Tuesday, March 4, 2008

catching up...

because the majority of the 'spare' time i have is found here and there at work and because this website is blocked by my nasty little firewall, i have several little snatches of thought, insight, or useless ramblings that i have emailed to myself so i 'wouldn't forget' to post them. but i have forgotten to post them. oops. so here are a few....

reason for living:
if your reason for living is the satisfaction, happiness, fulfillment of yourself, then it would reason that when you are not satisfied, happy or fulfilled then you cease to have a reason for living.
Either that or your reason becomes the pursuit of happiness, but after awhile without success your purpose starts depending on your dedication to the cause and your faith in it.

depression is not a disease that can simply be diagnosed and medicated, its an infection like a splinter, you can see the symptoms: the fevered skin, the pain, the open sore. But even if you treat all the symptoms; tylenol and ice to cool the fever and ease the pain, stitch up the wound, even give antibiotics to fight the infection; you're still going to have the splinter and the symptoms will all come back
you have to find and eliminate a problem before you deal with the symptoms although once you remove the splinter the symptoms may go away on their own, its not wrong to put some neosporin on it and even I will take some tylenol if something hurts.
even after the splinter is removed infection can linger, independent now from its trigger its a different issue to deal with altogether and even if you work through all this successfully, if you don't change you habits you can get a new splinter almost immediately it you are living a life that is high risk for splinters it is more likely that you'll end up with another one.

i work at a utility company dealing with customers the whole day. its surprising how that has changed my concept of grace, primarily through the exploration of the "grace period". customers will get so angry that we do not have a "grace period" on our due dates. it can get so frustrating having to explain to grown adults (with jobs and children and mortgages) why they have to pay their bills on time. the come to expect 'a few extra days' before they get in trouble. many times i feel kind of like a teacher explaining to a child why they only get half credit on a late assignment: 'you'll never learn to do things on time otherwise'. hmmm that didn't work so well. at any rate, the point is i have found it how this idea of grace- 'a free gift that you do not deserve'- can turn into an obligation. "why don't i have a grace period?" "..well... because we didn't have to give you one..." a grace period by definition is not required. its like a tip at a restaurant. if i get mediochre or even bad service i still feel bad for not adding 18% to my bill. why? it's "gratuity" (try and guess the etymology of that word!!). in a more pointed example, say you do something stupid and hurt someone. when we come to apologize we say things like 'i was stupid' or 'i messed up', 'this is totally my fault'. begging for their forgiveness. forgiveness is tightly intermingled with grace and, like grace, is not an obligation (though we teach it as such to our children) yet what happens when the other person says, 'yes you did mess up and no i don't forgive you'? if we truly were penitent and understood the concept of grace and forgiveness we would not be angry when they withhold their forgiveness. but we are, instantly we are defensive or even aggressive, turning the issue around so the other person is at fault.

in like manner, we can easily begin to expect grace from the LORD. this whole concept is said much more eloquently in romans 4:4-5ish: '...now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. but to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness..." --it seems like an obvious statement at first glance, but its not, really, if you study the examples of grace that we see everyday (outside of the grace of God).

grace, forgiveness, faith they are all misdefined and misrepresented in our broken world. ahh faith, theres another one for another day...

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