2013-07-02 - House on Fire!!
Does that title bring a picture to your mind? Images of fire trucks, smoke and flames, people running to get to safety, others making sure all souls are accounted for - including the canine and feline ones as well. I don't know about you, but an emergency such as a fire is one of those times that has me thinking about the things that matter the most. Only after all souls are accounted for, do we even begin to ponder some of the other losses that can occur from such a traumatic event? The after-image thoughts are then of things that are also valuable such as photos, special items passed down through generations, like Great Grandpa's rocking chair, a great aunt's ring, or a special gift from a friend. Then we think about things like if we have water or power, or a place to lay our heads down for the night. Up until that point, nothing else mattered except the souls of those that we love, finding their way to safety. And so why is it that we can't retain just a little bit of the "house on fire" mentality after the emergency, or even if there never actually was a fire physically?
So many times, events will happen in our lives that truly remind us of what is important. The success of such events comes in the changing of our behavior to line up with treating people and situations differently in the long run, and not just for the time being or until we get things back to the old normal. Especially if that normal is not all that healthy. We very often put ourselves in places that we think we are doing the right thing for the right reasons, when in fact we either mislead ourselves, or we let something else mislead us. It's time to stop it. Christmas is a perfect example of how out of balance we are as a society. We dump every bit of what we tell people they mean to us, into a "season". Now sometimes we only know people for a short season, and that's ok.
But more often than not, we are in it with many others for the long haul, yet we only take the opportunity to show we care with a gift or a word, when it is convenient for us, or when we feel guilty. I make mistakes all the time, and don't think of others as often as I should. Yet in the midst of my behaviors of selfishness that continually need to be modified, I strive each day to do things that let people know I care - and not only once a year. If anyone ever feels like they "have to" do something or get me something, then I really am not in favor of it. Because true love comes not from what we feel obligated to do, but from what we do graciously and out of an inward desire to do. This is exactly what the "free will" of God means, and if we don't learn anything else from it, we are to know the nature of His true love for us. And how better to show Him love, than to live it out by doing the same as He has taught us with other people in our lives?
Life is too short for games, tactics, manipulation, meaningless stuff. Fact of the matter is, when we leave this flesh and enter into our spiritual bodies, nothing we physically had comes with us, but only the acts of love that we shared, and anything unkind deeds we have yet to repent of. I try to unpack my camel of anything that I should not be taking, things I received wrongfully or with intent of hurting another. I need to think like my house is on fire every day, focusing on things that truly matter. I need to not become complacent, and imagine things will just take care of themselves. I need to remind myself that we are all created for different reasons - and I am not here to fix people, but to love people as I have been loved, and the fixing comes from the Creator.
Thank you, Father, for loving me and taking care of me each day. With you for me, who can be against me?