Monday, March 16, 2009

Sittin' Pretty

I am learning that I am not a good sitter.  

This is a surprise for me because I always thought I could sit pretty well; in fact, maybe even sit with the best of 'em.   After all, I love sitting on the couch, vegging out in front of the TV, at the end of a hard day's work.  I love sitting on the couch engrossed in a good book when the TV's not on and no one else is around to disturb the silence.  I love sitting on the couch catching up with E-mails and blogs, laptop nestled in my lap or propped up on a nearby TV tray.  And since I think of myself as basically a pretty lazy person by nature -- a bonafide sloth, to use the biblical term -- sitting, I thought I could do.

Not so much, I'm discovering.  

I've been sitting for the past thirteen days, and I don't think I'm doing it very well.  I mean, I think if I were doing it really well, I'd be enjoying it a little more.  I'd be experiencing some kind of fulfillment, y'know?   Some kind of satisfaction in the knowledge that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, and I'm getting it right.  Right?  

In the past, guilt has sometimes kept me from enjoying sitting moments, usually because there was something else (or more often than not, several something elses) I was supposed to be doing instead of just sitting.  At other times the noise and distractions of others have kept the zen of sitting at bay.   And once in a while, the racket in my own brain, has disrupted my sitting groove.  

Still, none of that should apply now.  I am supposed to be sitting.  I am supposed to be doing nothing but sitting.  Sitting and letting my fractured-but-now-plated-and-screwed-back-together fibula heal.  Doctor's orders.  

But it's hard.  I don't like it.  And I'm frustrated.

I guess, as tends to be the case with everything else, I only want to sit on my own terms.  I want to be in control of the when and the where and the how and maybe even the end results of my sitting.  I'd like to say that's the wiggler and the squirmer in me because that sounds kind of cute, like I'm some hot-pink-antennaed neon-chartreuse glowworm pulsating to her own inner cartoon beat.  But I'm not.  I'm just human.  Painfully human.  From my broken spirit to my broken ankle, I am painfully human.  And it's not cute.

So, what to do?

First, I will confess that I am not in control of my sitting.  (Duh!  Y'think!)  Sounds simple enough, huh -- kind of like Twelve Steps for Glo-worms.  But I think that with that word confess comes the idea that, if I am truly coming into agreement with Papa-God about this control issue, then as an act of my will, I choose, also, to let go of my wanting to be in control. (Now, for me, that's where the rubber meets the road, like the kid who sits down in the backseat of the car and hollers, "But I'm standing up on the inside!")   

Second, I will ask Papa-God what He wants me to do in the midst of this sitting.   (Arghh!  More control issues, obviously, as I have a feeling He is calling me to sit quietly and listen, something I'm not especially good at -- the "quietly" part or the listening.  Ever notice the ears on a glowworm?  Yeah, me neither.  As I think about it right now, perhaps that why I'm being given so much time for this sitting assignment; it's going to take lots of practice to get it right.)

Third, I will choose to obey:  What He says, I will do.  Even if that means the aforementioned sitting quietly and listening.  (In my humanness, I'd rather be singing, "Where He leads me, I will follow . . . "   At least then I would be moving up and out and off to somewhere.   For a glowwormy human like me, it's much harder to yield to the "Whatever . . . " when the whatever may mean not moving up and out and off to somewhere else.)  

And last, I will write about it.  Quietly.  If Papa-God says it's okay.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Small Things Count

Okay, I admit it.  I've become addicted to Facebook.  I'm writing on the walls (that's leaving messages for you not-yet-Facebook-ers) of people I haven't seen or even talked to in years.  I'm catching up with former students, "meeting" their spouses and their babies.  I'm joining "I Support . . . " groups and "I'm a fan of . . . " clubs.  I'm not sending those little "free gifts" (or "water balloons" or "bouquets") to people, though.  (At least not yet.)  And I don't usually take the surveys or IQ tests (well, duh!) either.  Still, on a whim, I did take a "Find Your Spiritual Gift" quiz the other day.

Five quick questions.

Only five?  (Well, no wonder the answer was wrong.)  According to my five answers, the quizmaster said my gift is compassion.  I don't think so.  I'm the one who says that ministry would be great if you didn't have to deal with people.

Okay, just kidding.  (Well, kind of . . . at least for the most part and on most days.)  Actually it'd be awfully hard, if not downright impossible, to be part of the body of Christ without dealing with people.  In fact, I'm pretty sure -- okay, I'm positive -- that to be a healthy, fully functioning part of the body of Christ we must not only deal with people, we must deal with them in love.  Yep, we have to love them.  We get to love them!  It's not just our responsibility, it's our privilege as Kingdom people.  Papa-God invites us to partner with Him in growing the Kingdom . . . by loving those He loves -- those who are like us and those who are not.

Even the smallest gestures, done in love, have the potential to become building blocks of the Kingdom.  The smile we share with the person who checks our groceries.  The tip we give the person who delivers our pizza.  The time we spend listening to the co-worker whose spouse has walked out.  How we respond to the driver who cuts us off in traffic (especially if we have one of those fish thingies on our car) or the way we treat the colleague who always takes too long at the copy machine (or leaves it jammed).  It all counts.  It all matters.

When we filter our reactions and our responses to others through the heart of Christ, we begin to look more and more like Him.  In small things and in big things.  We become Kingdom builders.  Inside and outside.

Lord, make us ever aware that in our actions and words, large and small, we can be destroyers or we can be builders.  Let us strive to be Kingdom builders.  Amen.