Wednesday, January 28, 2009


When I was in Kindergarten we had these puzzles we worked on.  Mrs. Brammer would give us a sheet of paper with four pictures in a random order.  The pictures were a sequence that was out of order. So, it was our job to cut out the four drawings and put them in the order that they occurred. It was always the same sort of thing. Some guy named Jim picked up a bat and a ball. Then Jim went outside and his friend Tim pitched a ball to him.  Then Jim hit the baseball.  And finally, it went straight threw his mother's window. These cartoons were supposed to teach us to think about what our actions may produce.  

One day I was climbing on the counters in my parent's kitchen. I was hanging from the very top shelf trying to reach something I should never reach (for the life of me I can't remember what it is now). My mother walked in and she didn't yell and she didn't grab me.  She looked at me and said, "Cambria June, you know those sequence puzzles you do at school.  What do you think the next box will look like if you are hanging from the top shelf?" So I sat on the counter and thought about it.  Almost immediately I got this mental picture of me laying on the ground, my arm bent in half the wrong way like a cartoon character. So I climbed down, very carefully.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about consequences. I'm an idealist so I think about the future a lot, but not in a very tangible way. Like I think about what the future could and should be like, but not about what my actions today are producing for me in the future. This week I was reading in Ecclesiastics and came across a verse that struck me. Eccl. 8:11 says, "Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." 

I started thinking about that and I realized, the next box is coming. Even if you can't see it right now. The sequence continues. Right now, my actions today, are storing up consequences for tomorrow. But because the sentence for evil, or the negative consequences of evil action or inaction are not executed speedily, I don't think about the next box. 

I think the opposite of this verse is the same.  Because the fruit of righteousness is not produced quickly, the hearts of the sons of men become faint and are not fully set on doing good. It's easy to lose faith if we forget about the next box, the consequence of our actions today.

The next box is always unknown and it drives me crazy. However, I do know the last box. And maybe that's it. The challenge for me is to live my life in light of the last box, without knowing the next.  Maybe, that's the secret to setting your heart on doing good. I don't know the next box. I don't know if the fruit of doing good will come in the next box or the ones after that. But I do know, I get Jesus. If I can just focus on that box and forget about the ones in between, if I can set my heart on Him. I think the doing good thing will come. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Comfortably Numb

It's not just the naming of the blog that's been difficult for me. Lately I've just lacked inspiration. Typically, I don't have a hard time going deep, in fact, I usually spend too much time completely immersed in my own self deprecating thoughts. However, lately things have been comfortable. I have felt so comfortably numb in the past couple of weeks and all of the sudden it just occurred to me, things are good right now.  Life is good right now. I have so many incredible people and relationships in my life.  I'm not dating anyone and I don't even care. My family is amazing. I love my job and I'm good at it. Everyone is relatively healthy. My sister hasn't been shot lately.  I mean life is good. I don't know what to do with that. The last year of my life has been this awful series of one painful event after another and in some weird, upside down way I felt closer to God than I have ever felt. So now, my prayers are answered and my life is going really well and I'm scared because I don't know if I know how to stay as close to Him as I have been when things are good. 

Then I start to think maybe my life isn't good right now. Like it's good in an American sense, but maybe it's not good in a Jesus sense.  Maybe I have become too comfortable. Or maybe I have been shopping too much. But I really like shopping. Am I allowed to like Jesus and shopping? I mean if you gave me the choice Jesus or the clothes I just got on clearance there's no contest I pick Jesus, but is that enough? Maybe I have too many things around me and I can't feel him anymore.  Or maybe and this one really sucks if it's true, maybe I'm not supposed to be happy or comfortable. Maybe I don't feel content because I was never supposed to be here, in this place where life is comfortable. Because Christ has called me to come and die not to hit a good sale, put on a good event, and be a model citizen.  And dying seems pretty uncomfortable. I don't know if I died at all today and I'm supposed to be dying every day. But dying every day is so exhausting.  All I wanted while I was hurting and delving into these awful issues from my past and present was not to feel the pain anymore and now, I'm not sure what I want exactly. 

I don't think that God doesn't want me to be happy. He's blessed me too much, with too many incredible relationships and situations not to want me to enjoy them.  Maybe the problem isn't my situations, maybe it's me.  Maybe my relationship with God is a little high school.  You know in High School there was always that couple that had a ton of drama.  They were constantly fighting, breaking up and getting back together and you wondered, Why do they even stay together? Maybe my relationship with Jesus is sort of like that.  Maybe I don't know how to just be with Him without drama. I mean we aren't breaking up and getting back together, but I definitely wonder why He's stayed with me all of this time sometimes.  So, I guess it's time to grow up.  I don't want God to always have to teach me things the hard way, I'd actually really like to learn things without forcing His hand.  So, this is the new frontier for me... How to walk with God when things are good. 

name that blog...

There is nothing more intimidating than endless possibility. When faced with a decision I have a fairly easy time choosing between the options placed in front of me.  Like...  Regular or Decaf? Regular. (as if that's even a question.) Pepsi or Coke? Pepsi. The red shirt or the pink shirt? Both. When two clear paths are marked in front of me I can decide which one I'd like to traverse.  However, when there's like a million different roads and I could even make up my own road if I wanted to, I am absolutely overwhelmed. So here I am, staring at this dark, blank page trying to figure out what in the world I should name my little blog. A name is sort of a big deal for a blog. The tone will be set by it, the few people who click on the link will decide whether they want to read it or not, and since it's mine I feel like it should represent me, which is tough to do since I pack a whole lot of randomness and personality into this petite frame. 

So... my challenge to you my dear friends and hopefully my future readers is this:

Name that blog.