January 8, 2014

Today’s Commemoration in the MP talked about five martyrs who, in choosing to serve among indigenous tribes in Ecuador, were literally putting their lives on the line. A couple of them had actual combat experience in the military, but it turned out that their actions of serving, even to their own death, ended up being what made the difference to these people and helping them realize that these Christians would literally die to walk their talk.

Walking your talk seems to be a recurrent theme in my life.  It’s one of the reasons for doing this year for me.  It’s what it takes for me to truly respect someone – even if their walk is different from mine.  The only ones I don’t understand are atheists, simply because I cannot fathom seeing the majesty of the Earth, the complexity of DNA and the human body, the beauty in nature – and not see a Divine, or at least more intelligent/talented hand creating and/or guiding it.  All the proof one needs is right in front of your face, but you do have to be willing to recognize something greater than yourself.

Attitude adjustments – when we need them, are we looking for the burning bush type or more along the lines of a friend telling you to stop the pity party, make some decisions, and move forward?  Is the latter any less from God than the former?  This fits in with prayer, and answers to prayers.  Do we expect to hear God’s voice?  We read about Him talking with people all the time in the Bible – was He actually, or did they simply write down what they thought they “heard” in their heart of hearts?  The sermon this past Sunday at HT talked about “angels” and that they weren’t really flying beings up in the sky, but rather “messengers” – who could have the face of a stranger, a friend, a relative – who had a message for you from God.  The author discussed the fact that Joseph was a discerning man, who could hear the voice of God in His messengers/angels.  So the question then becomes – are we actually listening?  Do any of us have any idea what the voice of God sounds like?  And if we don’t, then wouldn’t we do well to develop some of that discernment?

I can well remember that largest attitude adjustment God provided to me – I contracted rheumatoid arthritis.  By the time I finally went to a rheumatologist, she explained that I had it in almost all the joints of my body – which is rather unusual, as it normally only attacks small joints.  Over the course of three particularly bad years (because obviously I hadn’t learned my lessons from small pains *grin*), I had to learn to slow down; to graciously ask for help; to graciously accept help (that one’s so hard when you’re used to being self-sufficient!); and finally, to accept myself for who I was, and stop judging myself as being lacking (thank you to Louise Hay for her God-inspired work).   It was that last lesson that finally adjusted my attitude.  My joints straightened back out, strength was able to be built up again in the muscles surrounding them, and I quit being – pardon the language – a complete bitch because of chronic pain.  These days, I rarely take any medications, and if I do, it’s preventative and simple (Tylenol or Advil) when I know I’m going to be having a particularly taxing day (like chopping wood and working in the garden for more than a couple of hours).   Okay, so I was stubborn during this time period – hopefully I have adjusted my attitude to be merely persistent where it’s needed now.

Did I see the affliction as a series of lessons at the time?  Partially.  I knew I needed an attitude adjustment – just didn’t want to because it meant some pretty massive changes.  It just took me a while to get the message, and God gifted me with a series of messengers over that time. 🙂  I am grateful for them all.

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