Friday, September 16, 2016

Directions Please

oday my husband and I went to a funeral; uggh! I mean no disrespect, it’s just that I’ve been to over a dozen already this year and I’m barely through the first half. Anyway, we had to go to another nearby city. And although I used to live in that city, I was never fully acquainted with the area where we were going. Also, since he is hardly familiar with that city, I must always drive when we go there. Now, you’re probably thinking, with navigator and all of the other GPS apps available, it should not be a problem; right? WRONG!

So we head out to our destination and we arrive early, without any mishaps. We fellowship and reacquaint ourselves with old friends. When it is time to return, I ponder which direction to take on the highway. I knew how to leave this particular location and return to my old residence via the route that I would take, if I still lived in that city, but I had moved. For a moment, I thought about all of the times my daughter and/or my girlfriend would take me from one side of the city to the other and I would ride, without a care in the world, because they always knew exactly where they were going. But, I am miserably directionally challenged. Oh boy, did I long to have one of them in the car right then.

So, with a prayer in my heart – I dared not share this out loud with my husband, who thinks I know almost everything about that city – I’ve got him really fooled, lol; we begin the journey back. As I approach the expressway, I wonder to myself, “Should I go the way that I truly know? Or should I just trust this other direction and finally figure out where it might lead me? We’re in no hurry and should we get lost, we have time to figure it out before it gets dark,” I reason. Driving in the dark is a challenge, too. So, I whisper one last desperate prayer, “Lord, I’m going to try this new way, please be with me and may it be the way that I should go; I don’t want us to be lost.”

I entered the fast moving traffic at a high speed, so as not to slow down any oncoming cars. My eyes sweep across the highway looking for any familiar signs that would indicate that I had made the right choice. My husband sits comfortably beside me, confident of where he is going, because I am behind the wheel. Then I spotted it! The first familiar road sign that indicated I was headed in the right direction. Why I had traveled this road dozens of times before, but never from this entry point. Plus, this direction would cut off at least 15 miles from the other way. Oh the sigh of relief that I felt, which leads me to my life lesson for today.

Never trust your spiritual direction in life to someone else; even if they are headed in the right direction, and you feel that you can trust them explicitly. No one is promised to live forever, which was proven by the event we had just left; additionally, we need to take charge of ourselves. Everyone will have to give an account to God, himself, for how he/she has traveled the road of life. Daily we should choose, what we believe is the right way, even though it might feel unfamiliar. As long as we commit ourselves to God and trust in His leading, praying for the right way, so as not to be lost, He will surely guide us along to safe paths. Psalm 146: 3 admonishes us: “Don’t trust leaders; don’t trust any human beings—there’s no saving help with them!” Common English Bible (CEB) - Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Truth Within

nfortunately, I am not always tactful, which sometimes lands me in trouble with others. Just last night, I allowed myself to be baited into responding to what seemed to me a slur on my character. The conversation ended badly and I was left with a mound of regret. Although I sought to make peace with God before lying down, I knew that I would have to eventually reach out to the other person and make peace with them.

Upon arising, the following chorus was playing in my head: “Oh Lord, just for today; help me to walk this narrow way; help me to live above the world; where satan’s darts at me are hurled.”

Oh! Could I ever relate to that message. The enemy had thrown me a curb ball and I had swung and missed. Strike three! Game over? Or was it? The inning might be over, but there is more game to be played and I had earned another day; another inning. Then I read Psalms 51:6 which says: “And yes, you want truth in the most hidden places; you teach me wisdom in the most secret space.”  Common English Bible (CEB) - Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Although this was a jab to my conscience: I knew that there was help to be had. There is no way that I can hide anything from God; and although the person made a sarcastic remark, which triggered my response, I knew in my heart, that I was in error for responding as I did. Yes, when I sought for the truth within my own soul, it revealed itself. I’m so glad that I was encouraged to at least look for it.

Therefore, with the contrite heart David mentions in the same Psalms, I prayed to swallow my pride, and to do what I knew was the right thing to do. I know that at times I am tactless, but in my innermost being, I know that I cannot afford to continue in that vein. Additionally, when my feelings are involved, I need to cry out to God for deliverance from ME! From my failures and shortcomings; I can’t just say, “That’s how I am”. I’ve got to seek Christ for the change that must be made in me, and be willing to allow the change to be made.

I know that this is not the last time that I’ll be challenged in this matter; I pray that next time, I will just pause – take a deep breath and bear up beneath the pain that comes with self-control. I am praying to the end that victory will one day be mine in totally; I solicit your prayers on my behalf. But, thankfully, I’m learning today’s little life lesson, which really is not so little at all.


Monday, September 12, 2016

One Day at a Time

 never cease to be amazed at the myriad of thoughts that seem to crowd my mind, when I step into the morning shower. It is almost as though, as my pores open up, so do the deepest thoughts of my soul.

Well, one morning, just before showering, I remembered something I had heard from one of my favorite health presenters on Amazing Discoveries. He had said that if you wanted to get some fairly quick energy, the first thing in the morning, you should shower with water as hot as you could bear (being careful not to burn your skin), then rinse off with the coldest water available. After rinsing off, towel briskly, bringing the blood to the surface of the skin; then you should make a loose fist and tap yourself in the chest, right in the cleavage 30 times. 

Well, trying to be somewhat of a health nut, I decided to try it. What did I have to lose? Although the thought of the cold water seemed to chill me more than the actual did, I was determined to try it. So into the shower I go, on comes the really hot water; I cool it down just a bit and take a refreshing bath. Boy, did it feel good! Then I began to shift the temperature and sure enough, the chill bumps rose to the surface. I gritted my teeth; danced around a little bit beneath it, being sure to cover the entire surface of my skin. Off goes the water, out comes the towel with the brisk dry off and the 30 taps.

However, as I danced beneath the cold water, I seriously questioned myself, as to whether or not I could continue this routine on a daily basis. And what is supposed to happen when it gets freezing cold in winter, what would I do then? The thought sent and even colder shiver down my already freezing body.

But as quickly as the dreaded thought sought to settle into my mind, yet another thought took its place. “Don’t worry about what might happen tomorrow, or the next day, or when wintertime sets in; just do what you need to do today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” Wow, I breathed a sigh of relief. I knew it to be true; for that is exactly what the Scriptures say in the book of Matthew 6:34. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” King James Version

Again, “Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Common English Bible (CEB) - Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Amazing! I thought. “You know you know better Virginia; start acting like it”. I am pleased to report that I’ve been doing this little routine for about two weeks; I still don’t welcome the cold water, but I’ve stopped dancing in it. I just turn slowly in the shower until I am completely covered; turn off the water and exit. Taking it one day at a time certainly helps, plus it keeps me from being counterproductive. I’m learning; and have become even more determined to continue learning these little life lessons.