Saturday, May 15, 2010

Projection... a sin for all of us!

Gratitude Journal
1. Quiet days that turn into very productive days!
2. Progress, even small steps, toward a goal...
3. Braves baseball - even when they don't win I enjoy watching
4. Laugh radio - on XM Radio
5. Beth's hamburgers

"God said, 'Who told you you were naked. Did you eat from that tree I told you not to eat from?' And the man said, 'The woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree..." Genesis 3:11-12

As far back as Genesis humans have been 'projecting' onto others responsibility for their own sinful decisions. In this verse Adam points his finger toward Eve to explain why he failed. He sounds like so many of us today who try to escape our own wrong-doing by accusing others for getting us into the mess we ourselves created.

The original word from God after creating mankind was 'it is very, very good'! And here, a short distance from God's declaration, Adam begins to hide from his original identity in God the Father and we have been denying God's beloved status for His created order ever since.

Wonder what it would have been like for Adam to turn to God and say: 'Yep, I failed and made a mistake. God forgive me and set my feet on the straight path once again.'

Why is responsibility and accountability so hard for us to accept? Are we scared that God will not love us? Are we expecting that what we have done is so bad that God would never be able to forgive us?

God had confidence in us! Yet, we go on and on pointing our crooked finger at others and exclaim - 'thank God, I am not as bad a she is... she started it, she made me, she enticed me, etc' Or 'God all of that group is totally bad or totally wrong (blacks, Democrats, Republicans, Jews, city-folks - country-folks, you name your preferred scape-goats). Do we really believe that we are off the hook and really better than some one else?

To make matters even more complicated, when we cannot forgive ourselves for 'our part' it is so easy to hold onto our hurt and anger. I imagine it was easier for Adam to be mad at Eve than to live with his anger and guilt for his own failure!

Next time we feel someone has 'done us wrong' maybe we need to ask, 'wonder what part I played in this situation?' Wonder what it might have been like if Adam had asked that question long ago?


Saturday, May 8, 2010

It's Mother's Day... and Grandma has returned!

Gratitude Journal -
1. Doctors and nurses and techs who 'care'...
2. The gift of health - too often taken for granted!
3. Chaplains who 'check-in', even by phone
4. A supportive community of faith and at work
5. Young adults who don't 'discount' their elders!!!

(21) And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: (22) And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and Methuselah begat sons and daughters: (23) And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: (24) And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him. (25) And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech: (26) And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: (27) And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died. Genesis 5:21-27

My mother-in-law - fondly known as "Grandma" - will be 92 on July 1, 2010. Her mother lived to be almost 101. About a month ago Beth (my wife) and I, moved Grandma to Magnolia Manor Assisted Living in Columbus. She had lived with us for over seven years.

Concurrently with her move she became very confused. This past week, following the 'perfect storm' of issues related to a chemical imbalance, she was hospitalized. Each day was more and more serious... until this morning. She experienced night-terrors, painful probes, moments when she did not recognize me or Beth...

When I arrived today, she was wide-awake, smiling, and eating on her own. She even started joking with me and telling one of her long stories to the nurse.

I am grateful for her doctor who cared enough to use her expertise to 'bring Grandma back'. I am very thankful for a host of nurses and others who have monitored and supported and took time to listen to me and Beth with encouragement. We have been blessed once again that God's grace is providing strength and returned hope.

We - Grandma and the rest of us - have been more than blessed by the number of 'days upon the earth' and if she had transitioned into her new existence, we could only stand in awe for a the gift she has been and a life well lived. But it appears that we have some more time.

On this Mother's Day Weekend, I am indeed thankful for my wife and her 'mothering' of our children! But I am also thankful, in the absence of my own mom, that we have been blessed thanks once again to have Grandma return!

Holy Father, like the O.T. writer, may I too look back and be thankful... But my I also count each present moment as gift and not take them for granted!