Saturday, February 25, 2012

No Longer a Rebel Without a Cause

rebel girl
I'll do what I want, thank you very much
I’ve been a rebel as long as I can remember. In my younger days, rebelling against the status quo, against being “good”, against any kind of authority. And, in particular, against anything having to do with God. Sin was something to be proud of, not avoid. And I didn’t avoid much sin, truth be told. I realized today that God still uses rebellion to bring Him glory and to accomplish His purposes and plans on this earth, if you can believe that.

Eleven years ago, God used my tiny baby daughter to turn me back to Him. It wasn’t a Damascus Road conversion, more like turning a small ocean liner around really. It’s taken a while. But, it started with the realization that God loves me, no matter what.

And yet, I’m still a rebel.

If Main Stream Society does it, I probably don’t.  I do things like  drink raw milk and question the FDA and the Food Pyramid. I’m against vaccination. I homeschool. I believe many conspiracy theories are true, or at least contain more truth than fiction. And I don’t believe for a minute that the government really has my best interest at heart…or anyone’s for that matter. Well, aside from greedy, power-mad politicians anyway. I know there’s a few people in government who are truly good, patriotic people and are fighting against a corrupt system. But for the most part, there’s no difference between Republican and Democrat. There really is only a one-party system in America – the Politician Party.

I used to rebel just for the sake of rebelling. I lived for Sticking It To The Man. But, that really isn’t much of a cause. It’s selfish and immature. It’s based on emotional reactions. So, when I realized recently that I am still very much a rebel at heart, that concerned me. God doesn’t want us to rebel…he kicked Lucifer out of Heaven for rebelling, and a whole slew of angels for joining in with him.

In the last year or so, I have been walking through a sort of “crisis of faith”. I don’t doubt the basic principles of my faith – I still believe that The One God created the universe in six days, the Bible is His Word, and He sent His Son to die for my sin. One day I realized that I felt that God was asking me to put everything I’ve ever believed on the altar, so to speak. Or the chopping block, if that analogy works better for you. That was a scary thought, but I eventually realized that all I had to lose were things that weren’t true to begin with. And all I really cared about was Truth. So, I said “Ok God…I’ll do it. Here You go. Burn away all that is not Your Truth” and then waited for some awesome revelation.

And…I got >>crickets<<

That was disappointing, to say the least. But, God works in His own way, and on His own timetable. I kind of shelved the whole thing, and honestly, didn’t think much about anything spiritual. It was kind of nice, if I must say, to just not think about spiritual things for a while. I’ve had so many questions…so many things that just didn’t seem to add up or connect, and I could not reconcile them without concluding that the Christian faith was wrong, or at the very least, just another possibility to explain the world and life. Maybe all roads did lead to the same place.

Yet, I knew in my spirit that the basic tenets of my belief system were right. So, why were there so many things that seem to be contradictory? Why did the pieces not fit together nicely? Somehow, I came to see that my understanding of Scripture was very fragmented, disjointed, piecemeal. And trying to connect it all together was like trying to do a dot-to-dot puzzle where the dots were labeled 1 and 4, a and z, carrot and zucchini. Some of the dots could be connected because there were related to each other…numbers to numbers, vegetables to vegetables, but you couldn’t connect them all together to form a cohesive picture. Something was missing.

Whatever sparked that realization of my understanding of Scripture renewed my interest in the Quest for Truth. I realized that I could not possibly hope to understand the New Testament if I did not first understand the Old. And so, I started in the beginning. Genesis 1:1. But, I only got through four chapters before I was taken on a side trip. And it was there that I received the Awesome Revelation I’d been waiting for. I was on Damascus Road and didn’t even realize it.

I will go into it more in future posts…this one is getting long enough as it is. But, it suffices to say that as I journeyed down this side path, I could feel the veil being lifted from my eyes. Understanding began to explode – not only in my mind but in my spirit as well. I finally “got it.” I could see The Big Picture…because I understood what had been missing from my understanding of Scripture. It doesn’t change what I fundamentally believe…in fact, I have experienced a love for God in the last few weeks that is like nothing I have ever experienced before. I used to question whether I even truly loved God…but now, there is no doubt in my mind…or heart…or spirit…that I do. And I know He loves me back.

But, I’m still a rebel. 

