Tuesday, November 29, 2011
As I headed out the door for lunch on this unseasonable warm yet fall afternoon, I smelled the fresh fragrance of pine. I didn’t think anything unusual except maybe someone had just cleaned something, but as I walked closer to the door leading to the outside of my office, I see workers moving about. That’s when I noticed that these men had just put up our office Christmas tree. Just briefly, I thought, “So, that’s what’s different...it’s the tree,” but I moved about my business anyway.
The experience in my office lobby was quite different when I returned from lunch. I had an opportunity to really look at the massive tree that stood directly in front of me. It has to be 12 feet high. It’s beautifully decorated with lights and again the smell overwhelms the lobby area. I thought, “How could I have missed something so big and so beautiful” and began to wonder about my own life, thoughts and what is occupying my time. I also began to think about the number of times something so great is right before me, yet I miss the beauty of it because I am absorbed with self.
Overwhelmed by my inability to acknowledge something that stood so mightily, I decided to share my thoughts about this with a co-worker. She didn’t notice it either! So I ask…”have we become a walking community of people with eyes closed so tightly while we focus on our own business, that we can’t see what’s directly in front of us?” Her experience was further confirmation that we on a daily basis miss opportunities, blessings, second chances and maybe even love because we are walking with closed hearts, closed minds and closed eyes.
I’m not sure about you, but this experience was a lesson for me to always consider how I walk. I want to walk upright, Godly ~ appreciating all of His beauty. I do not want to be consumed with my own stuff, and my own thoughts….I may miss something. The reality is ~ there is something great within all of our reach, but we have to get out of our own darkness and be willing to open up our hearts, minds and eyes.
Enjoy the BEAUTY of this tree that I almost missed!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
It’s funny, that alone thing. Some see it as a nice retreat, away from the hustle and bustle or a comforting place where no one else can enter. Depending on how you view being alone, it can be therapeutic and a place to re-energize. Even Jesus left the people every now and then to get away and re-energize. But for some, being alone is a private hell. You’re left alone with your thoughts, your failures, what you’ve lost and all of the disappointments of life. For some, it’s torture, a cycle of confusion and sadly, a place that after time, brings a sick comfort because you’ve made being alone a routine and a habit. The simple but straight truth is that we are not meant to be alone. We’re built for relationships and for whatever the reasons are that one might feel more comfort in being alone most of the time than being in relationship means that one’s soul is crying. It means that your distorted view of what might feel natural is actually very unnatural. It also means that there is pain that is so deeply rooted that you’ve lost all connectivity to the one who can restore you.
Even in our most primal state (being an infant) one cannot survive without the love and touch from others. This is the way we are made. We all have an innate sense of needing to belong and relating to someone or something, but when we're alone, there is nothing but a false existence, hungry for relationship. Even still, with the hunger pangs so explosive and so desperate, some carry with them this sense of arrogance and pride that they simply do not need anyone or anything and that they can do it all by themselves. I’m here to say, no you can’t. Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Prov. 26:12, ESV) I’m here to say that pride and arrogance is one of the highest forms of sin because it deliberately blocks God and intentionally shuts Him out! Oh how that can bring about a wrath that no man can withstand.
I'm here to say that the fortress you've built is exactly where satan wants you to be. You see, he wants you to be alone. He wants you to live this life without your armor of God, and he's happy to convince you that you don't need people. He loves your fortress because he knows that you've blocked out all of the people who can help you tear it down...even God. The bible is clear when it says, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” (Prov. 18:1, ESV). So I caution you, when you get hooked on satan's hook, some things will not be reversed. It will be your life-long existence.
Like isolation and insulation should never be a consolation...Alone again…Naturally, is not natural.