Saturday, June 26, 2010

Flip the Switch

As I was listening to my favorite radio station a few days ago (KVNE out of Tyler), I heard a sort of Christian public service announcement talking about being the light of the world… and it got me to thinking as most things do.

We are probably all familiar with most of the passages en la biblia telling us that Jesus is the light of the world and that we also are to be the light of the world because we belong to him. I think I have a t-shirt somewhere that says something to the effect. And you know, if they put it on a t-shirt, it must be true.

While soaking in these verses I had a thought that I don’t know if I’ve ever had. You probably have had it, so this might be old news. I’ve searched the Word this morning and can’t find any place we are told to go into the darkness and yell at it for being dark. Do you know where that scripture is?

Conversely, the one that I find in Matthew says that we are to let our light shine before men. The image I get here is walking into my darkened bedroom and yelling that it sure is dark in here. What is accomplished by my telling the darkness that it is, in fact, dark? No kidding, there is no light which by default means that it will be dark. God worked that whole thing out in Genesis. What's more, we are told that the those in the dark are so used to it and hate the light that they don't even comprehend it. And, dear friends, how will they unless we show them what the light looks like? Go ahead and try explaining what darkness is without including light in the definition somewhere. I can just imagine what you would think to find me standing in the dark, screaming about how dark it is, and holding a fully charged flashlight in my hand. Looney. This concept of turning on the light should not be all that shocking to me. So why then does it shock us when we go into the world which we are told is in blackout mode and instead of turning on our light for others to see it is easier for us to hate the darkness than flip the switch in our own lives?

Instead of accusing the darkness of being dark and continuing to stay in the dark room, what must happen is that I must have some action on my part. I must choose to love the light more than the dark and because of this I will let the light shine. 1 John 2 says that if we say we are in the light but we hate our brother – get this – we aren’t in the light at all. Basically, we are screaming in the dark.

Time to flip the switch.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Asking too many questions...

Tonight’s thought from left orbit comes from Lifetime’s constant reruns of Grey’s Anatomy. I know. Horrible show. I’ve almost decided that every immoral act that can be committed will be captured on film via this show before it hits the final taping. That being said and confessions being what they are, I was watching Grey’s Anatomy. Contain your disappointment and shock and kindly continue reading please.

What is causing tonight’s ponderation (I looked it up – it’s a word. It means “the act of weighing” which I kind of don’t like since my last name resembles that remark) was brought on by one of the lines from tonight’s repeat. I don’t really remember exactly what was happening, but I know at some point a patient at the hospital was told that she had some type of tumor and she looked at the ceiling and repeatedly screamed “Come on!” every time that a doctor told her something else about her illness. When someone finally asked her what she was doing she just said, “Where is God?” I’ve let that ruminate for a couple of hours now. Allow me to refract some light in a different direction.

I think as humans we spend a lot of time asking that same question. Something goes wrong and we look to the sky and ask, “Well, where were You?” I’m not going to type here that I haven’t done the same thing more than I care to admit. Somehow we think God was tardy or that He has an unexcused absence that will now go on His permanent record. “I’ll remember that next time, God,” we like to think. Here’s the spin.

Maybe God would ask us the same question. It struck me that right after this character on the show asked God where He was (like she was calling attendance in homeroom as if God’s going to call out ‘Present’) she then explained to the doctors that she had just lost her boyfriend and it was somehow connected to this tumor which had caused him to leave her for some reason I don’t have the energy to remember. Then she went on to explain how great the sex had been. Notice she was talking about her boyfriend. Not her husband. So I wonder tonight, should and does God ask us the very same question?

Or has He already asked us this question? Look at the very first thing that gets past the lips of God when Adam and Eve decide that they know what is better for themselves in the garden --

“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" “ Genesis 3:8-9

So again, I wonder why we don’t realize that God could ask us the very same thing. Oh we want his blessings. In fact, if you think about it (and none of us like to), God blesses us and we stand up and ask for more in nearly every prayer some of us pray. Sometimes I wonder if the word bless is almost as common in a prayer as the word amen. That’s another story. Back to my original pondering for this evening.

So here’s question to replace your question to God regarding his whereabouts during your trial (yes, whether you think you had it coming or not) – Elizabeth (insert your name here), where were YOU? Friends, the answer to that is not going to be nearly as beautiful as I would like it to be. Where was I when that person needed some encouragement? I was worried about getting the words right. Where was I when my friend needed to be confronted in love? I was keeping the proverbial boat steady for my own peace of mind. Flip over to Matthew 25. Where was I when the least of these was hungry? I was going back for seconds. Where was I when the least of these was sick? I was making sure that my life was sterile and safe. Where was I when the least of these was in prison? I was out enjoying my freedom. Where was I when the least of these sat naked in the forgotten corner of society? I was out buying another pair of shoes.

Kind of sucks all of the fun right out of calling God on the stuff that I don’t like. Maybe, just maybe my life has this stuff that I don’t particularly like in it right now because God is calling me to something bigger and He’s got to get me ready. Don't hear me say that God and I have a relationship where He only does for me when I do for Him. The Lord knows that I would be about a zillion tally marks behind Him on that list. Maybe my point is that I need to stop using so many question marks and start using the words Thy will be done a whole lot more.

Those are the thoughts.