Friday, April 9, 2010

God's Pop Quiz!

For the past few days I have been studying the book of "Titus". Reading it's words, contemplating them in my head and praying that I can live out these words in my everyday life. On Thursday God decided to give me a little "Life" pop quiz. You see, the book of Titus (written by Paul and for his "true son in common faith", Titus) gives us instructions on how to live our lives, in the church and outside of the church. He instructs us to not be overbearing, not quick-tempered, but to be hospitable, self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He goes on and instructs us to be mentors to the young, to show integrity and to be fully trusted.

On Thursday I failed God's pop quiz. Dreadfully failed it with a big fat "F" as a parent.

Thursday started out with the sun shining and the wind not blowing at 50 miles per hour. As I gazed out our front picture window I thanked God for what looked like a beautiful day ahead of me. I showered, did my hair, make-up and put on a freshly pressed blouse. I have to admit that when I looked in the mirror I was very happy with what I saw. I felt great! And to top it off, I had a hair appointment that I was looking forward to going to. I hadn't seen my "real" beautician in quite sometime and was in desperate need of a good cut. I had hurriedly gone to a less expensive establishment a couple of times and had even on one of those occasions got the bright or not so bright idea to get bangs. I now realize I was hormonal at the time and was not of sound mind. My "real" beautician would have realized that.

My husband had already left to attend an all day conference and my daughter had left for her morning class. Our son was lazily lying in bed as I said goodbye, grabbed my purse and bag and headed to my van. When I opened the door the sound of beeping started to go off and I noticed that the spare key had been left in the ignition. My son the previous night had pulled the van into the garage for me. He has his permit and is always looking for a chance to drive one of the vehicles. I took out the spare, put in my key and turned the ignition. Nothing. Only the click, click noise of a van that did not want to start. And then I saw it. The inside lights had been left on all night. At this point I have to admit I could feel the temperature rising within me. I tried again and nothing. I got out of the van, stomped up the stairs and stood in the doorway of my son's room. This is where I failed. Instead of having self-control, staying calm and turning this into a learning experience as a mentor to a young person, I yelled. "You left the key in the ignition and the lights on and now my van won't start". "What were you thinking?". How am I going to get to work?" And most importantly, "How am I going to get to my hair appointment?" I stomped down the stairs called my husband but he didn't pick up. I yelled the same questions again to no one in particular, grabbed my stuff and headed out the front door. I was walking to work. Thankfully we only live 6 blocks away. After 2 blocks I looked down to notice I had on my black dress shoes and my feet were already starting to hurt. I was not turning back. I kept going, thinking the walk would give me time to calm down. It didn't. By the time I got to work, I was sweating, my hair had fallen and my feet hurt! It was not one of my finer moments.

An hour later my daughter called and offered to let me borrow her car in the afternoon for my hair appointment. Relieved I wouldn't miss my appointment I accepted her offer. But as the day went on, I felt increasingly terrible for the way I handled the situation. Here I had been studying the Word and praying to live it out and I failed at the first opportunity to do it. I could have shown my son how to react in a godly way, but I chose to let my emotions take over and turned into the mom I work very hard not to be. The "freak out", "jump to conclusions", "hot tempered" awful mom.

When I arrived home later, I apologized to my son and he apologized for leaving the lights on and he and his dad left to go purchase a new battery. All was well and yet God's words kept coming back to me. God had given me a test and although I failed, I learned a lot too. I learned that although I am not perfect, God forgives me and I am a work in progress. I learned that just because I failed this time, I will hopefully not react in the same way the next time. I learned that my son loves me and a dead battery only stops your car from going, not your life.


Friday, April 2, 2010

How did we get here?

Today is Good Friday. How did we get here? Wasn't it just yesterday we were celebrating the birth of our King? The snow was blowing and the wind was howling and we were unwrapping Christmas gifts and eating cookies and drinking hot cocoa. How did we get here? The days dragged on through January with cold winter nights and icy roads. We huddled under quilts and blankets and watched the snow fly. How did we get here? February brought promise with Ash Wednesday and Lent began. In March we started to feel the warmth of the sun and we started to prepare for the arrival once again for the King, only this time he was riding on a donkey alone while people spread palm branches and coats in front of him. How did we get here? We gathered last evening for our Kings last supper. We listened, prayed and ate of the bread and drank of the wine. We sang of what was going to happen. And today came. We woke this morning to cloudy skies and drops of rain but by midday the sun came out and the wind began to blow. And today came. This evening we will gather to sing the song "Were You There?" and we will pray. Tears will appear in some of our eyes as we think of our King on the cross. Beaten and hung with nails in his wrists and nails in his feet. Nailed to a cross with a crown of thorns on his head. Blood soaked and pierced with a sword in his side. And today came. Today came with a promise. A promise of a new day. A day that will be filled with joy and the sounds of trumpets blowing. A day that will be filled with the promise of love and forgiveness to all of the broken. And today came so that we may have the gift of eternal life with our King.

"Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the scripture record might also be complete, then said, "I'm thirsty." A jug of sour wine was standing by. Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, "It's done...complete." Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit." (John 19:28-30 The Message).