Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The 1920´s

Here we are, DH and I, celebrating a Christmas 1920´s party in our home. It was really fun! Big Sis and I even did a funny sketch....I actually think we had more fun preparing the sketch than performing it.... isn´t that sometime how it goes?

One always looks back on these years with a certain amount of nostalgia and lack of realism. As I was doing research for the party and designs for my dress, I discovered that the 1920´s were not all Charleston and gaiety! In fact the flappers were known in their day to be at the height of rebellion, breaking away drastically from the pictu
re of womanhood at the time. Not wearing corsettes, cutting their hair and dropping their waistlines, not to mention receiving the right to vote, fly planes, attend university and all sorts of unheard of activities for women at that time. You can only begin to imagine the uproar at such events.

Of course in the light of today´s generation all these things almost appear insignificant and we think that today´s generation is breaking all sense of morality and values. I imagine that is exactly how that older generation felt way back t
hen in the 1920´s.

But one does have to concede that there was a social etiquette/culture that still contained the roaring lion of rebellion somewhat better intact that today. Sadly today, there is no restraint of any kind whatsoever. In fact, if you have any sense of morality or values you are considered intolerant in a world where tolerance is everything.

But this aside, it seems that every 3rd or 4th generation, there is an urgency to look for the true reason for living. This hunger to find outside of what is culturally considered right or wrong, a surging to the surface of rebellion, which is just a camouflage, for the heart that is searching to find God. It raises the question, "What is life really all about?"

I think under this blanket of tolerance people again are seeking truth. Having whatever you want when you want doesn´t give life meaning.... there has to be more.

And thank God there is..... Life and fulfillment is not in getting all you want but in giving. It´s not in being loved, but in loving. It is not in having all you need, but sharing. The only thing that comes close to this today are the organizations made to achieve these goals .. the Red Cross being a good example, but there are many more that exist to to provide not help, support, water, protection, homes ...the list is endless.

Why do they have such success?

Because this is a principle that God himself set in motion. It is a law that can not be defied! It works.... because God made us like himself and that we are only fulfilled when we too are loving as He is loving.

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him. We love Him because He first loved us.
1John 4:10, 16 &19

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The grass is always greener......

Yes that famous proverbial saying that often leaves us wondering....

Is it true? Is the grass really greener on the other side of the fence?

.."Something that you say which means that other people always seem to be in a better situation than you, although they may not be. "

Often whether it really is or not is irrelevant, because in most cases one would never know. That is what makes it so tempting or so easy to believe!

Why is it that in our human nature exists this space marked... "desire for that which I don´t have!!" Sadly I believe it never leaves us as long as we remain on this earth.

Maybe we can sum it up in one word:COMPARISON

examine and note the similarities or differences of;

We constantly compare ourselves with others: consciously, unconsciously, check if we are "up to par" with those we love and admire....Sadly this practice more often than not, leaves us with an aftermath of discouragement and a blanket of despair.
Contemplating the grass on the other side makes us discontent with that which we do have or who we are.

Sadly I do this often , comparing myself with other mothers. I find myself wanting in so many areas....and it is oh so easy to believe that everyone else´s kids are better behaved, more intelligent and loveable than mine. The grass is greener... Ouch... it even hurts to write it! Any area or walk of life can come under the scrutiny of comparison. Each one of us has his own personal battleground of "the grass is greener...."

So where does that leave us? Is there a way out of this vicious circle?

How well Jesus understands this part of the human heart when he exposes this very attitude in the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard in Matt 20: 1-16.

To summarize... a landowner needs workers for his vineyard and goes out early morning, the 3rd hour, the 6th hour, 9th hour and finally the 11th hour to hire workers with the agreement for the day´s work of a denarius. When pay up time came around the stress began...

v12: These men who were hired last worked only 1 hour...and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.

Ooooh there it black and white.... comparison in capital letters.... yet the offer was fair to each with no deceit. The problem came when the workers started to compare what each of them had done for the same recompense. In Gal 6:4 we are told very clearly not to compare ourselves and carry our own load.

So what are we then to do? Could it be that the secret to not compare or constantly desire the greener pastures lies in Philipians chapter 4: 11, 12 ? Is there a key?

Here Paul tells us how he has learned to be content whatever his/the circumstance, followed by the promise given in v13 "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Does this not give us the secret to overcoming our wandering eyes to our neighbours greener field? If I am happy with who I am and learn to be content no matter what my fate, together with Him who gives me strength to walk out my walk.. is there not a possibility to live a fulfilled life with joy and peace?

Often the naked truth about that which we desire, actually it has a bitterness of it´s own..a unseen weight and trial which our rose tainted glasses did not allow us to see?

My experience has been that upon closer inspection that which I desired or admired isn´t at all what it was cracked up to be. What I had wished or longed for had "hooks" attached.... and God in His wisdom, unbeknown to me, protected me by not giving me everything I considered better.....

Nope... the grass is often no greener on the other side after all....