Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seeing Life in Black and White

During a conversation with some friends last week, I said something that, I later realized, could qualify as legalistic.  I don't like legalism.  It is stringent and stiff and backs you into a corner.  And I don't like being backed into a corner.  However, retrospect on this conversation is revealing to me that maybe I'm a legalist at heart.  I see the world in black and white.  I think I always have.  Growing up, when told to do something, I obeyed because it was the right thing to do.  On the odd occasion that I did break a rule, I was overwhelmed with guilt because I had done the wrong thing. 

Living life with this black-or-white philosophy can be quite challenging.  There are all these shades of gray, you see.  Two of my children frequently wade through these shades of gray.  And I've realized through the heartbreak of my husband's recent break from faith that he sees life in gray, rarely in black and white.

So what am I to do with all the gray matter that the world holds?  I'm sure there are many philosophical roads that this question could lead me down.  But it dawned on me today that I probably need to stop asking that question, and just start trusting that God knows what to do with the shades of gray.  And with my legalistic, black and white heart.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Search for Significance

It seems to me that Americans are searching for significance.  Perhaps it is the generation in which we live, but the more I look around, the more I see people wanting to be known for something.  To gain notoriety from something they do.
Sadly, I am no exception.

Some events of the past month have started me wondering about the mark I'm leaving on this world.  Am I significant?  Am I making a difference in my life?

There's all the laundry that I wash and fold. The lunches that I pack daily. And the other meals I prepare or, at the very least, pay for. The shopping I do so that my family has food to eat. The cleaning--albeit little--that I do. The hair that I brush, the beds that I make, the bottoms that I wipe, the toys that I trip over and eventually put away.

The people that I work with and for. The phone calls that I answer and place. The words that I utter. The way in which I speak the words that I utter. The efficiency with which I do my work. The passion with which I prepare my work. The attitude with which I arrive at work. And leave work.

The amount that I pray, or don't pray. The amount that I study, or don't study. How little or much credit I give to God. How often I glorify His name. And tell others about His Son, my Savior.

All these things seem so very small and insignificant.  And so I tend to feel very small and insignificant.

But what I'm learning, and have to keep remembering, is that just because these things compose my daily life, they do not define who I am.  I have to focus on the fact that I am a child of God, a fellow heir with Christ.  And if that isn't significance enough, then why on earth am I even getting out of bed each morning?