What color is your cheese? (and I can’t even find my parachute…)

Dawncartoon[1] (1)The past decade or so I’ve read a few books that have touched on the idea of following your heart, professional choices, changing careers, all that, (although, not the ones alluded to in the title, but their titles are rather clever.) Since I work in a middle school, I also see similar encouragements  for the kids.  I love that, because I think it’s just so very important for that age group to start evaluating and exploring and looking at life and the future in those terms, and how their choices now effect their horizons later. 

From where I stand, 58 years down my own path, I guess I should know…

I don’t recall ever having those kinds of tests or questions or books to read back in the 70’s.  The reason I chose nursing was (at least in part) because it looked exciting on TV and I thought Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy was pretty cool.  So there it is.  Such a well informed decision of a 17-year-old would surely have nothing but successful results.

Needless to say, the Continue reading “What color is your cheese? (and I can’t even find my parachute…)”

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Cramped quarters

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280The story of the Old Testament prophet, Jonah, is an intriguing one, and is not without a mild undercurrent of a Providential sense of humor.  Not to poke fun at Jonah’s dire straits, but he did, after all, open himself wide to at least some form of discipline.  Interestingly, as the story unfolds, Jonah never denies that he worships the God of the Hebrew people; he just persistently argues with Him, at least concerning God’s intended task for His wayward prophet.  I have to wonder what brought the man to this extreme—maybe someone from Nineveh had harmed his family somehow, causing a hatred so intense that it created a prejudice toward the whole town (along the lines of the comment about Jesus: “can anything good come out of Nazareth”.)  Maybe Jonah considered God to be unjust in His patient treatment of anyone “not Jewish”. 

Or maybe he was just having a bad day…?

Regardless, a massive storm blows up to buffet the ship carrying Continue reading “Cramped quarters”

Not to be out-skunked.

wood 2

Bob and I were enjoying a nice, quiet summer night walk through the neighbor one evening.  Our older street doesn’t have the best lighting so naturally it was dark as we picked our way along some of the crumbing sidewalks.  Suddenly I stopped when I say something moving slowly in the grass as we passed, and thinking it was a wounded animal or bird, we looked at it a little more intently.  As our pupils dilated to let in more light, the image that pounded through the retina and hit the brain was something black with a white stripe down its back.

The brain then gave definite directions.

Unfortunately, we didn’t move quite fast enough, and even more so, we both shouted out in fear

“SKUNK!”

“RUN!”

The brain did not fail us.  It gave us the correct information; we were just not prepared to know what to do with that information.

Unlike this guy.  You gotta admire him on some level:

I’m challenged by this attitude.  I’m sorry to admit that I tend to be more on the panic side (as the fragrance on my shoes could attest!) rather than the calm stoic side; that is, learning the (life) discipline of standing firm, being very still, until the threat passes. And I definitely see that here:

“Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, that You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity, until the [inevitable] pit of corruption is dug for the wicked.”

I’m long on information.  I need more than information; I need wisdom, and the power to put that wisdom into practice.  It’s so easy for me to panic about so many things—family, health, finances, world situations, _________.  The problem is that when I panic, I tend to do stupid pretty well, which can get quite stinky not only for me, but for those around me.  The atmosphere is not conducive to others wanting to be around me.  (Especially when I track it into my house, if I can extend the metaphor a bit!)

The psalmist here gives me hope, that the discipline God places on me grants me firm footing when (not if) difficult and scary situations arise, since “the valley of the shadow” is not something we are told to circumvent, but to go through…

…albeit not alone.

Psalm 94:12,13  Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)  Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation