Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Brick Wall

I attended church today and the entire experience was extremely eye-opening and disturbing. It caused me to truly reflect on where I am at this time in my life and be absolutely honest about my behaviors and attitudes. I wasn't especially pleased with myself.

To provide some short back story I need to go back 3 years to when I initially hurt my back at work. I was able to work through the pain for almost a year, but finally in 2009, I had to go on disability. It was very difficult emotionally to accept the diagnosis that my back was badly injured and I may never be able to return to work.

As the pain worsened and my wait time for surgery seemed to take forever, my emotional and physical state deteriorated. I tried hard to maintain my faith and keep an upbeat attitude, but in truth I've been losing the battle. It would be safe to say I have felt defeated and depressed much of the time.

Although understandable and even, excusable, I have complained and whined repeatedly to God and my prayers have become very self-serving and self-centered. I knew that this was happening to me, but until I attended church this week, I justified my attitude and behavior as "only reasonable" given my circumstances. Then, God hit me with a brick wall.

I serve a kind and merciful God, so He has been whispering and showing me for quite awhile that my selfishness was hurting me more than my back condition. In His compassion, God wanted me to wake up and take control of my attitude, actions and ultimately my life. I resisted because I felt unfairly treated and my prayers were not being answered in the way I desired. How could God ask me to care about others when I was suffering so much? I conveniently ignored how Jesus suffered for me, because of me. Until church...

The first slam was when a woman with her family came for the service and gave witness and glory to God for allowing her more time to live. The miracle of a new drug that slowed the advancement of the lung cancer that was killing her. It was an answer to prayer for her and all she had asked was the opportunity to receive more time with her family. Up until this drug discovery, the spread of cancer had been rapid and vicious. She was so happy she almost glowed. I felt like the heel I deserved to feel. How could I be so ungrateful and bitter when except for an injured back, my life wasn't threatened or in any peril?

The second sting to my poor, self-serving ego was the sermon itself. It was about the first century Christians and how they prayed. They prayed with boldness and vision to help the world and asked God to continue leading them with increased boldness and sensitivity to the needs of others. Not much like my prayers which were primarily selfish, whining and totally one-sided.

Boldness! How could I boldly ask God to use me? He may ask me to think outside my little box and pray in larger terms than just my own needs. (Except, of course, the token family and friend prayers, so I could get back to my requests without guilt.) This sermon seemed harsh and hard-hitting. I felt the twinge of guilt surfacing and I couldn't find any excuse to justify myself; especially after that dear lady"s testimony.

Both incidences have filled me with such guilt and remorse for having wasted such valuable time attending a pity party for 2 years. How could I've ignored all the subtle messages God gave me? How could I be so blind? Well, it may have taken a brick wall, but I couldn't ignore the message any longer.

Although I do need some time to process all the rush of emotions I'm feeling, I did take the plunge and ask for God's forgiveness and His guidance in being a true, first century christian and practice what I preach. It will be a journey, but if I give myself whole-hearted to God, I may glow one day myself.

Amen to that!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Better than a Rest

If you've read my blog before you will notice that I have changed the overall look of it. Why? Well, I'd like to say I did it for ingeniously, inspired reasons, but in truth I was just bored with the old look and wanted something new.

I have had and probably always will have; a short attention span. Today,I believe, it's called Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD. I guess my way could be SAS or perhaps, ASS for Attention Sadly Sucks! Whatever... I wanted something fresh and new!

Part of the reason I wanted a new look is that I am going to attempt to take my blogging pastime to a new level. I would like to build up a regular audience and offer what I hope will be more attention-grabbing and appealing text.

This, of course, will demand a real commitment from me and with having SAS or ASS could be a real challenge! But, I am going to give it a honest-to-goodness, grassroots try. I know the secret to any success lies in the willingness to stay with it and give it your best. goes nothing. I will give it my best and hope for the best.

So, if you happen to stumble upon this blog and it piques your curiosity please feel free to come back and see where this takes us. I believe that deep down at the very core of each of us is a wondering about the fundamental meaning of life. I don't promise any answers, but perhaps, I might be able to spark some discussion which, may lead myself or you to some alternative notions. Or maybe we'll just confuse ourselves more...who knows?

Here's hoping to hear from you soon!