When a dear friend forwarded this image to me, I was struck by a moment of introspection. It seems the owners have closed up this room, sealed it for whatever purpose, painted it up pretty and added ventilation to keep it cool. Closed off from the world but livable. No biggie, right?
But don’t we sometimes take the same measures with our lives and our hearts? Do we establish secret places that we close off from the world or from God? We can paint it up pretty but there’s no light and fresh air. How much better to be open to the world and open to God – letting light in and letting the world see in. God sees inside of us whether we hide or not. God wants us to be in the world, giving of ourselves and receiving by his will.
Don’t close yourself off. No matter how much you pretty it up, there are signs (steps, boarded up windows) that tell us we’re missing something!
This staircase makes me think about trust. You would only take these stairs once before you realized that a descent here is futile. You would not keep taking these stairs hoping that one day you’ll find the path clear to some pleasant destination.
How differently we approach relationships. We will engage over and over again with people who’ve proven themselves NOT trustworthy hoping each time that the trip will turn out to be rewarding.
In some cases the investment is worthwhile. I’m working on training our youngest to be truthful and honest; teaching him that the penalty for lying is worse than the penalty for whatever he felt compelled to lie about. At 15, he’s a little old for this – but it’s never too late. I trust that he will learn the importance of establishing and maintaining trust. No matter how difficult the truth is, it is better to share a painful truth than to fall into disuse, considered worthless and untrustworthy.
In our relationships, we are not rigid and constant but we are fluid and dynamic; ever changing and eternally capable of redefining ourselves and rewriting our scripted responses to others. And this, my friends, is truly a blessing.
This is a cleverly integrated stairwell/bookcase. It appeals to me because there is no waste. This is how my life feels right now. Nothing wasted. Every minute is busy and occupied. Hopefully that which occupies my time is worthwhile. Sometimes I wonder.
I’ve been thinking about my compulsion to reach my destination rather than enjoy the journey. I’ve been taking the stairs at work (4 flights) instead of the elevator. It’s good exercise, surely. I wonder how much different the experience would be if I were climbing a stairwell lined with books. Initially, I’m sure I would slow down. My ADD nature would cause me to stop and look at titles, occasionally pulling a book off the shelf and considering its merits. I have a stack of “to-reads” to prove that I’m easily baited.
How many trips up/down the stairs would it take for me to become numb to the color, texture, thickness, height…the overwhelming variety of tempting treasures? How long before I became immune to the distraction and returned my focus to the destination? The door at the top of the stairs that takes me to my office or the door at the bottom that leads to freedom at the end of the day – they too easily become the center of my thoughts.
Life is similar. What’s next for me? What’s behind the door at the top of the stairs? I’m learning the importance of taking in my environment, considering the colors and shapes of all that surround me. Appreciating and stopping to investigate that which intrigues and titillates. Slowing down and not being in such an all-fired rush all of the time.
God, help me to enjoy the journey of this life and to stop speeding through it in my rush to my next destination. Thank you for all that you put before me to distract me and to give me pause.
This morning I’ve been thinking about honesty and the importance of presenting things as they are. It doesn’t matter how this mantle is situated, it doesn’t change the location of the fireplace. Reality doesn’t change as a function of how we present ourselves.
I’ve found myself challenged recently by the need to reflect back to an individual a reality in which they are off-center. I believe it is important for them to know they are off-center. I don’t think it’s fair to surprise people with the consequences of their imbalance without first making them aware of the situation. This fireplace can do nothing about its situation. As individuals, we can. Through prayer we can access the Almighty and through Him all things are possible. Whether the individual changes or his circumstances change – I’m hopeful.
And for myself, I pray that I am an effective mirror – reflecting in truth the reality that needs to be shared.
Do you have enough faith to do something that seems silly … maybe even incomprehensible? Are you willing to be ridiculed by your peers? How about your boss?
These days I am trying to wholly and completely trust in the LORD and walk in faith. Today I prayed about my blog’s makeover. Silly? Maybe. Mundane? Probably. Not something I’m likely to be mocked over. Not like building an ark during a drought. Whether I’m working on something big or something little, I trust God has the master drawings – the blueprints of our lives. Even if I don’t fully understand the orders, I’m stepping out in faith.
The more I read the Old Testament, the deeper my faith. Ironically that means that stepping out in faith feels a lot less risky and daring than it used to. May I always be willing to act faithfully, even if my actions seem incomprehensible to others.
Praise His name!
Yet another ill-conceived bathroom brings to mind an important principle of life: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)
I’m not saying that life is in the toilet! Don’t get me wrong – I believe that sometimes taking the narrow road is difficult but necessary.
Today I was able to participate in most of the 4 sessions for Day 1 of “A Woman Inspired.” There were many interruptions on my end and occasional technical difficulties – but I am truly blessed to be able to join this forum. I’m uplifted by the message of faith shared amongst the women participants. It’s a narrow road I’m walking and I’m grateful for every minute of it.