Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ruth = God with Us

I typed Emmanuel in something I was writing this morning and thought of that word's meaning, "God-with-us." A few minutes later, the story of Ruth and Naomi came to mind, and I thought "Ruth was God's way of being with Naomi." Isn't that a wonderful thought? It wasn't only Jesus who was Emmanuel, or God-with-us. It is each one of us, for someone else. Who is revealing God to you today? Who is lifting your spirits, encouraging you, comforting you, making you laugh, cooking you a meal? Sure, it's your friend, your spouse, your companion, your teacher. But it's also Someone Else: God is with you today, really with you, touching you through the loving acts of others in your life.

Friday, September 14, 2007

On the Road

This morning as I returned from taking Cameron to school I noticed something about myself-as-driver. When I drive, I will choose the road that has beautiful, overhanging trees over the four-lane fast-moving street with fewer traffic lights. I will let people in when I'm waiting in a line, because I hope it will start their day with a little grace. I listen to quiet classical music on the radio (sometimes to Cameron's dismay) because I like to ease into the day, preserving something of the sense of sacred peace that seems to bring in the dawn.

I don't drive slowly, but I don't drive aggressively, either. It's more of a mindfulness.

But not everybody starts the day like I do. Some people are late, some people are rushing, cutting in and out of traffic, honking, leaning forward, edging their front bumper as close to the guy in front as they possibly can. Other people drive 30 miles an hour in a 40 zone, forget to turn on their turn signals, and don't look for opportunities for turn-on-red.

This morning the SUV behind me honked when I didn't turn right fast enough at a red light. With irritation, I wondered why she would want to start anybody else's day like that. What kind of morning had she already had? On the way home, I noticed that although sometimes it can be annoying to be stuck behind someone who is not in a hurry (especially when I'm almost late for a meeting or a class), I would much rather be behind someone slow than be pushed by someone in back of me. As I thought about that, I realized how much I really don't like to be pushed--in traffic, in life, or in faith.

That might be fertile ground for reflection--which is more jangling for you, a slow driver in front or a pushy driver behind?

It could be something to do while you're waiting in traffic later today. And in the meantime, hold on to the idea God's harmony. Maybe we'll all have a smooth-driving afternoon. :)

Monday, September 10, 2007

An early-morning secret

Shhhhhhh.... The crickets are still singing their night songs. The morning glories haven't opened yet. The birds haven't appeared at the feeder for their breakfast.

But God is already busy. Just a few moments ago, as I was taking Cameron to school in the pre-dawn darkness, this thought occurred to me: "Everything that happens today is for my blessing." Every single thing. Nothing left out. Everything.

The person who pulls in front of you in traffic. The red light you tried to miss. The lukewarm coffee. The smiles of your coworker. The frowns of your coworkers. Everything.

Remember, as your morning glories open and the day picks up its pace in your own life, that every single thing that occurs today is for your blessing. And what blesses one, blesses all. How different would our day be if we could remember that? Let's talk this evening and compare notes about this wonderful day that God has made.

"This is the day the Lord has made...I will rejoice and be glad in it." :)