02 March 2011

Ouch! Did I Write That?

I am trying desperately to get rid of things. I am trying to make my life more manageable. I didn't expect to be compromised with a bad neck and back so early into my adventures as a retired person. It's an aggravating experience because it magnifies my flaws. I should have done this decades ago. Somehow I have been too occupied with procrastination and/or attaching emotional significance to things to be able to see them for what they are... dust collectors.

Time brings change. I used to work for a Christian college and had a ministry where students came over for dinner and a night away from the dorms. I was the luckiest woman in the world to have these young folks over. Wait, I don't believe in luck. I was blessed. I am learning to be careful how I say things. I fail miserably but this is an easy goof to make and to fix. It wasn't luck but providence that brought these young people into my life. Anyway, besides watching ER and other favorite television programs there were lots of movies to see. I got into the habit of buying new release DVDs and having them on hand. For a while I had hundreds. I have culled the herd a few times, but the truth is I haven't watched one of the DVDs that I have hung onto in over a year. I vacillate between keeping them and getting rid of them. Having Netflix makes the decision even more difficult. Time has changed my perspective and my need for DVDs.

I really do cherish the time I had with the students. It is an amazing treat to see who they have become and how their walks with God have progressed. I appreciate that I am getting to see some of those student friends become husbands and wives, and moms and dads. It is rewarding to see the college romances bloom into marriages of commitment. I admire strong, resilient relationships founded in the principles and foundations of God's Word. It is a marvelous thing to behold.

While I was cleaning I found the outline of a talk I gave to the women of the college. The topic was "Healthy Relationships." Have you ever found something you penned years ago and upon seeing it for the first time in years, sat down to read it immediately? It's almost like receiving a letter from someone you haven't heard from in years....or like getting a collections notice. It can go either way. For me, it was a moment of conviction. God coming to collect on something I have put in writing and haven't lived up to myself. Some of these bullet points caught my eye:

-Why all this talk about healthy relationships? Galatians 5:13-26.
-God created us to be relational; first with Him and then with other people.
-Outside of Himself, relationships are the greatest tool God uses to sanctify and refine us.
-The 50/50 myth is a lie, You have 100% responsibility for your interaction with others.

Then I came to some notes I had written and reading them pierced my heart like shots fired from a high powered conviction gun. I told the young women that God must be their primary relationship. Knowing how easy it is to blow off 'devotions' when you're a busy college student I had written this down:
" Quit starving your soul. If you cannot spend 15 minutes a day with the One who loves you perfectly, how do you expect to have healthy relationships with sinful people?"

Ouch. I didn't make it to church or bible study this week. I haven't spent time in the Scriptures nor have I made prayer a priority. I hate it when I shoot myself with my own words. It proves I know better. So, if God can use the dust collectors in my house to convict me, what do you think He would accomplish with a diet of prayer and truth?

James 3:1 Let not many {of you} become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment.

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

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