Saturday, December 31, 2005

Resolution Revolution

Help! I'm being attacked by the New Year's Resolution monster!!!

I'm desperately trying not to come up with 100 impossible resolutions that are doomed for failure on January 2. Or even 12:01 am on January 1. In fact, even the modest prospect of 2-3 resolutions make me tremble.

It's not that I'm against improvement of some sort...losing weight, exercising, being kind. It's just that I have a tendency to take things to the extreme and become very works oriented. Goals are not wrong, but for me they tend to cause me to wander from what's important.

There's a line in a song by Chris Rice that says "Teach us to count the days; teach us to make the days count." Somewhere inside my goal-oriented psyche I make the days count by how many items I can check off my list, how much I've accomplished. And there's no real satisfaction in that. And that is not what this song, "Life Means So Much", is about.

What counts, what is important is relationships - especially the one between me and my God and Creator. What counts is appreciating what Christ did for ME through His earthly birth, cruel death and miraculous resurrection. And I demonstrate my understanding of Christ's sacrifice by actively demonstrating His qualities to those around me.

And so, this year I'm starting a revolution against resolutions. I'm not making any. Sure, I'll try to eat healthy, remember my family's birthdays, pray more, etc but not because these are on a list, but because they're the right thing to do.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

At tonight's Christmas Eve service, the sermon was about how Jesus died FOR ME; that even if I were the only sinner, He still would have come and died FOR ME.

I don't understand this. I'm having trouble comprehending and personalizing this.

Since I was born, I've heard that Jesus died for sinners, but that makes me just one of billions. In my family, I know I'm loved, but I'm one of four children. I've never dated or been in any relationship, so the idea of being that special to someone is foreign to me.

So how am I supposed to learn and grasp this?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Bah, Humbug!

My sister's mad at me for not planning on spending more time in Pittsburgh for the holidays. My dad's mad at me for not mailing some paperwork to my sister that she asked for 2 weeks ago. I'm batting .500 I still have a few days before Christmas to get my brother and my other sister mad at me. Then it will be the perfect holiday!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Thought for the Day

"The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory."
-Paul Fix

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Baby Jesus and Everything That Entailed

I distinctly remember the moment I understood (or more correctly began to understand) what it meant for Jesus to become man.

It was about this time of year in 1984 and I was watching the TV movie "The Best Christmas Pagent Ever". The (very) basic story line is this - there is a church that holds the same pagent every year. The same little (diva) girl has been Mary for a number of years; they've always used a live infant as baby Jesus...until this year.

A family of ne'er do well children decide they want to be in the pagent. The one sister threatens "Mary" in the rest room and so she concedes her coveted role to the little thug. Now the actress formerly "Mary" is merely a member of the heavenly host of angels.

Of course, the mothers of all the infants refuse to allow their babies to be handled by the thug so now Jesus has to be played by a doll.

Somewhere during the rehearsals, the little thug undergoes a transformation. She starts to understand her role as the mother of theChrist child. During the pagent, she picks up the (doll) baby Jesus, puts him to her shoulder and starts to gently pat his back, as any mother would. Little diva-girl snidely remarks to her other heavenly host of angels "Look at her; she's burping him like he has the colic!".

At this point I realized, He probably did have colic. God also had dirty diapers, had to eat strained peas, threw up on His mom and dad, was totally helpless and reliant on human beings for His everyday living. How humbling for the Almighty. And that was just the first year of His earthly life. He still had his toddler years ahead of Him - and puberty, adolescence, young adulthood. And with what to look forward to but death on the cross.

It would be sad to end on this note, but He also knew what lay beyond the humbling experiences and the suffering, too. Learning this part of His humanity helps me to understand what lies beyond, as well.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Today, I had a decent day at work. I got some long-term projects off my desk and did some planning of new projects. My boss was pleased with what I submitted. But what echoed in my mind was of a time long ago when I was in 7th grade. I was the head of my Girl Scout troop's camping group. But I was replaced (legitimately so, I might add) because I was not able to exhibit the leadership necessary to accomplish the task. Why is it that the echoes I hear are of criticisms I heard long ago, and not of compliments? Why don't the "Good job"s and "Atta girl"s repeat themselves? I can hear the reproaches all the time, but I have to re-earn the praise. I guess it's because I can't rest on my laurels, but I'm quite willing to rest on my failures. But I'd prefer to just rest, period.