Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Girlfriends

They met for lunch today, this group of friends who hadn't seen each other all summer.   And as girlfriends often do, they TALKED.  About everything from the best way to avoid mold in the rubber strip of their front-loading washing how to best communicate with their husbands. 

These ladies are not perfect - not by any means.  They've all admitted their weaknesses and faults to each other, because over the years, they've discovered that there is strength in sharing their struggles. 
And today, over lunch, they talked and laughed, and caught up on each other's lives.  
Somehow, the conversation shifted to their frustration about how their husbands dont listen to them...or if they listen, they dont remember what was said.  They all seemed to share that frustration, and strangely, that fact seemed to encourage them.  Because maybe it wasn't that they were unimportant or boring...maybe it was just a "man thing".  
And please dont misunderstand - these ladies didn't sit to have a man-bashing session!  No - these ladies were just speaking from their hearts.  They were joking and laughing with amazement at how all their husbands seemed to do all the same things! 

As she listened to her friends, one of the ladies secretly wished that her friends' husbands could be hearing the conversation.   If they could only hear their beautiful wives, talking in an environment where they knew that each word was being heard and taken to heart by the hearer - Instead of how they usually heard their wives...speaking in moments of frustration or anger.   Wouldn't they agree, that their wives were worth listening to?
One of the ladies said, "I’m home alone most of the time.  So when he’s home and I want to talk to him, he puts out his hand and says 'sssshhhh'...because he's watching TV."
"And it’s kinda hurtful, isn’t it?", said another.  "My husband comes home, sits down and watches sports.  I take the kids up for a bath, and when I come back down, he’s gone to bed."
Another said, "You know,  I asked my husband why he didn’t listen to me.  And his answer was, ‘because I know you'll tell me again.' "
“I know all my husband's coworkers' names", said another lady.  "..And I even know what each of their jobs' are. Why?  Because I listen to him and remember what he has to say because its important to him. But he cant remember what I just said to him.  What if he talked about work all the time, but I didn't remember anything he said?  I think he'd feel bad"
They were speaking somewhat lightheartedly, of course...but still, there was an ever-so-slight sadness in their voices.  
But these ladies know something. They know that the most important thing isn't to be heard...the most important thing is to be right with their Creator.
The lady who'd been secretly wishing that the husbands could hear the conversation said,  "The other day in a silly argument about nothing important, my husband told me that he'd change when I changed.  I didn’t say anything at the time, but I knew that I didn’t have the same privilege.  I know that I cant wait for him to change before I do...I have to change because I know God wants me to. "
They all agreed that it was easier said than done, but that it was the truth.
You see, after venting and sharing their struggles, this group of imperfect ladies know the conclusion to the whole matter.  That it doesn't matter.  That they need to do what is right in the eyes of God, no matter what other people do. 
Still, they all thought it might be nice if they could feel "important" or "interesting" once in a while.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Picture of the the Skatepark

The other day, we were at the skate park and saw this guy (in the video below) trying to do a front flip on his scooter.  

But it's hard.  And scary.  

He tried over and over.  At first, he used a pad to land on.  Then he'd try it without the pad.  I dont personally know how much it hurts to land hard on a wood ramp...but I imagine it probably hurts.  

He was obviously scared, which I think is normal.  But these guys...they just do stuff afraid.  I've mentioned before how they are so inspiring to watch! 

Anyway, this guy would stop, take deep breaths, bend over his scooter and hang his head, and then he'd give it a try. He'd tell his buddy to remove the pad, and then he'd try again...and fail.  It was a whole process. 

But as I stood there watching, a mental picture began to unfold in front of me. A picture of the Church.  

On one hand, I saw the person doing something he had to do himself.  Nobody could do the front flip for him.  He was scared, but he stuck to it, even though he was getting knocked around quite a bit.  

On the other hand, I saw the crowd around him.  They were shouting encouragement to him...  

"You can do it"!  

"You almost got it"

"You're almost there!"  

"Just go for it!"  

This is exactly what our Christian family should look like.  Christian brothers & sisters gathered around someone who is struggling...shouting encouragement to him.  And they weren't just giving him lip-service...they all KNEW he could do the front flip if he just kept at it!  They had faith FOR him, when all he could feel was fear, frustration and uncertainty. 

When he finally did it, the whole place erupted in cheering and everyone ran towards him and hugged him. It was Awesome!  

Rejoice with those who rejoice... (Romans 12:15)

So with this metaphor in mind...take a look at the video...

 *If you've received this by email and can't see the video, go here to see this post online.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  Hebrews 12:1