Perspective

Thursday morning I stepped out of my car into the sweltering heat. My glasses fogged as I walked into the office building where I work. Without effort, my thoughts headed down a well-worn path.  I rehearsed the why’s of my current location, the what’s of nature I’d rather be surrounded with, and the how’s of potential change. But the when is not now and the where isn’t settled, so I redirected myself to my work, grumbling a bit and enduring on.

Saturday afternoon I slid into the driver’s seat of my car – literally – slid – onto the seat as my legs were so sweaty the usual struggle of sticking was long past. My face was beat red from the couple of hours I’d spent walking on the concrete in the sun and heat surrounded by the buildings of downtown.

And what was that I felt?gratitude?

I was thankful for the option of turning on the air conditioner, blocking out the sun with a visor, and getting ice out of my freezer at home anytime I wanted to. It was hot, at least as hot as Thursday. But spending a couple of hours serving others who aren’t as fortunate as I am, made all the difference in my heart.  I’m sure the people we met appreciated the ice-cream sandwiches and cold water we shared. But interestingly, none of them were grumbling about the weather. And once again my heart told me it is true: It is more blessed to give than to receive.

will-work-for-food1

May you find the blessings in your own life as well no matter your situation.

 

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My Shadow

I had a shadow at work the other day.  No, we didn’t change the lighting and there wasn’t a hole in the roof.  I had someone “tagging along” behind me to see what life as a podiatrist is like.  Isaac contacted me to ask if he could come and see.  He came and saw.  And we talked.

In the course of the day we discovered we are both Christians.  So we talked about how being a Christian changes how you do what you do, whatever it is that you do.  And we talked about loving people and serving them.  And we talked about priorities that might impact one’s decisions of what to do in life and where one might live.  And he said, “I know one thing.  I’m not going to live back there!” – referring to his home town.  I just smiled.  I’ve said similar things.  “I’ll go anywhere but there!” 

While Jeff was fighting cancer, I found the need to be more closely connected to other people.  The internal pain drove me to seek release.  My girlfriends became very important.  I needed a couple of people there for me with whom I could process my thoughts.  Sheila was often that person.  I’d call her up and we’d chat or we’d go to lunch or meet somewhere for a half hour of conversation.  I remember one particularly hot, sunny day the summer of 2009.  We met at the trendy juice shop near my house.  We sat outside on the wire-mesh chairs, sipping tea under the big umbrella with a slight breeze blowing in our faces.  As I bemoaned the place I found myself, she imparted words of wisdom.  “Guess what, Honey,” she said.  She always tries to sweeten the taste of some bad news with “honey”.  She continued on, “You are not in charge.”  We talked it over and were in agreement.  I needed to have a shirt made that said, “I am SO not in charge!” just in case I had amnesia one day and forgot.

I thought about telling that to my shadow.  But decided he could learn the hard way like the rest of us.  Let him dream for now.  Let him plan.  Life will teach him soon enough.  Someday he’ll find out… he’s not in charge.

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.”  Proverbs 16:9 NLT

Please Pass the Salt

I was struggling….struggling with life.  I wasn’t so sure about where I was at and what I was doing.  I went to God about it and decided rather than worry about it, I would choose to show His love to those around me where I was and with what I was doing.  Everyday, every where, all day long, where ever I went I would pray, “Dear God, help me to show Your love to somebody who needs it.”  Walked into Wal-mart, “Dear God, help me to show Your love to somebody who needs it.”  Walked into the grocery store, “Dear God, help me to….”  ALL THE TIME.  OVER AND OVER.

After about a week I wasn’t struggling quite so much.  I was thinking about other people.  And then one day shortly after that, while casting someone for orthotics, the patient said, “You have such a tender kindness about you.”  I was so glad she was laying on her stomach looking the other way.  I knew she would not understand the tears of joy in my eyes.  I was being His salt…and He was so generous as to validate my efforts.

I believe God was giving me enough experience to “hang on” when the real testing times arrived.  I don’t always get the validation.  Sometimes I just have to walk by faith and keep on walking.  And I know others don’t always get the validation.   And some people may never get that validation.  Getting the validation or not does not mean we are more or less His salt.  I trust He will prepare us for our future that He knows is coming and will not test us beyond that which we can withstand.  I also believe that all things are possible through Christ.  He can empower us for our life if we just keep walking the walk and talking with Him.  And I believe He fulfills our every need.  If you need validation today, ask Him for it, then open your eyes believing He will provide.