Wednesday, May 14, 2014
I've mentioned before that I am not, by personality, a runner.
Yes. I run.
But only because it's the quickest and most effective way for me to be able to stay healthy.
(Note: "stay healthy" can also be translated as "eat waffle fries drenched in Chick-Fil-A sauce and Shake's wedding cake concretes.")
When I do "hit the pavement" I wear minimalist shoes. These are shoes that don't offer support, but have a tough layer to protect my feet from the pointy things of life.
Because you see, I've learned about these pointy things in life.
I tend to go barefoot whenever possible. I just prefer it.
(Not in public though…I actually find that kind of gross. Especially in places where I'm expected to sit on the areas where people's stinky bare feet have been all curled up. Ewww.)
When at home I shed the shoes and let the toes hang out.
This is fine….until one encounters some of life's little pointy gifts.
Gifts such as legos,
pieces of a son's "fool's gold" collection,
cockle burrs fallen off of hunting clothes,
barbie's high heels,
the metal candlestick from the game Clue….
or really old dried-up pieces of play dough.
Those things….even to my thick-soled old feet….sinkin' hurt.
They make me jump.
Perhaps even give a little gentle shout.
Maybe even cause me to say something that makes me very happy my angels are at school.
Usually I can walk over most anything without noticing it….because my feet have become toughened and immune to most of the things that "tender-feet" can't handle.
But there are still those lovely "surprises" that make me stand up straight and take serious notice.
(Who knew this weirdly compelling story about my feet was about to become an allegory for life experiences?
Well…probably anyone who has read anything I've written!)
As we go through a "normal" day, week, month we experience all kinds of things.
The majority of these things barely register on our awareness indicators.
(When I run, I don't notice the flat gravel underneath my thin-soled shoes.)
We make standard replies, act reflexively, and continue on our pre-planned path.
Other things might make us pause for a moment.
Something nudges us out of our routine and we have to regroup a little bit.
(If I step on a irregular shaped rock my foot might slip…but it doesn't cause much pain.)
Our eyes are opened to something new, and we have to consider how to respond.
Then come the moments that stop us dead in our tracks.
Something is brought to our awareness that resonates and shakes every bone in our body.
(I step on a sharp piece of metal or glass that pierces through my flimsy shoe.)
We are not the same person we were before that occurred.
In other words…the awareness indicator just went off the dial.
These "things" could come as emails.
Donation requests on Facebook..
Conversations with the grocery store clerk…
You name it. Any ordinary thing that you've probably been exposed to a GA-BILLION times and never been "wowed"…..until this one time.
And this one time….
There have been times that things have simply "struck" me. Pulled at my heart. Made me stop in my tracks
These are the things, or should I say "realizations" or "new awarenesses", that just won't go away.
You simply can't forget them or put them out of your mind.
Oh…you may try to refocus your thoughts….but that won't help anymore than me trying to convince myself I can run on tiptoe and ignore the spiky thing hanging out of the bottom of my shoe.
And I just have to think...that when those "things" keep coming to mind over and over and over and over again…
Maybe it's just God saying "PAY ATTENTION TO THIS!"
If you see a news story about a fundraiser for a sick kiddo it will probably pull at your heart strings.
Maybe you'll think about it when sitting down to dinner with your healthy children.
You might even pray about it before bed.
Perhaps you'll even go to the web site and donate the next day.
But…chances are….your memory of that story will grow dim.
In a few months you may casually wonder how that family is doing….but it won't be a huge presence in your life.
Then you see another news story about refugees who have no where to go.
Again, it pulls at your heart strings.
Again, you think, pray, and possibly even donate.
But…the memory of that story doesn't go dim.
You don't stop thinking of it.
It is front and center in your mind and heart.
Days later, weeks later, lots-o-time later. And then you start hearing other stories about these refugees.
You see things on the news, or overhear people talking about them, or get a random pop-up on your Facebook screen about the plight.
Your Bible reading takes you to verses that obviously apply to the situation.
The memory is not growing dimmer….and you can't "un-know" the seriousness of the situation.
It has been put in front of you not as a coincidence…
Not as a burden...
Not as an opportunity…
But as a purpose.
Fact: God opens our eyes to things.
Sometimes they are brief little openings….like fluttering eyes when you're half-dreaming.
Other times though?
It's that sit-straight-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-with-your-eyes-wide-opened-and-your-heart-pounding-out-of-your-chest kind of feeling.
Know what that THING is???
That's your purpose.
Don't try to forget about it.
Well…go on and try….but He won't let you.
What the heck are you (am I ) supposed to do about the worldwide plight of refugees??
(or whatever situation put in front of you)
I don't know.
But He does.
"…Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
God's put a serious sense of purpose on your heart.
Wish I had a good pat answer for that one.
BOY do I.
Truth is…..I don't know.
But I DO know…that God knows.
He has something He wants you to do.
Something He planned out for you waaaaaay before you were even a sparkle in someone's eye.
And He will show you what it is you're supposed to do in response to that gripping longing and desire in your heart.
(By the way….the Christian-ese word for that feeling is "conviction".)
So how do you figure out what to do?
I learned a great little "ABC's" while teaching my Sunday school class.
A: Ask God. Pray.
B: Biblical agreement. Does it line up with scripture?
C: Counsel. Ask advice from wise people in your life.
D: Doors. Are they opening or shutting?
E: Extraordinary events. It probably is NOT going to be something you can do without God's help.
Remember….His timing really is better than ours.
So we wait.
We remember our ABC(DE)'s.
And we keep on running (after bandaging and proper rest) so that we're ready and trained-up when the true task is revealed.
And we have dessert.
Because we did go for a run.