DELETED!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wow, I get my desk together and think I’m on a roll when all of a sudden, my computer goes on the fritz and my life is turned upside down!  Have you ever lost a hard drive or done like I did a couple of months ago and dropped your smart phone into the toilet?  If you have ever done either, you will immediately be able to relate to the horror I felt when I was told I needed to reformat my hard drive.

When Jim told me of my fate, I immediately thought, what do I have that I need to keep and what can I lose that won’t matter anyway.  Perhaps half of what I have on my hard drive could be lost and I would never know it was gone.  However, my mind went to the recent book I’ve been writing,  my real estate files, pictures, contacts, old emails and other important things that made me cringe at the thought of losing and having to start over.  How could I ever rebuild all of those things?  I had spent hours editing, scanning, and creating a LOT of stuff!

After thinking all of my contacts were lost forever, Jim announced he found them on an old backup and the day was saved!  Whew.  I like to live on the edge sometimes, but even that scare was too much for me!   My comment to Jim when he found them was, “Wow, I thought for a minute I had lost my entire life on that hard drive!”

Some day when God calls me home to heaven, I won’t have my hard drive or phone to take with me.  I laughingly can imagine some people standing at the pearly gates and saying, “Really?  I can’t take my cell phone?  Do you know what that means to me?”

Then I was convicted.  I can have 100’s of Facebook contacts,  followers and readers of my writings as well as my “tweets” in this life.  However, what good are they when I’m gone?  What would happen if God came today and deleted all of these people from my life, leaving only He and I.  Would I be content with that?  Sometimes in the mornings, I find myself checking Facebook before I read my devotion.  I’m often convicted that even in the small things…the innocent things…I need to put God first.

The fact is, some day everything that we have held dear in this lifetime will be gone…even those things we’ve backed-up a hundred times.  Only that which has been done for Jesus will remain.  As a matter of fact, He’s not impressed by my Facebook contacts at all.  More realistically, He put those people in my life for me to be a witness.  Have I reflected Him in my words, thoughts and actions?  If He comes through and deletes the earthly things I’ve clung to all of these years, would there be any evidence of my walk with Him?  Would lives be changed because of the time I spent talking with others about Jesus or will they just be saying, “Lori, who?”

Yes, I was traumatized by losing some data this past week.  You may have missed the fact that I didn’t blog last week…or then again…maybe you didn’t notice.  You see, the things we think are important in this life really aren’t all that important, especially to others.  I’ve heard it said, “What you did for someone in this life might not be remembered, but how you made them feel will be remembered.”

As a writer, I want to remembered as someone who affected the way you feel in order to affect your walk with God.  For as I am realizing the older I get, all of the other things of this world will quickly be deleted and what I have done for God will be the only data left.  What will your hard drive say about you when you’re gone?  Will there be anything there that will say, “He or she was a servant of God.”  Or will it just be empty…erased…deleted?

As a country that on every corner, in every restaurant and office, millions can be found huddled around a smart phone, my question would be.  Are we paying attention to the important things in life that will last for an eternity?  Or are we just allowing our data filled lives to suck us into a world that someday will be deleted?  The choice is ours.

So for today…I will remember that most of the data on my computer or phone is not all that important in the big scheme of things.  It is, for the most part, a collection of earthly stuff that when I am gone will have no meaning.  What I do with the tools such as my cell phone and computer, is what matters.  Do I use them for with eternity in mind or are they just a distraction from the things I should be doing?  Just as with anything in life, that which glorifies God will last, but what doesn’t will someday be deleted.  Gone forever.  Can you live with that?

P.S.  Don’t judge me if you see me huddled around my cell phone.  I am guilty of spending too much time on it and haven’t mastered the not wasting time on it so well yet.  God’s working on me with that one. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem!  Be blessed and don’t forget…get out there and be a blessing!

Matthew 6: 19-21 (NIV) 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

What Is Bugging You This Week?

015As I age, I have grown to appreciate bugs.  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t like them in my house.  However, they fascinate me when they’re outside.  Did you ever stop to think about how they feel being called a bug?  Did you ever look into their eyes and wonder what they’re thinking?  OK, I’m being silly.  Seriously, have you ever taken the time to look at the wonderful design of each one?

Since I love to take pictures, my photography has really given me a chance to examine bugs  up close and personal.  As I look at these, often times beautiful creatures, I am in awe of God who designed each one.  This week as I was reflecting on my latest bug picture—a dragonfly in my backyard—I knew God had a lesson in it for us this week.

As most of you know, I’m still recovering from my treatments for breast cancer.  I have been discouraged because I am still having low energy and other problems that bug me.  However, I know it is a process, so I am taking time to allow myself to heal.  As I was thinking about bugs this week, it dawned on me.  God has taken care to create some beautiful bugs on the earth.  We take them for granted and often look for ways to get them out of our lives.  They bug us and we simply want them gone.

bug

Just as bugs torment us, so do certain situations in our lives.  We often just want to stop the pain and suffering and get on with the things in life we enjoy.  We don’t want to be bugged by inconveniences of illness, job loss, financial difficulties, divorce, etc.   We simply want to rid ourselves of the problem.  However, could it be that these bugs have been perfectly designed just for us?

If we take the time and lean into God during tough times, there, we find the beauty in the situation.  We begin to see our trials from His viewpoint.  He knows exactly what it’s going to take for us to grow into the person He has created us to be.  Just as He has concerned Himself with every little detail of a bug’s design, He concerns Himself with every little detail of our lives as well.

001So this week, if you’re feeling bugged by life’s trials, relax.  Know that God knows every detail about your situation.  He doesn’t allow us to go through hard times because he wants to bug us.  Rather, He is interested in teaching us to find the beauty in the design.

Matthew 6:25-34   “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.