Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Experiences of the Changing Times

Oh, how times have changed...
As children we were taught what to do during a hurricane and tornado, the importance of ‘stop, drop and roll’ even taking shelter during a thunderstorm. Now we have to prepare ourselves and children for a ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ while learning how to protect ourselves from cannibalistic, drug-addicted individuals.  Not to mention the need to guard kids from stressed-out parents, willing to slaughter their children in an effort of relief or ‘cray’ kids who resort to murdering their parents in an effort to rid themselves of rules.  So often, when stories like these are heard we automatically cringe and shake our heads, yet never ‘seriously’ consider the state of devastation our world is in.  It is easy to shudder at the thought of such mindless acts, and then continue on with our lives while feeling we are oblivious to the touch of such antics.  But what force field do you have in place that protects you?  What prevents this deviant behavior from knocking at your door?  And if it were to visit you what would you do?  To whom would you call?  

Many have said, “Experience is a great teacher” and I believe this to be true.  We can learn not only from our own experiences but from the experiences of others.  Personally, I think the latter is less painful J  However, in life, hands on experience can sometimes be the greatest teacher.  Could it be, that more often than not, we miss the lessons that experience is trying to teach us, thus we end up with people who lose their bearings along with their grip on life, resorting to acts which boggle the minds of many?  Or could it be that hardship has placed people in a place where they feel hope cannot be found?  Moreover, do they think there is no one who understands their despair and is capable of guiding them in the right direction?  

Have we as a society become so desensitized to one another that we are clueless when one among us is silently crying?  Are we so engrossed with ourselves that we cannot see past our bubble to help another who is suffocating in their own?  Or is it that we simply don’t know where help can be found?  
I will not begin to address all of these questions in this particular blog, as it could go on and on, but I will say this - 

When life overwhelmed me and I found myself letting go of the ‘end of my rope’ my cry for help did not fall upon deaf ears.  When the pain of loss seemed to overtake me and the ‘whys’ of certain situations repeatedly escaped my lips there IS one who heard me.  “Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.” Isaiah 59:1 (NLT)  My cries did not bounce off the walls of the oblivion, rather reached the ears of a God who cares for me and is always ready to come to my rescue.  “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (NLT) Promises like these gave me hope when I felt hopeless.  Please know, there is no reason for me (OR YOU) to feel alone and as if no one cares because “…be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 (NLT) 

Today, know this à God is with you.  God loves you.  God wants His best for you.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  He wants to be the center of your joy. 
If experience is a great teacher, experience shows that eating the face of another person gets you shot and killed, drowning your kids gets you locked up and taking drugs to lessen the pain of life only sends you chasing a feeling of repression you will never have again; while seeking the face of a God who loves unconditionally brings a joy, thinking on His goodness gives a peace that surpasses all understanding and patterning your existence after Christ brings eternal life.

Your hope is not in what you have lost, it is in what remains, which you can find in Christ. 
There is hope, 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

To Amend...

We all want to be winners but how do we handle it when the game does not end in our favor and instead of a victory we are faced with defeat? I am reminded of a time I watched some kids play a game. Both teams were serious about winning, as this was for the championship. These children hustled and gave it all they had but in the end someone had to lose. The team that would succumb to defeat had hurt written all over their faces and tears in their eyes, yet never did they yell, scream at or belittle the other team. Matter-of-fact each CHILD lined up and shook the hand of each member of their opposing team and congratulated them on a job well done, with a smile. These kids, although they were hurting, understood their anger would be misplaced if they took it out on the winning team, as it would not change the result. Sometimes I look at children and their innocence and I am reminded of the lessons we as adults could learn from them.

Which brings me to the fact that I did want to concede to the political tirades of ‘Amendment One’ yet, here goes…

In life there are moments of triumph and moments of disappointment.  While expressing one’s agitation for a defeat is normal, there is a vast difference between the sadness of an unwanted loss and the brutal attack of those who won.  No one wants to lose but every game (and election) has one – a winner and a loser.  When each person voted, whether for or against the Amendment, they knew (or should have known) the amendment would pass or not.  With that being said, how did we get to the point where we are ridiculing one another for their choice when exercising their civic duty?  The comments I have heard, the posts I have read, and the tweets that have been sent are appalling.  Whether you are happy with the results or not there is still so much work to do. Demeaning others never compliments growth, nor does it foster an environment for change; however, working together in love for the common good of ALL people garnishes results (you can quote me on that!). 

Many have expressed that ‘Amendment One’ is hurtful to the children of North Carolina; well I have a few questions...
What can you do to aid in changing things for these children?
How are your anger and/or cynicism going to help the children?
Do you not think children suffer to a degree when born out of wedlock?
Yes, I am sure you may think these questions are debatable and while you are debating, hollering your opinions, creating meaningless graphics that insult others, these children are waiting…