I Need a Laxative!

flooded yard croppedDid you ever notice the older you get, the more free you are to talk about things like needing a laxative?  I feel that by this point, if you have followed my blog for any amount of time, you know everything about me anyway, so why not?  The truth is, I don’t need just any ordinary laxative.  I need a blogger’s laxative!  The kind that unbinds my thoughts in my head and allows them to spill out more regularly! I apologize if you’ve missed my posts the last couple of weeks.  I do hope you get my humor enough to appreciate it and not judge me.  In the meantime, please excuse my irregularity.

The truth is, I’m always looking for the next God lesson in my life every day.  We drove past this house on our way home from church during some recent flooding.  I made Jim pull over so I could take a picture.  When I got home and looked at what I had taken, I was excited to see a beautiful photo with blue skies reflecting in the flooded front yard.  Even though I got a great shot, the purpose of taking it was really to get a picture of the ducks swimming around, as though they had just discovered a new pond all for themselves!  You can barely see them near the fence!

I am amused because it seems like if there is a new puddle somewhere, a duck will find it.  The ducks were swimming around, probably making plans in duck speak as to where to build their nest this year around this new body of water no one else had discovered yet.  However, if they stick around for any amount of time, they will quickly realize this pond will not sustain them.  It only looks like a pond.  It’s not really a pond. There are not going to be any fish for breakfast or algae for dinner under the beautifully deceptive, reflective body of water.  It is simply a large mud puddle.

I started thinking about that.  How many times have I been distracted by things that look like they’re the real thing only to find out I had once again been lead astray?  I remember one time reading a book that I felt had a great Christian message only to find in the last three paragraphs, it was a total deception!  I was so upset!  I had spent precious hours combing through its pages expecting a happy message in the end only to find disappointment and frustration.

Is there something in your life that is keeping you from the truth?  How many times have you told God, “I’m going to do it right this time, Lord,” only to be drawn off the path by the world’s deceptions?  If you think God has led you somewhere, take a look from all angles.  Don’t just look at it on the surface and settle for something that is not real.  God will lead you to the Living Waters, if you stay focused, get into His Word and seek his direction for your life.

So this week, may God show you the way to finding your pond full of life and nourishment for your soul so that your life might reflect the One that created it just for you!

Proverbs 27:19 As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.

Romans 12:2 (NIV) Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Slow Down, Seek God, Share His Goodness, Trust

I am having a great time watching all of the nature in my yard this year.  As you all may remember, there were robins early this spring that had babies right outside my office window, allowing me a bird’s eye view of their daily lives.  Once they left, I decided to get a hummingbird feeder.  It totally fascinates me to watch such tiny creatures flit around in their world.  After some time of just ants and wasps eating the nectar I lovingly prepared for the hummingbirds, they finally started coming!

These birds are fascinating.  They travel so quickly that you have to really pay attention to get to actually see one in detail.  Even though there is always plenty to go around, if one is on the feeder, another may be seen dive-bombing it so that they can come get a drink!  Jim was able to get a few photos a couple of weeks ago of them at the feeder.  It’s nice that he gets excited about the birds too.  I think I’ve figured out that if the animals are on the outside of the house he likes them way better!

That’s all out the front window.  As I sit on the back side of our house in my office from day-to-day, I’ve been getting a different show.  Last week a little bird started coming up to Lucy’s (the robin) old nest and meticulously taking pieces of grass off of it.  I watched as it returned several times, plucking a piece off the nest and flying away.  I thought he or she must be rushing off to build their own nest somewhere unknown to me.  It seemed to be a little like cheating to take from someone else’s masterpiece rather than finding its own; but nonetheless, it was being resourceful!

