Monday, February 21, 2011

Disobedience Hurts

We all know the scenario...alarm goes off at some ungodly hour of the morning, in a groggy state you reach over and hit snooze...again...and again...and again...until finally you rouse to some level of consciousness that reminds you there was a reason your alarm went off when it did. You finally stumble out of bed and wearily begin the day.

That was my morning. And boy was I mad. Not at my alarm. Not at my bed for being so darn comfortable I never want to leave it. I was mad at myself. Plain and simple. I had my morning all divided up: 30 minutes with God, 30 minutes to shower and get ready, 30 minutes to eat and get out the door. I don't like to rush in the morning, so the 30 minutes schedule works quite well. Unless you get up 30 minutes late. I had to skimp on something. I couldn't bring myself to completely cut out any of the three activities (let's face it, it would take some serious security to step out of the house and work a full day with no makeup). So if nothing was removed from the schedule, how would I get ready on time? I ended up shortening all three. It was the best solution I could come up with in my sleepy state, but it made me sad. I did get everything done, but I had to rush. And I skimped on my time with God. That was the most saddening. It doesn't matter what I might say to Him, my actions speak clear as I reach over and hit snooze for the third time. And I think really? I would really choose an extra 5 minutes of sleep over spending that time resting in the presence of my God? One who satisfies all desires, who has plans to prosper me, the One who created the mountains and yet formed every detail of my being. This morning I chose sleep over all that. And I was so sad. I couldn't shake it for some time. I know He is also a God of mercy and grace, a God who redeems me every day, but I let Him down - I let myself down. And like a child who disobeys his parents, I was hurt by the disobedience. No, God didn't ground me. He didn't send any lightening bolts either. But I missed out on time with Him. I was the one who suffered for my own actions. Disobedience pulls me away from Him, the opposite direction of where I want to go. So I was left to spend the rest of the day changing my trajectory. Although my initial actions, before I even rolled out of bed, didn't put Him first, I had the opportunity to set it right. At some point I had to stop being mad at myself and move on.

You can bet I'll be faced with the same dilemma tomorrow. Satan (and pretty much everyone else) knows I'm not a morning person. He's very aware that the less time I spend with my Father, the more likely I am to listen to his lies. So it's not just about that extra 30 minutes of sleep. That decision sets the spiritual tone for the day. It's a small action that can win or lose the first battle I'm faced with each morning. This morning I lost. But I've got a battle plan for tomorrow. And I've got God and the angel army on my side. I will win.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Divine Valentine

I'm gonna go ahead and call myself out on this one. "Divine Valentine" is just plain cheesy. No way around it. But it's also true.

Today has been one of the best, if not the best, February 14th in my adult life. Let's face a kid, it's the greatest day next to Halloween...pretty decorated Valentine boxes, secret admirers, gobs of free candy...what's not to love? Then you enter adulthood. Single adulthood. And the holiday seems to generally be a slap in the face. There have been years of, let's see, loneliness, bitterness, pity-partiness (yes, I'm aware that's not a word, I had to match the theme). The list goes on, but who wants to dwell on that, ay? This year this day was different. I woke up almost tangibly aware of God's love. The lyrics to "Your Love Never Fails" were running through my head - even before I swung my feet off the bed. Then on the way to work I listened to one of my faves - Phil Wickham's "Divine Romance." And it hit me: I've got a Divine Valentine. No bouquet of roses delivered to work or doily-esque cutout heart with words of gooeyness written on it or a kiss on the cheek. BUT, He did give me a natural world full of life and color! He also gave me His Word full of promises (my eyes treated themselves to Psalm 139 this morning). And the sunshine kissing my cheeks as I drove home with my sunroof open....that moment couldn't have been beat. Walking into work I heard a most beautiful birdsong. I got to talk to Him all day - even while I was at work. Then I got to end the night with my small group - a great time with fabulous ladies! 

So I could have spent the day belaboring the fact that I had no date (although I did receive the sweetest card from my dad, just as I do every year...and I hope he knows how much I look forward to getting his card every year). But sheesh, had I spent all my energy focused on the negative I would have missed out on so much! It was a seriously lovely day.