Friday, November 23, 2007

The Straight and Narrow isn't so straight sometimes

I am trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! I am an animal love and have managed to surround myself with a varity of pets all my life. Currently I have a Papillon – Toby. Bar none Toby is more attached to me than any previous creature I have shared my journey with. He watches my every move, sits beside the tub while I take a shower, will ignore an entire group of kids, dogs and people and stay at my side. Toby often travels with me, he is the perfect traveling companion, he never demands that I go to a certain place to eat and does not complain if I decide to go to be at 8pm. He never meets a strange but will only allow them to pet him if I pick him up first. If I have to leave him at home the greeting I receive when I return is worthy of royalty. If I am having a bad day and happen to yell, Toby is quick to forgive and welcome me back into his world.
I am sure most of you know where this is going – Our relationship with God is much like the one we share with a loving and loyal pet. God loves us above all thing’s, he is always watching us as though we are the only person in this vast universe. If we happen to take a side trip along our journey “life”, He is always there to welcome us back – no questions ask – and it does not matter how long we have been gone.
Being a Deacon’s wife often makes me approachable to people that will not talk to my husband or the priest. I am a well worn traveler along the road of life and it shows – so people will openly share with me life stories that they are “ashamed” to tell anyone else. Most of the time once they speak it out loud once it is easier to then discuss it with someone that can deliver spiritual direction.
I was privileged to be present when a friend was talking to our priest about his long absence from any type of organized religion. My friend was concerned that God would hold his “diversion” from the straight and narrow against him. I think this is the way most of us view God – he is sitting in heaven with a list and keeps track of our sins and good deeds and we are forever trying to keep the scale in balance. Farther assured him that God was not concerned with how long he had been gone – because God was always right behind him waiting for my friend to turn around – and that God’s only concern was that he had turned around and the amount of time did not matter.
My heart is heavy today because I meet so many people that feel that they have been “off the straight and narrow” too long to enter the narrow gate again. It is never too late to turn around.
OK – I know this is a pretty heavy blog for me – but it has been laid on my heart to share – hope it is received by the person intended.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgivings! See you at Barbra Jeans

When I was a child Thanksgivings was a holiday that made no sense to me. The women spent days cooking and getting things ready. Then everybody sat down to eat and within an hour it is all over. The men would go out and sit on the porch with their pants unbuttoned and talk about fishing and hunting and the women spent the rest of the day cleaning up the kitchen. The kids were left to find our own entertainment. Being the youngest I was often the source of everyone’s fun! So, as a kid Thanksgivings was nothing to be thankful for or excited about. As I grew older I am sorry to say the holiday still held no meaning. As most of you know I am not big on cooking and I sure ain’t going to cook for a bunch folks to consume and leave me to clean up. As long as there is a Golden Coral close by I figure we are good to go!
Now that I am “old” I finally figured out the meaning of Thanksgivings! Oh, don’t get me wrong I still don’t get the whole cooking thing so don’t show up at my house expecting to find the smells of the season drifting through the air. There will be no Norman Rockwell moment with us all gathered around the table. We will be dinning at Barbra Jeans on St. Simons Island this year.
What I have figured out is that Thanksgivings is truly a wonderful day to spent with family. To share memories of days long passed and our hopes for days to come. Most of all I have learned that Thanksgiving is the perfect day to spend a little extra time in the presents of God. I am truly blessed with worldly “stuff” and I know that it is only through God’s loving hands that I have received these blessings. So, I will seal a few minutes today and spend it in Thanksgivings with my Lord, thanking Him for all that I am and all that I will ever be.
Today why don’t you take a few minutes and share with God all those things you are thankful for. And it never hurts to share those things with you family, too often we forget to tell those we are most thankful for how we feel.