After several times of taking a piece here and there, the little bird jumped into the nest and wiggled her belly around as though trying it out for size.  She was much smaller though and could barely see over the edge!When Lucy was building that nest, she did the same thing to mold it to her belly and ensure the fit was just right.  I had to laugh because I thought this poor little bird had been building her nest all day but was tired.  She was probably thinking, “Maybe instead of dismantling the nest already built, maybe she could make it work to fit her and she wouldn’t have to work so hard reinventing the wheel so to speak.”  A little later, she came back with two more birds to show them what she was thinking.  I don’t think they agreed though and soon she was back to plucking pieces from the nest once again.

I am amused at the different personalities of the different birds.  The hummingbird has way more energy and enthusiasm for life than one can fathom while the wren appeared to be looking for an easy way out.  The hummingbird flits from one flower to flower to flower and then to a feeder and buzzzzz, it’s off again all within about fifteen seconds!  Unlike the hummingbird that clears everyone out of the way so they can eat, the wren appeared to enjoy her friends coming alongside and hearing their opinions.

Do these birds bring any humans to mind that you might know?  I’m reminded of the way that we often seek God in our lives while watching these creatures outside my windows.  The hummingbird is trying a little flower here, another over there.  Eventually, it lands on the feeder where it finally relaxes a bit and sucks in the refreshing nutrients prepared especially for it.  The wren on the other hand, appeared to have to have peer approval for everything and was looking for an easier way without all of the dedication and sacrifice required to get to the final reward.  Can you imagine how history might be rewritten if Noah or even Jesus thought this way?

Many of us flit from one thing to another too don’t we?  I’ve seen some who change churches as often as they do underwear.  They get all excited about a program at one church and then before they finish it to completion, something else even more inviting catches their eye and they’re off in another direction.  In the process, there is never really one place they stop and rejuvenate—always on the go, never firmly planted, never really a part of anything but hold a little piece of everything.  No one to ever hold them truly accountable.

On the other hand, there are some who have actually become so comfortable with where they are at, if anyone else comes to try to join them, they are closed off and literally chase them off unwilling to share what God has done for them.  Or perhaps you know some like the wren who want to go behind those who have worked hard and just live off what others have left behind…never rising above mediocrity in their spiritual walks with God.  These types usually seek man and his advice over what God tells them because they’ve never really put the work into developing a trusting relationship with God on their own.  They attend church every Sunday but don’t read their Bible in between and spend time independently in prayer. They don’t really hear God because all of the other voices they are consulting confuse their thinking and perception.

Being a Christian requires us to be firmly planted in our faith.  We can’t be a Christian because our parents were or because we hang out with others who are.  We need to put the hard work into building a nest of faith for ourselves so to speak.  It’s nice to learn from others who have gone before us, discover what worked for them; but ultimately, our relationship with God is personal.  It’s unique between us individually and Him.

It’s OK to flit from thing to thing while you are searching for that relationship with God as long as once you find Him, you stay put and allow Him to feed you the Living Waters that only He can provide.  As a mature Christian, He will ask you to be generous in sharing God’s Goodness you have found in Him.  He doesn’t want us sitting at the feeder getting fat so to speak after we’ve been filled.  He wants us to share what we know to be life-giving and fully satisfying to our soul.  No longer do we need to consult everyone we know before stepping out when God asks us to do something.  If we are truly following God’s leading, He will give us the energy, supplies and know-how to accomplish any task He puts before us.  Although sometimes it is helpful to hear wisdom from Godly friends, in the end we need to listen for God alone.

Are you a hummingbird or wren at heart?  Did some of my words cause you to stop and reflect on the path your Christian walk is taking?  Maybe life for you just needs to slow down a bit, taking time to sip from the cup of that which only God can give.  Perhaps God is saying, “Woooah, wait a minute!  You don’t need ten opinions to whether you should do what you know I am calling you to do!  Just follow Me and trust that you will have everything you need!”  For you see, when we trust and work hard in our relationships, we are rewarded in unimaginable ways.  No one can do it for you though…it’s all up to you.

Ephesians 3:14-19 (NKJV)  For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,  that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—  to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.