Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saying Just the Right Thing

Ever felt tongue-tied? Who of us hasn't? There are situations in life when the last thing we want to do is make things worse for the person suffering. I'm guessing that many a visitation line at funeral homes are filled with people rehearsing just the right thing to say once they approach the family members. Then, as they do make that initial eye contact, all words are lost and the stumbling begins. It's a tough time for the mourners as well as the family of the loved one that has passed on; just one of many awkward situations when we don't want our words to let us down.

A passage read today from Matthew deals specifically with Jesus' words for the disciples to encourage them on the overwhelming task they have been given. He says, "When you are arrested, don't worry about what to say in your defense, because you will be given the right words at the right time. For it won't be you doing the talking--it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." (10:19-20)

Even though we may not find ourselves in this extreme type of situation as the disciples found themselves in on a regular basis (what now is still shunned by some--a proclamation of Christ--was cause for arrest in those days since it caused civil disturbances as well as going against the beliefs of those days), we still find our words being "arrested" in the form of just not coming to us as we'd like when we're trying out best to assure, to show love, or to calm those amongst us. The problem is that we depend solely upon ourselves or the latest "self help" gibberish to do the job. It doesn't.

The simple solution to to ask God through His son Jesus for the right words...and then have FAITH that this will happen. And it will. He doesn't let us down. Just be sure to let go completely and let God be in all thoughts, words, and deeds to help others.

Many times the complexities we create for ourselves are quite simple when we clear out all the human foibles and ego. Take a deep breath, say a prayer, and bask in the comfort that faith provides. You will come up with the right thing to say to whomever, whenever. Guaranteed.

Blessings to All.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Lovely and Practical Proverb to Use Everyday

In my daily meditations earlier today, I came across Proverbs 3:5-6. It reads, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend upon your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths."

What a wondrous thought...what a wondrous message of peace to us. We continually try to go it alone and, as a result, we continually fail, make mistakes, say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing. What a relief to know that we aren't failures if we don't "depend on our own understanding". It's not only okay but commanded of us to just let go and trust the Lord.

If we "seek His will in all we do" we have the guarantee that "He will direct our paths". This all sounds so simple to do; however, being the fallible and proud humans we are, it's anything but easy. We have that little annoying voice in us that we have to be right, we have to be independent, we have to be superior. We're just funny that way.

As I grow older, the need to be right, to be independent, the need to be superior fades. The idea of being able to be totally dependent upon our loving God is welcomed indeed.

We learn to trust from those we love; and who loves us more than God? So, let's relax, let's let go, and let's follow the simple yet profound wisdom of the proverb.

God's blessings to you.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Let's Not Forget ALL of Christmas

Since Christmas decorations tend to appear in people's homes these days around Thanksgiving (or before), I hear many comments of relief when Christmas "finally" arrives and these folks can take down all the decor the day or two after December 25. Since this phenomena hasn't always been commonplace in our culture, I'm guessing that commercialism has had something to do with this...just guessing.

The song The Twelve Days of Christmas is still heard during the commercial "Christmas season" on the radio,  in the malls, and in the halls, but I tend to think that few know its actual meaning. The Twelve Days of Christmas actually start of December 25...Christmas itself starts on December 25. Up until that point is Advent--the time of anticipation. From December 25 through January 6 are the twelve days of Christmas. And today, January 6, is a very important date to all is Epiphany. The glorious day when, according to our faith, three very wise men who after extensively studying the location of a unique star that appeared in the heavens, found its reason--the Christ child and the Holy family. What a wondrous discovery.

In any country that is ruled by a principality, the birth of a future King is an event of epic proportion. This event was no less momentous, albeit more complex. Who was this family? How could this newborn be considered a King? Yet those who believed the world of God knew this was a King indeed. The prophets had spoken of this event for generations. It was convincing enough that Pharaoh himself sent out a decree that, after the wise men didn't return to report on this momentous event, to kill all male children throughout the land ages 2 and under in keeping within the time of the first appearance of the glorious "new" star. Yes, an event of epic proportion.

This special day, January 6, is seldom recognized by anyone outside the Church anymore. I invite you to bring it back into your home. Maybe next year don't get in as much hurry to bring about Christmas, but enjoy the beauty of Advent, the miracle of Christmas, and the glory of Epiphany.

Blessings to you.