was familiar to me. She has my mannerisms and chose the words I would have used.  As we teach our children about life, God and send them off into the world, we send bits of ourselves out with them. Not just us, but our parents and ancestors are there in small fragments.  We are truly entirely connected through time.

Us, the entire human race is connected by this thin thread of humanity that runs between us. Pieces of the past generations that travel with our children to the future. We are all part of each other. When we harm, disparage, or mistreat another person we are inadvertently harming ourselves. This is the way God intended us to be. All part of the same family of God, all connected to each other. It would stand to reason that if we are connected in the physical body by genetics that our souls are connected by spiritual genetics.

How are we connected at the soul level? That is a mystery of God. Through out each changing season and each generation we continue to live. Our history, our tears, our happiness, it all goes with them in a small significant way. I challenge you to think about the possibilities of this mystery, as this old year passes and a new one begins. What will you send with your children?

As time keeps moving up forward and as we go, let’s be kind to one another.

“And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven…” Gen 26:4

Family

I was like the rest of the world a bit in intrigued about the end of the world craze. I wonder what makes people even think they can predict that? Who knows, but since I am still living and the world is still spinning I decided to get in my truck , drive 730 or so miles to see my daughter for Christmas. Actually my daughter, son-in-law and their three kids. I needed something to jolt me out of the self  awareness rut I have been in lately. I realized that it isn’t just me but it seems to be all over. Everyone is thinking about themselves.

I am not sure when I came to notice this weird sense of self, but the events over the past couple of weeks has shifted American thought. This shift brought the idea of family to the forefront of Americans every where. It took the focus of the impending doom of the fiscal cliff which is more likely the end of life as we know it than the Mayan prediction ever was. People in the news media are saying things like hold your kids and tell them you love them. It struck me as sad that they felt it necessary to tell he American public that was what they should be doing with their families.

Some time back there has been a shift in our country collective conscience that focuses on the “Me” of Americans and not the “We”. Take a look at commercials. They focus on the personal desires of individuals  Your car, home retirement, your health and even your sex life. The news is doing the same thing. Your money, job, your personal stake in the election, the what do you wish for this Holiday season. Don’t even get me started about the selfishness of the Black Friday chaos. Our collective lives have slipped into some sort of selfish way of thinking.

It isn’t just on TV. When I talk to people I hear things like, “I want…” not “It is best for my family if I …” It is all selfish conversations. We wonder what is going wrong in our county and then we think “Oh poor me.” instead of “What are we going to do about it.”

If we have any hope of returning this country to the great collective society that it was, we need to focus on each other. Shift the focus on family and patriotism. Move it away from the me and what can society do for me.

Just an idea.

This Christmas take a lesson from the media, enjoy your family, love your kids and think about someone other than yourself.

Insignificant

I can’t believe how insignificant all my troubles seem today. I feel sick and I have a humongous fever blister on my nose. How the heck did it get there?! I am working with a doctor who is scheduling tests for me. I am exhausted and can’t seem to catch up on my sleep. I am finishing up several personal and work projects that are occupying all my time.  I am stopped in my tracks when I think about what happened last Friday. None of that matters when I think of the twenty sets of parents burying their babies this week. My sickness and issues are so very small. Shame on me.

When my daughter was little, about the same age as the first graders at Sandy Hook, she experienced her first hurricane. It was supposed to be a cat 2 or 3.  She was nervous and a little scared. We made a fort in the dinning room to distract her. We thought if she had a place to herself, a safe place, maybe she would not be so scared. We took blankets and draped them over the chairs, made a bed under the table and gave her a flash light. The winds began to blow as the night went on and the electricity went out. She was shaking, but not crying. She tried really hard not to cry. She wanted to be brave, but she was afraid. It didn’t help that her 130 lbs black lab, Bo was scared too tucked in the fort right next to her. He was normally a great protector. Finally after a few hours of howling wind, objects banging against the house and sharp rain slamming on the windowpanes  she burst out, “What happens if tomorrow we wake up dead?” We cracked up laughing. She was serious. My husband replied after he caught his breath, “Then it won’t matter, will it.”

Our day-to-day problems might not be problems at all if we look at the big picture. Maybe the illnesses and stresses of life are not that important, but insignificant things that we think we must have or do. Is it all really that important?

