Welcome to our blog! This is a place to share ideas, thoughts, concerns and joys of our faith journey. I'll be posting sporadically, but hope you will feel free to comment and join in the discussions.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When I'm Calling YOU

The above title refers (to those of the younger set) to a song sung by Jeanette McDonald and Nelson something or other. They were  a singing duo and this particular song was sung while he was wearing a mounties uniform--as in Canadian Mounties. Look it up, I kid you not. But I digress.

This Sunday in our Adult Sunday School Class we discussed what it meant to be "called". Pastor suggested that the term "called" had religious connotations to it and therefore was off putting to some people. I guess we could have asked each other what we feel compelled to do even though it may not be what we usually do. This is one explanation of being called. We also kicked around the idea that being called to do something doesn't have to have religious leanings. You could be feeling compelled to call people on the phone to see how they are. You could be really good at cooking for large gatherings of people and therefore be available when the Thanksgiving Dinner rolls around to help out in the kitchen. You could be good at listening to people who need someone to listen to them in whatever station of life they are in. We kind of agreed, I think, that being called to the do the work of the Lord involves a kind of service to others. I might feel like I'm called to stand in front of people and spout a bunch of stuff, but really, if it's just so I can show off, I don't think its the same thing as being there to help someone in a soup kitchen.

The qualifying thing then seems to be that you feel like you need to do something for someone else, not just for your enjoyment or edification. The service aspect of our relationships to each other is what sets the "called" aspect from the "look at me" aspect. A friend of mine says she doesn't know what she is called to do, but she knows what it feels like when God seems to be tapping her on the shoulder. And you don't really want to ignore the tap, as I have a feeling it will continue until you do something about it.

I feel called to write this blog. Sometimes I pretend I don't. Sometimes I ignore the tap and continue for a few weeks before being reminded that this is something I do, not just for myself, but I hope for others who may wander in and rest a bit. So I hope you can reflect a little on what you might be called to do and how that calling is shared with others. And if you get a chance, look up that singing duo I mentioned in the first sentence and remind me, just what the heck was that guys name??

Along for the ride

In the last month I've experienced so many ups and downs its a wonder I don't have whiplash! The cancer diagnosis was a downer, but our daughter got married and a more happy occasion I can't imagine. We had to put our 18 year old cat to sleep and I began to teach Sunday School (Adult) class again. See what I mean? Ups and downs.

I got to thinking about those highs and lows and how they affect they way we view things. When things are going well, we have a tendency to pat ourselves on the back for a "job well done" even though we may not have had anything to do with the positives. On the other side of that, when things aren't going so well, we get grouchy and blame someone else for our woes. We tend to see God that way, too. We might not remember to thank the Lord for all the marvelous blessings bestowed upon us and instead look to the Almighty to fix those things that are stumbling blocks to our smooth paths. We might even blame God for the things which seem to be afflicting us. I've heard more times than I can count, "why me, God?" A friend of mine frequently adds after that, "why not you?" It makes you pause for a minute when you hear him say that. He contends that no one is exempt from troubles or hard times. Even the best of Christians experience sadness and sorrow. How you cope with it, is what makes the difference.

I am reminded that God walks with us each day of the year. In sunshine and shadows, in rainbows and rain, whether we acknowledge his presence or not. He stands right next to you when you suddenly find a dollar in your pocket and when you hit your thumb with a hammer. And no, I don't believe he caused you to hit your thumb. I think God is with us in our life, not pulling the strings, but putting a hand out when we need to be steadied. I find comfort in the fact that the Lord's presence isn't dependent on my awareness of it. I think I would be in a much more lonely and desolate place without knowing that God is with me.

You know, Advent is coming up next week. When we begin to anticipate "God With Us"--Immanuel, coming as he always has. Let us take some time to appreciate the sunset, the crunch of leaves on the sidewalk, the good and bad things which happen to all of us. Yes, appreciate the bad as well as the good. For God is indeed with us all the time and who would you rather have along for the ride?