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Brother, Can You Spare a Lens?

(I have not written for such a long time.  Not because I didn’t have something to write about…. there have been so many great things going on.  For a while I was writing once a week on our church forum (www.eastland.org) and I have been dabbling in a couple of book writings, as well as, writing a script for an upcoming project…. so I have been writing, but not much sharing.  So, I hope that I can get back into some type of routine again…. at least this is a shot at it. )

I wear glasses… If you know me then you probably know that I don’t wear them often… I do see much better with them on, but because of that little annoying piece that fits across my nose and those other annoying pieces that go behind my ears,  I can only wear them for a short period of time.  Without them I can function very well, so they tend to get stashed away often… as they have been for almost a year.  However, during the past few weeks… maybe because of age, maybe because of tired eyes…. I was reminded how much I need the less blurry view of life.   Now, I probably would have gotten them out again but when I went to get them out last time a lens was missing, so they ended up staying in the junk drawer. Unless I wanted to walk around with one eye closed, then the one lens would do me no good ( I know, because I tried it) so I thought it to be pointless.

The other day, however, I decided to do the unexpected… clean out the “company’s coming” cabinet.  The “company’s coming” cabinet is the cabinet that has very useful hiding spaces for last minute toss-ins just before I open the door to my home.  Now, what inspired me to clean it out?  I’m not exactly sure but regardless of the reason, I began working through the camera instruction booklets, SD cards, marbles, pens, rubberbands, coins, and then something landed in my hand that was so amazing that it almost seemed to twinkle…. it was the lens to my glasses.  I was so excited I could hardly stand it.  I would finally be able to see details again…. then it hit me… In one of my “trying not to be a hoarder” impulsive moments,  I, long ago, when the lens was no where to be found, threw my favorite glasses in the trash.  Sure, I had found the lens but it was pointless… the glasses were long gone.  So along with some inked out pens and old rubberbands, the lens was sent to the bottom of the trash bag.

The following day I was getting some scissors from my “no place else to put it” drawer and as I reached to grab them I saw  something sticking out between two drawer dividers… could it be?  Yes, it was my favorite eyeglass frames!  But, in my excited time of finding my faves, I remembered that I had thrown away the lens.  It wasn’t too late though, the trash had not been taken away yet, but was it actually worth digging through trash to recapture the lens?  Of course,  I could pop that baby back in the frames and voila…no new glasses… I’d have my old ones for my tired, blurry eyes and look stylish as well.   So the digging began…. I was pretty sure that I knew which bag it was hiding in, so my husband and I began to dig… We searched the bag but nothing… except, there was one other bag that was inside the larger bag… we began digging through it…. There, at the bottom of the little bag, hidden underneath a few broken pens and some dryer lint, was the precious lens.  This was the key to clearer vision.  We retrashed the trash and I eagerly grabbed my glasses and went to the table to begin the lens popping-in procedure.  I put the lens on the frame and popped  the lens completely through the frames and onto the table… there was absolutely no tension… there was no tension because the lens was too small… the lens was too small because it was not my lens.   All of that for nothing…Maybe had I looked for the frames before throwing away the lens, maybe had I looked through the lens before I decided it had to be from my glasses… had I done either of those two things I would have saved a lot of time and would have also not ended up at the same place where I started.

So often we spend life just like that…Walking around with blurred vision looking for something that will make things clearer.  We search and find a piece here and a piece there and think we have a total solution … only to discover that even when they are placed together we still have blurred vision… it wasn’t the right thing.

Maybe our blurred vision isn’t actually lenses and frames but instead a need for something to fill a void.  We end up constantly searching for something of importance … or something to make our lives important… or just something to make ourselves happy. … Our vision is distorted because we hope to “see” clearer by a new career, a new relationship, a new family, a new car, new “stuff”, a new whatever….. we keep searching for it and maybe, like the discovery of my lens,  we get a twinkling “hallelujah” moment or two … thinking we’ve found the answer…..only to realize that it wasn’t the true answer and then we still feel the same way we felt before…. Correcting my blurred vision could have been an easy fix… another examination, a new prescription… even used the same old frame if I had chosen to do so…but instead I chose to keep searching

In Jeremiah 29: 11-14, Jeremiah has written a letter to the Israelites who were in exile in Babylon.  He more or less told them that God said that during this time of exile they were not to listen to those around them (prophets and diviners) because they will deceive… the Lord knows you, knows your situation and has a plan to prosper you…. let Him be who you find peace in…

It doesn’t matter how hard we’ve looked, who we’ve listened to, what we have pieced together on our own, how long we have “worn” the pieced together “glasses”, or if we have been completely broken or stubborn…..God is always ready to show you his way of giving you a clear vision….He says you’ll find it if you seek it with all of your heart.