I’ve purposed in my heart to walk down a path that is narrow. And not crowded in the least…in fact, it can be lonely at times. But when one does find fellowship with others on this path, it can be truly sweet and precious. And this time, I believe God is happy with my rebellion...because I’m not rebelling against Him.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Facing the Book

woman nervous at microphone
If there was a 12-Step Program for Facebook addiction, I probably might have found myself in a meeting some night.
Hello, my name is Dawn. I’m a Facebookie. I’ve been on FB now for two years. At first, it was great…it was new, exciting, lots of fun…but then after a while, it started to take over my life…
I would look out at the rows of cold, flesh-colored folding chairs filled with others who struggle with this addiction and be met with knowing glances, slight nods, maybe even that far-off look one gets when reminiscing on something Back In The Day.
…I started finding myself on FB in the strangest of places, like the shower (I just had to reply to something RIGHT THEN, it couldn’t wait)…
Smiles, giggles, murmured sharing of their own Strange Places. A silent understanding of the urgency a FB post can have that can strike anywhere, anytime.
It got to be that I couldn’t go anywhere without knowing I’d have the connection I needed to get my FB fix. My cell phone became permanently attached to me. And once I got that netbook…well, that was what pushed me over the edge really…
Dark clouds drift over the eyes watching me. They remember their own Edge. They remember what pushed them over. They despise me for reminding them.
 …One day, I had a fleeting moment of lucidity. I realized that the reason every dish, glass, fork and pan in the house was dirty, the reason everyone was out of clean underwear, the reason every day got so far away from me was because of it. Because of Facebook.
A few tears now, as they go from despising me to empathizing with me. They have been there too. That’s why they were here this night in the church basement on those cold, hard flesh-colored folding chairs, surrounded by cement block walls doused in ecru…as if a fancy name for “whitish” would actually take away the institutional feel of those walls.
I decided to quit.
Applause. A few “yeah!'”-s. For a brief moment, I was someone they could admire. I had made that tough decision to quit.
Cold turkey.
Gasps. Heart-clutching. One poor lady began to shake uncontrollably. I had moved beyond Nobility and into the Land of Absurdity. What? Who does that? Who just quits FB cold turkey?

I’ll tell you who does that. Someone who realizes that time is an irreplaceable commodity that must be managed well if anything meaningful is to come out of its use. Someone who realizes that clean dishes and underwear, while part of the mundane, are vital to good health and comfort. They are part of the background on this set in which we play at life. Someone’s gotta do it…and unless you can pay someone to do it for you, YOU need to do it or delegate it properly.

Ok, so maybe I didn’t actually attend a Facebookies Anonymous meeting in a cold, cement block walled church basement with flickering fluorescent lights…but the thing about the dishes was true. And there was one day that my three year old didn’t have any unders, because mama was too busy on FB to do the laundry.

And so, as of January 1, 2012, I cut myself off of FB. And in this last month, my kitchen has been clean most of the time (debilitating FB addiction aside, housework and organization and time management have never come easy to me…), the laundry is caught up, and I am able to enter my Father’s rest on the Sabbath. It’s a wonderful thing.

But so is FB and the internet. They can both have a useful purpose. Morphine, after all, is very useful in treating excruciating pain. But with anything that has the potential to become a life-controlling addiction, the key is to use them responsibly. And so, as I return to the land of FB today, I do so with some rules:
  1. I will not start my day off on Facebook
  2. If the dishes are dirty, NO FACEBOOK
  3. If anyone is out of any kind of clothing, NO FACEBOOK
  4. If my husband needs my attention or assistance, NO FACEBOOK
  5. If my children need my attention or assistance, NO FACEBOOK
  6. And, most importantly, if I haven’t spent quality time with my God today, NO FACEBOOK
Now, if everything is in order…my worship and work are done…then I will allow myself a reasonable amount of time on Facebook. I suspect I will have to use a timer…because time really has  a way of getting away from me. There is no Daytimer that can help me, trust me…

And if I find myself breaking the rules and my family comes to me hungry and naked as I sit at my computer completely absorbed in Facebook…I will have to cut myself off again, only the next time it probably ought to be permanently. Serving my Creator, my family and life in all it’s unpredictable bliss are far more important.

Really. I’m very sure of that. I think…be sure to watch my FB wall in case I change my mind (; And, if you see me on Facebook, don't be afraid to ask me if the dishes are done or if my family is running around naked.

Check for Swagcodes Here!

Integrity is a Lost Virtue, but I Choose to: