Sometimes Sin is a Sign

Sometimes we lose it with people.

It takes a lot. We’re not quick to anger. We’re the ones called to patient endurance, long-suffering, and persistence. We’re the people tasked with teaching, counseling, shepherding, discipling, and leading. We usually like people, even the challenging ones.

We’re realistic. We anticipate slow growth. We expect setbacks. We’re prepared for barriers, excuses, and restarts. All day. Every day. Continue Reading →

McManna Burgers? Day 4 in the Advent of a New Tradition

So, it bothers me that spending quality time with God doesn’t guarantee that the rest of my day falls neatly into place. I still get frustrated, disappointed, short-tempered and wonder why some things are the way they are. And I can be reading my Bible, having like this perfect moment of connection with what it says and who He is and how relevant that feels in my life but then someone interrupts and I’m annoyed with that person for messing up the connection – like a satellite break during a crucial cell phone call. But then it feels wrong to be grumpy with someone in the middle of connecting with God and I know it can’t be God’s fault so I feel like a hopeless spiritual case and like if I haven’t gotten it together at this point then probably I never will.

I’m not saying that’s what happened today but that kind of thing really bothers me.

On top of that, for two days now, my devotions and the devotions I do with my daughter both had to do with manna in the desert and not worrying about tomorrow. That’s really bothers me. And I hate that God would know if I do that pretend bad connection on the cell phone trick like “What’s that, Lord? The line’s breaking up, I can’t hear you, I don’t get what you’re trying to say.” Because, I do get what He’s saying but I don’t like it, I’m tired of it – manna stew, manna loaf, dried manna, McManna burgers, manna helper, deep-fried manna, bananamanna. But, one of those devotions was in Numbers 11 when the Israelites complained about manna and it’s a really colorful and clear retelling of how obnoxious it is when God’s people whine and moan and complain and aren’t grateful for their manna so I resolve to keep working on my attitude and really, I have a lot to be grateful for.

Things are going better with the being WITH others. Sometimes I forget how wonderful and liberating it is to commit the time and attention to really listening to another person for a few minutes – choosing to be with them in their story while they talk. It’s so much easier to love them when I’ve let myself be open-eared and open-hearted – something that requires me to be open-scheduled and not even glance at my watch. It’s actually relaxing to allow for a deep connection with people. It usually only meant fifteen or twenty minutes but the focus and the listening allowed the exchange to be meaningful. Which then made me want to be present for the next connection and gave me more insight into how to pray for people which will give me something to talk about with God besides me and my worries about tomorrow’s manna delivery when I meet up with him at the end of today.

How are things going for you as you try the advent of a new tradition? Living out Emmanuel – God with us – Day 4.