It is really that simple.

Jeremiah 29:11-14a

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.

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Posted by on May 24, 2010 in Devotions, Faith, Life Stories

 

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Moses P. Diddy Hall… At Least You Still Have Your strength….

There is something in the spring sunshine that allows the hibernating winter eye to suddenly see three things:

  1. Dirt/Dust and general messiness
  2. Extra plumpness around the mid-section
  3. an exaggerated rate of growth in anything green in the yard

And the consequences of this new spring sight are:

  1. Spring Cleaning
  2. Bike riders and joggers everywhere
  3. the cranking up of lawn mowers and weed eaters

There is one more thing in our house that is noticeable …. our beloved but high maintanance dog, Moses P. Diddy Hall  a.k.a. Moe, has a shaggy do… You might be thinking a trip to the groomers is the consequence to Moe’s long locks but not at our img_0995house.  We are thrifty when it comes to giving Moe his spring makeover…. shears and scissors and he’s looking good.  Well, lets just say, he looks different….. and not how I intended.  You know how when you begin to cut something and you realize that when you cut one side and then it is so incredibly uneven with the other side you then try to even it up only to find out that the other side is now longer? Well, I do…. and so does Moe.  His nice little beard and strategically fashioned head hair kept getting shorter and shorter until he looks like … well, he looks like ugly Moe.  I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder because several have said he looks really nice… I can’t see beyond his resemblence to the dragon, Falcor, in “The Neverending Story”.  Regardless, Moe has opened the door for our spring changes… next spring job for me?  Get one of those tomato tree stands as seen on TV and get to work being thrifty with my garden.

There is no special secret to Moe’s haircut. It is something we do several times a year.  At least he is not ashamed like our old dog, Sam, who used to hide behind the couch for about a week after his haircut… Moe thinks he looks nice… he doesn’t need to know otherwise.

img_0001falcor

But  through all of this haircut event it just so happened that I was reading (Judges 13-16:31) and my memory  was refreshed of  the story of Samson.  I’m always amazed when I see stories that depict Samson as some great hero and so often that is how we teach his story to children. There was really nothing heroic about Samson’s healthy life… what I mean by that is during a time in his life when he was at his physical best he was also at his character worst…. he was spoiled, manipulative, greedy, loud mouthed, arrogant,  womanizing and violent… not qualities that make a great hero that you want your kids to emulate…It was through these character traits that Delilah came into the picture… her whining and manipulative ways placed him in a position to give away the secret of his strength… his hair… and then she cut it off ( much like the Moses P. Diddy look, I would assume)  It was after this humbling experience of losing his strength and being blinded that Samson had to depend on strength from God… he wasn’t the same guy he had been earlier… and it was his final act that was the heroic one… He prayed to God to give him the ability to use his strength to do what God had wanted him to do in the first place… now that is a a hero

So two things I learned from Samson

  1. I learned that sometimes we have to be humbled in order for God to truly be able to work through us… with all of the strength that God had given Samson,  Samson was too busy worrying about the ladies and getting revenge that he wasn’t paying attention to what God was calling him to do… but God accomplished it anyway and Samson missed out on the good things because his focus wasn’t on God
  2. I learned that no matter how lousy of a person we may have been at one point in our lives, God is a loving and forgiving God and can take that old person and create a new one… regardless of the circumstances.  Samson got rid of the Philistines… even though he was pretty much an arrogant jerk… God still listened to his prayers and gave him another chance …

So if God wants me to share his story or help someone and I am too focused on my life and my wants and desires… I might just be humbled and those who I am to help will still get my help only in a way that I hadn’t really expected or hoped to have to deal with…

So what is God preparing me for?  What is he asking me to depend on him for?  What am I risking because my focus is on something less than God?

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Now, as far as I know, Moe’s haircut means nothing other than the fact that he looks quite a bit less shaggy… but, I’m not tying him up between two load bearing walls in our house, if you know what I mean… better safe than sorry.

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2009 in Devotions, Faith

 

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