Monday, October 26, 2009

Stop the ride!!!! I want off!!!!

When I was a little girl (and even into my middle school years) I loved to go to the park. We had a public park in the center of one of the neighborhoods about a mile from my house and right around the corner from an elementary school. There were rocking horses on huge springs, slides, swings---and the best merry-go-round. Now, the space has been totally renovated and mulched. In it's place stands a very expensive, "up to code and safety standards" park. It's very nice and very "kid-friendly".....but I miss the simple rides....the ones made of metal that would take the skin right off your hands on a hot summer day in Florida...the slide--so hot it made you scream in pain because no matter how hard you tried to go down WITHOUT your legs touching---they always did. But boy......did that slide make you FLY!

The merry-go-found was my favorite. It wasn't huge. It was quite rusty in places and it squeaked....but man would it go fast.....especially when one of my friends would spin me around. I remember hanging my head off looking upside down to see how long I could do it without getting sick. I remember hanging on for dear life. I remember the dreaded feeling of needing to get off and nobody would slow it down or stop it! You either had to stick it out or jump! That was always a shock to the body. You are spinning at a high rate of speed and all of the sudden........SPLAT! You land on the ground licking your wounds....all the while not being able to stand or focus because the world was still spinning. And the laughter! Ah....the giggles and belly laughs from that adrenaline rush were priceless.

That merry-go-round reminds me of Christmas. We jump on the merry-go-round and it spins faster and faster.....the purpose and meaning become a blur. We try to focus on the true meaning of this significant celebration.......all the while hanging on for dear life. The faster we spin, the blurrier our focal point becomes. Pretty soon, we accept our fate and hang on and try to enjoy the ride. Sometimes we often try to the make the best of it by "refocusing" the true meaning and blending it into our wild ride. We fit as many Christ-centered events into 25 days as we possibly can in the name of celebrating. We say over and over again that the true meaning of Christmas is more important than anything else we are doing.

Here is a phrase that has been resonating in my heart lately:

"Silent night. Holy night. All is calm. All is bright."

I know......"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.' " Luke 2:13-14 I know that kings---and all their entourage---came to worship the Christ child. I know there was a stir. But for some reason, our hustle and bustle doesn't always fall into the same category as the stir that happened in the wake of Jesus' birth.

Sometimes it isn't until Christmas Day or after that we jump off the merry-go-round. And when we do finally jump.....the impact from the fall is often quite harsh. Too tired to have any fun. Too tired to worship. Too tired to think about letting "every heart prepare HIM room".
If we are to prepare HIM room, we are going to have to clean out the junk, the wrappings and the noise. If our merry-go-round is spinning so fast, how do we slow it down to let Him on? Does He want to get on? I don't think so. I think He wants to "walk with me and talk with me" in the garden. It's there in the garden that I can focus, see and hear Him. He isn't a blur.

All is calm.

All is bright.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Now I Pray Myself To Sleep

Now I lay me down to sleep
But sleep won't come and time just creeps.

My mind is busy
It just won't rest
Tomorrow, I shall not be at my best.

I forgot a task.
It did not get done.
So my mind works through it without the sun.

Tomorrow will come
It will not wait.
A night without sleep shall be my fate.

I pray for friends
I plan my week
I pace the floor, then rest I seek.

Lord, Jesus calm my spinning mind.
Slow it down so rest I'll find.

Thank you, Lord for time with You,
When sleep won't come,
I'll rest in You.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I recently spent some time with someone I considered a pretty good friend of mine. We talked for quite some time about many things, getting to know one another a bit better. It was a delightful conversation. I learned so many things about this person and enjoyed listening. I left my time with them refreshed. Over the course of several days after, I would have other opportunities to sit down and talk with this person. I noticed, though that every time we would talk, they would tell me the same things they had already shared with me as if they were new. They also asked me questions about myself that I had already shared with them in our previous time together. I left my time with this friend wondering if I was a forgettable person. They remembered nothing. NOTHING about me. I hate to admit it, but I was crushed.

Am I that plain? Are my facial features so common and plain that people don't remember me? Is my personality so colorless that I just bleed into the walls around me? I have to admit, I am beginning to wonder. This isn't the first time this has happened. Come to think of it, it happens more than I really would like to admit. I guess the thing that hurts the most is that I remember. I remember things that people tell me most of the time. I genuinely care and want to remember things about others. Yes, I forget things, and I know I'm guilty of forgetting things others have shared with me also, but this was blatantly staring me in the face as something that I've noticed quite a bit lately. I took my concerns to the Lord and He reminded me like only the Creator can:

Psalm 139
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me

were written in your book before one of them came to be.

I was also burdened with the realization that I am guilty of the very thing that crushed my spirit. Do I passively read God's word? Do I listen half-hearted to His teachings? Do I listen with the intent to remember and NEVER FORGET? How often I fall short of listening, remembering and writing on my own heart the things that God wants me to know about Him.

I fall so short. I wonder if it crushes His heart when I do not listen and remember.
The psalmist goes on to say this:
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

How precious are His thoughts to me? Am I listening to Him tell me all the wonderful things about Him? Are they so precious to me that I remember and long to hear more?

Lord, thank you for loving me and KNOWING me. Thank you for the comfort that it brings knowing that You know EVERYTHING about me. Help me to seek after You to KNOW you and remember everything about You. And maybe in the deepening of my relationship with You, the characteristics and features of my soul that reflect You will stick with others around me and I will be UNforgettable because others will see YOU so vividly through me.