Certainly what happened to the little darlings at that school is a rare tragic event. The sad fact is that in an instant our lives can be forever changed. We could wake up tomorrow without someone dear to us. A hurricane could blow our roof in. An illness could change our life.  If we only learn a few things from the horrible event on Friday, let it be this, love everyone in your life, focus on what counts, and protect those you love. When it is all said and done the other stuff  just won’t matter if you “wake up dead”. ..yea, ugly fever blistered nose not a big deal is it?

There is a Why

We have heard a lot the past few days about gun control while trying to figure out the why a deranged young man would kill so many innocent children and women  It isn’t the guns or the fact that the man was crazy. Those two things were tools used by a force much stronger that just human frailty.  I don’t usually get vocal about the evil in the world. I try to focus my message on the Christian and what we should do as individuals as we live out our commitment to Christ. Maybe there is something wrong with that. Maybe it is time to rip off the pretty covering that we call our Christian life. Maybe it’s time we get real with what age we are living in. Maybe it’s time we face the reality. Evil is on the move and we have to be aware that it is stalking our children and those we love.

The nation has learned about evil over the past few years. Our sanctuary that we used to call our homeland has been threatened. I wonder how many times will our lives be turned upside down before we stop and really look in to the why of the situation. There is a reason that people are going what appears to be just plain nuts and shoot up other humans. There is a reason that evil prevails in our world and there is a reason why it is happening more often.  Jesus said it would happen.

When the the disciples asked, ““Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? (Mat 24:3). Jesus told them of many signs that would come before He returned. Pastors like to teach on Matthew 24. They like to talk about the earthquakes and the famines. Preachers teach on the natural signs of earth and then usually they turn the persecution of Christians. These topics sometimes are used to fill church pews. I agree that  those thing are important and are happening today. We need to know about the signs and we need to be mindful of them. Why? We will be the targets.  Christians are being persecuted in alarming numbers. All you have to do is look here http://www.persecution.com/  and you can read all about the tragedies of Christians being killed for their faith each and every day. All of that is important and yes we need to know.

BUT, the most over looked sign that Jesus warned about is this:

Jesus said, “And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold (Mat 24:12).

Love, above all else is love. The love of so many is being stolen away. They do not feel loved. They are not shown love. They do not love. They have never had love or have lost their love.

We must love each other. We must care for those who are the least worthy. We must provide for the poor, take care of the sick, spend time with the lonely. We must do these things because we have an unconditional love for people.  We must love and we must love EVERYONE. 

It is too late for the beautiful children and women of Sandy Brook Elem. It is too late for the mother whose son’s loveless cold heart caused him to kill her and so many innocents. It is too late for them. We can’t save them. We can honor their lives by sharing the love we have with the living. Create a nation of people who love each other. Not just the ones who are easy to love, but love everyone.

It is not too late for the rest of us.

If you think that it would not happen to your child, brother, sister, or family. If you think that there is no one in your life who is capable of committing the horrific acts that happened at the little elementary school, you need to think again. Evil knows no bounds. It is not particular when it choose victims. Evil prevails. Evil is real. In this world there is only only sword, one weapon that can stop evil and we are all responsible for wielding it. There is a why for this horrific event, for the others that have happened and for the tragedies that will follow. Evil is growing and love is dying.

Evil can only exist where there is no love.  

Must Dos Vs Want Tos

I did exactly what I said I was going to do. Just what I have to and just what I want to. Guess what?  The world did not come to an end. I did discover though that the must-dos greatly out numbered the want to dos. I see this as a big problem.

We spend to much of our life doing what we have to without stopping to think how many of these tasks to we bring on ourselves? How many times do we think, “Oh Man, I have to do that today!” When in reality, we don’t have to do it if we don’t want to. We think to have the lifestyle that is comfortable, exciting or at least sort of like our peers, we must have and do certain things. This thinking leads us to making things up that we think we must do. If you aren’t so sure that I am telling you the truth, think about your parents or grandparents?

What did you grandparents do for fun? What did they do outside of work?

My grandparents read a lot, played cards, dominoes and scrabble for fun. They were active in church and spent time with us grand young-ins. They worked a garden, made home made ice cream, preserves and put up vegetables  for later. None of the things I mentioned as have tos and some of them we don’t do any more. Yes they did those things.

I know life is different now. We have conveniences and electronics. Maybe I am comparing apples to bananas. The point is think about your life, do you really have to do all that you do?

This time I challenge you to think about all that you do. try to stick to the have tos and want tos, but if it isn’t an absolute on either have/want list, don’t do it. See if you can gain some free time.

Remember, be true to yourself the entire time!

🙂