16 September 2010

Blessed to Bless

Last night, just before going to bed, I reflected on all of the good things in my life and was moved to the point of tears. In just that day alone I had enjoyed the company of good friends, an energizing run outside amidst breathtaking nature, the technology that enables me to enjoy beauty, the supplies that permit me to create art in my own little studio, various devices that serve to entertain, soft chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven, a loving husband who deeply cares for me...

I always feel very apprehensive about saying that all these wonderful things in my life that I have the pleasure of enjoying are because "God is good to me" or because "God has greatly blessed me." Don't get me wrong. I sincerely do believe that God is a GREAT God and that I am blessed beyond understanding. But saying these things makes me think about people who do not have access to beauty and wonderment and entertainment. People who do not even have access to food, clean water, or the leisure of wearing a new pair of clothes every day. If I say that all these good things in my life are a product of God's goodness, what does that mean in other people's contexts? That God is not as good to them? That God has not blessed them nearly as much as He as blessed me?

Where do we get the idea that "God will always provide?" What about that starving orphan living in Mongolia who dies before the age of 12? God didn't provide for him. Why should God provide the jobs we need here in the US, or the new washing machine to replace the one that just broke down, or the money to "live comfortably" when He doesn't provide for people who are desperately just trying to survive?

Why was I born in America, where I have been blessed my socks off?

I ask a lot of questions, ones that I'm not sure that there are any answers to. At the same time, I think that it's very important that I ask these questions.

For reason that we don't know, we have so much in our lives that have come to us by no merit of our own. Has God blessed us? Tremendously. Does that mean that He has chosen not to bless others? Perhaps it better means that God has chosen to bless others through our well being. Those He blesses are the instruments by which He strives to bless others.

God does not desire us to be tight-fisted people who hold on to all of our good things. May we extend our hands to others so that God can be known as a good God everywhere.

"Yet You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel."
- Psalm 22:3

05 September 2010

Every Action Has an Equal and Opposite Reaction

A few weeks ago I received a cute little fortune with my Chinese takeout:

"Do what you wish, as long as it does not harm anyone."

It's not much of a fortune, much less good advice. Yet, this seems to be this hedonistic philosophy behind much of our American lifestyle. A friend on Facebook recently posted a rant about how no one should tell her what to do because she is her own person and can do whatever she wanted.

Something I am still in the process of learning is that life isn't about you and what you want to do. I am not the most important person in this world, or even my own world. Every decision you make affects someone else.

Perhaps, then, others can tell you how to live.

Or Someone who knows it best.