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Posts Tagged ‘lacking’

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*A re-post from a year and a bit ago, and a reminder of the barrenness of a busy life, as the calendar begins to fill.

June + kids + church + school = busy … and I cannot wait to do a little bit of subtraction!

I have been longing for the end, counting down to the end, all the while it seems as though there are stretches of days when every time I open my email inbox there is another ‘end of year’ event to be attended.

Don’t get me wrong … I love celebrating year ends, graduations, retirements, partings and weddings! They are each, on their own, most delightful events to be invited to, to witness, to attend. It is when they come one after another, with no pause for refreshment, for refueling, that they begin to extinguish the candle of my days, making it too dim to see the light of blessing that each one is.

I yearn for refreshment … the kind that comes from being home from waking until sleeping (maybe even with a little sleeping in between), the kind that comes from not one phone ring, the kind that comes from just us five being home, with no knocks at the door, no invasions of anyone or anything from the ‘outside world’ … except maybe a parcel delivery … and not one with an invoice to be paid!

Socrates was right, the busy life can be barren … lifeless, empty. It can be life-sapping rather than life-giving. It can leave us with little to give.

We need Sabbath rest!

But, do we make that happen? Or do we constantly add more to fill our days (and nights), rather than make time to rec-r-ate?

In Psalm 39:6 we are given the reminder that, “all our busy rushing ends in nothing.”

Is there a barrenness to your busy schedule? Do you, like me, get to a point where the calendar is so full, you refuse to add any more to the daily boxes?

Barren means not reproducing, not productive, it is a ‘lack of’ …

Busy means active, occupied, it is ‘full of’ …

How can we be both busy and barren? How can we be both full of and have a lack of at the same time?

God, in His process of creation, chose rest a feature of the seven day week. One-seventh of life is intended for rest. And this is not just Old Testament theology, because in Mark 6:31, Jesus reminds us that busy needs to be balanced by rest, when he said to his disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

My you and I find the will to omit something from our calendars this week, and go to a deserted place, and rest a while … and become, once again ‘full of.’

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A few days ago I shared (Got a Dementor in Your Life?) that I had been learning all about Harry Potter, from my son who is loving his new-found adventure series. Well I am back to Hogwarts again, after watching The Chamber of Secrets movie the other evening.

The quote, above, spoken by the wise and kind Dumbledore (the name does not sound so wise) grabbed my attention, I was furiously jotting it down, when I heard it, so I would not forget (that is the stage I am currently living).

When I first heard it I thought …

ahhhh!

In a world where we are valued, promoted and given higher pay for our credentials, experience and strengths this quote immediately took me to an example of choice over ability in the Bible.

In Exodus, the story of God calling Moses into a position that required, not Moses’ abilities, but his choice to say yes.

In Exodus 3-4 the story of God speaking to Moses through a burning bush is told. God wants Moses to step up and lead the Israelite people … his people, from their bondage and slavery in Egypt.

“Then Moses said to the Lord, “But, Lord, I am telling you, I am not a good speaker. I have never been able to speak well. And that hasn’t changed since you started talking to me. I am still not a good speaker. You know that I speak slowly and don’t use the best words” … Moses said, “My Lord, I beg you to send someone else, not me.” (4:10, 13)

Ever said something similar? To God, or to another person? Something along the lines of “oh, I just couldn’t do that … I don’t have that skill, or gift, or enough education, or enough experience?”

God offers to send Aaron along with him as his personal assistant!

This is where Moses had received and offer that he simply could not refuse!

And he CHOSE to accept the job, fully aware that his choice was one made in faith, not made from the strength of his abilities.

Moses chose to move his family to Egypt, went to find Aaron, and they met the Israelite elders, Aaron speaking and Moses performing the miracles God had shown them. The Israelite people knew that Yehweh had sent them, and that their time of suffering was coming to an end.

Moses was successful because he CHOSE to obey, CHOSE to trust, CHOSE to have faith that God would do all that he said he would …

… no ability required.

 

 

 

 

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Back in the stone ages, when I was an adolescent, I had a youth leader give me a rock for a gift. Actually she gave one to every girl there. It was a rounded stone, with a colorful sunset painted on it. On the back was written, “Fight Apathy” then she signed her name.

This youth leader was an amazingly loving lady. She had gone searching on the riverbanks for these smooth stones. She painted beautiful scenes on them, wrote on them, sealed them, then gave them as a reminder of the lesson she had been teaching. Mine has been part of the decor in my house for years. Now it is packed away in a ‘special box’ for me to pull out and remember.

For this lady to have gone to all that effort, her lesson must have been one she felt was worth the efforts!

Apathy is a lacking. It is a lacking of desire, a lacking of motivation, a lacking of emotion, a lacking of passion. Lacking of these things, means that they should have been there, but were not.

Apathy is dangerous!

As I was enjoying a few peaceful moments in the sun recently, I was pondering a number of things in my life, and when I pondered one specific issue, my thought was ‘I don’t care about that.’ My own thoughts echoed in my head. The issue was one I should care about. Throwing my hands in the air, and removing myself emotionally from the issue was not the answer. As a matter of fact, what I heard not long after my comments of ‘lacking’ was my dear, sweet, thoughtful youth leader … “fight apathy.”

To throw my hands in the air is like Pilate after the trial of Jesus, washing his hands (figuratively and literally) of the decision to crucify him. His apathy did not change the decision. His apathy did not change his part in the process. After all …

“In order for evil to flourish, all that is required is for good men (and women) to do nothing!”
(possibly the words of Edmund Burke)

To do nothing is a decision of lacking, a decision of apathy. Our families, our world, needs for people to throw off apathetic thinking. We need to become passionate about living, and about life. We need to be the agents of change in our world … for the good of individuals, and for the good of society as a whole.

Whatever we do, we need to do it with our whole hearts, minds, souls and bodies. We need to fight apathy!

We may have found a cure for most evils;
but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all —
the apathy of human beings.

Helen Keller

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