Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Friday, January 16, 2015

It's my Birthday,today I'm not a pickle!

Good morning,
I pray the day finds you well.

Today is my birthday.

I came into the YMCA to a nice birthday banner on the wall outside my office, glitter sprinkles on the floor and a nice happy birthday sign in my office. I have received many nice birthday wishes, and inquiries about what I might be doing on this special day.

It is nice to be thought of, it is nice to be loved.

I have never been good about receiving compliments or having attention directed my way, it makes me uncomfortable. I guess it stems from my childhood. It seems that when I got attention at school or from adults it wasn’t the attention I was looking for. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a bad kid, but I wasn’t a saint as well. All these years later, I still feel uncomfortable with attention. As the day progressed I gradually became more comfortable with the, “Happy Birthday, what are you going to do today?” well wishes.

Birthdays are funny things.

People make a special attempt to say hi, and to let you know they are thinking of you.

Too bad that birthdays are only once per year. Now I will have to wait another year for the well wishes to come. I will have to wait another year and be uncomfortable all over again, only to gain comfort as the day progresses.

How cool would it be if we could be that attentive every day?

I watch people coming and going all the time. And for the most of it we live in our little bubbles, going along never really noticing the other person. Pretty soon these other persons stop being other people and they become other things. We stop seeing them as people and start seeing them as a color, a worldview, an ethnic group…they stop being a person and only become a label. We might as well all be pickle jars with different labels.

I can see why groups of people come into conflict with each other. It is because they are no longer groups of people but because they become pickle jars, and see only that the label on the other jar is different.

The birthday question that I have for today is, “Why do we spend most of our lives as pickles and only see people as people one day per year?”

Why can’t we show people more of the Love of Christ, and less of the Wrath of God?

Let us do what God commands us to do:

The Greatest Commandment

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22-34-39

And let God be in charge of His own Wrath.

Lord, on my birthday give me Your eyes, Your ears, Your mouth, Your heart. Give me the courage and endurance to do your greatest commandment. Please rebuke me when I think I am the one to dispense your wrath. Remind me of my job, and not let me try to do yours.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

The mole hill of the mind

Good morning,
I pray the day finds you well.

I was sitting on my front porch the other morning.

As the sun started to come up and illuminate the front yard I noticed a mole hill.

I looked at this mole hill with amazement. I wondered where it came from.

As I looked around I did not see any other mole hills nearby. How did it get there?

Did the mole dig underground for a very long way just to make a mole hill in my yard?

Did it risk running over the top of the ground for a long way just to dig a hole in my yard.

I contemplated this for a long time.

Eventually, I knew that I would have to get rid of the mole hill, along with the mole that made this mole hill. I was torn by this thought, but knew that I would have to get rid of this mole or I would end up with many mole hills in my yard.

I had witnessed this phenomenon before.

On my drive to the YCMA I pass a number of homes that started with a mole hill, they did nothing and eventually their entire yard was full of mounds and corresponding holes.

I left for the “Y” that morning with every intention of getting rid of that mole when I got home. But the day got in the way. I came home late and had totally forgotten about the mole and his hill.

The next morning I walked out onto my front porch to find six new hills.

I resolved myself to get rid of that mole, or moles that night when I got home.

But the day got in the way, I got home late and hadn’t even thought about the mole and his hills.

I walked out onto my porch the following morning and my yard was full of mole hills, now my yard looked just like those other yards that I drove past on my way to the YMCA.

I sat in my chair, on my front porch, in total shock and amazement.

How did this happen?

Then a still small voice said, “Your yard is a lot like the mind. An abhorrent thought comes across your mind, and you say, ‘I shouldn’t be thinking this. Yet don’t do anything about it. The thought eventually leaves and you forget about it. Later, that thought comes back into your head a little stronger, you think about it longer, and you say to yourself, ‘I shouldn’t be thinking about this.’ Yet you don’t do anything about it. A little later that thought is in your head full on and you think, ‘how did this go so far?’ Your yard is not so different than your thought life. If you don’t take care of it, your thought life will be full of mole hills too.”

My prayer is that we take care of the yard of our minds. That we take the time getting rid of the little mole hills before our minds become infested with dirt. Lord, please help us and remind us that you are there to talk with, to contemplate with keep or thoughts on the things above and not of earthly things.

Paul once wrote, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Col 3:1-2