Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Complexities of Life

Better to love God and die unknown than to love the world and be a hero; better to be content with poverty than to die a slave to wealth; better to have taken some risks and lost than to have done nothing and succeeded at it. -Erwin W. Lutzer

Arriving back in Michigan gave me space to stretch. Our once shrinky-dink house is noticeably bigger. Being away I learned that I am particularly glad that our forks don't crumple when we try to cut our meat. I have a renewed appreciation for the things of beauty in our home. The smoky brown pots in our Houston condo repulsed my artistic temperament. Though I'd never claim to be a gifted cook, even my better meals looked so unappetizing. And boy, do I love that we don't have shared walls where you can hear the neighbor tell her suite mate that the hot water for the shower is gone AGAIN. And more importantly, that the neighbors can't hear Emily shriek when fast-fingered Jane steals her sister's cookie. Your fear rises that the four episodes in the last half hour will prompt some well-intentioned soul to call CPS. When you turn down the covers in the evening and CPS has still not pounded on the door, you exhale and mentally thank God that he answered your prayer to make the landlord's ears deaf. In Nashville we couldn't hang hangers straight in the closet with the door closed; the next month the Texas-size walk-in-closets doubled our square footage. Instead of a jumble of suitcases we also had two dressers. And one of them had four drawers, one for each child. (What comes to mind is the Japanese men in Seinfeld sleeping in the ponderous dresser in Kramer's apartment.) This one though spacious, was only suitable for their clothes. I was thankful nonetheless.

The trip made me think how spoiled I am. I have grown accustom to a certain standard of living and have no desire to downsize our home or sacrifice our conveniences. I know that somewhere the standard has to stop, otherwise, I fear I could become a slave of my possessions. But there is no Biblical guideline that says you now have two cows, ten earthen jugs, a three room house so don't acquire anything else. Rather we know God fills the godly man's house with rare and beautiful treasures. And God is a God of Abundance, and he always gives us more than we deserve. I am still working on being faithful with what I have been entrusted. I am somewhat scared to be hurdled into another stage of life.

When we returned home, my heart became anxious. Where are we suppose to be for the future?

While away, despite the unexpected stress, we loved the mild winter, visiting with friends and family and the chance to explore options for next year. Ben took four interviews and it has stimulated a lot of thought. If only God's calling was unmistakable?

Last night at church I was very refreshed when the pastor was going through Ephesians 1:15-23. I was reminded how to pray. I must pray for spiritual perception, first and foremost so I might know Him better and the rest follows. Scripture is beautifully simple. I have been so burdened with complexities that weren't mine to carry. My job is to know God. The difficult part to that is it will take me the rest of my life. Time is of no essence to the Eternal. He who planned the world has already planned our future.

Thursday, April 10, 2008