Am I missing something?

I’m sitting here with the TV on and randomly stopped on the Bio channel.  I’m watching the bio of  Chris Farley, and as I’m watching, I’m thinking, this guy isn’t funny at all…he’s just obnoxious.  And always sweaty.  Ewww.

chrisfarley

Seriously.  I don’t find him funny in the least.  And with the narrative, I’m actually thinking, this poor guy is pathetic.  He was alone.  He was addicted.  His entire life was spent trying to make people like him because of his own insecurity.  They keep mentioning how successful he was because so many people liked him.  But did they?  It just seems like so many were laughing AT him, feeding the insecurity.

During his youth  he prayed.  A lot.  He would constantly return to confess and repent….but he never did.  Without that relationship with Jesus, he simply went around and around and around until he finally gave up and succumbed to his stardom, alcohol, drugs, and eventually his death.  He died alone.  Alone.

They say he was gifted.  I think he was lonely and missing God.  Yes, he went to church.  Yes, he prayed.  Maybe he did all the right things.  But he was missing the point.  I often think that this is true of many of the same type of comedic actors; Jack Black, John Belushi, David Spade.  You know the type…the class clown.

What am I missing?   What is it that everyone else sees in these guys that I don’t?

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To Give a Little Thanks

Tomorrow is our first Thanksgiving as a family.  Our first holiday really, since the adoption was finalized.  I am filled with simply every single emotion there is, including a deep sadness.

The joy of the holiday season is, for me, often tempered with the knowledge that for some reason my family decided we were better off without each other than with each other.  I know I’m not alone.  I know there are simply millions of families just like mine, and worse, out there in the world.  But it still saddens me that my little family is so broken up.

Then I think, how does God feel about it?  If I’m sad about my one family, and I know there are a gadzillion more like it, how then does God feel? Profound to imagine.

What, then, should be the response?  How do I fit into this equation?  Am I just a victim?  Do I have a choice in how I feel about it?  Yep.  I do.  Here is how I know:  A little conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God…”

There it is, “Whoever believes”.  That’s my choice.  I choose to believe.  And since I choose to believe, then I am part of the larger family of God, and I have a responsibility to that family, not just the family I was born into.

So often this verse is used to illustrate salvation. But it also touches on the fact that God loves us ALL. The whole world. Notice that there are no conditions around that. I am part of God’s family like it or not! He decided, not me. And yeah, my little birth family is torn up, but I’m not only a part of that little family but of the greater family of the human race. And to that end, I need to stop looking only as far as my nose, and realize that God is working in other parts of my family when I hear wonderful stories of gatherings, reunions and time spent together.

I can be part of the problem, or I can be part of the solution.  I can sit and cry over the fact that I come from a dysfunctional family, or I can rejoice that God has given me a family of my own so that I might share with the world His glory and the wonder of His unconditional love.  I can be thankful for what He has done with the mess I created, or I can wallow in self pity over the mess that others made around me.

I’m going to give a little thanks.  Today.  Before Thanksgiving.  Because I am choosing to be part of the solution.

Actively Seeking

This morning, my oldest dog, Patriot, did something he has not done in a long time. After going out and being fed, he, along with the other two, were herded back upstairs to our bedroom to go back to bed. The other two quickly curled up on their beds on the floor while Patriot came over to my side of the bed and hopped up with his two front paws near my ankles. I wanted to give him the attention he was asking for so I said “Come’ere Patriot.” He promptly jumped up on the bed.

Now, this is not permitted in my house. I won’t have any of the dogs on my furniture or on my bed. As a matter of fact, starting when Patriot was a puppy, we made it a rule that if you’re going to hold the puppy you’re going to sit on the floor to do it. So Patriot has always been my ‘needy boy’. When he was very tiny I used to have to sit on the floor at the door of his crate and let him fall asleep in my lap. Then, ever so gently, I would lift him into his crate and put him on his bed. He would crawl back out onto my lap and we repeated this until he finally settled in. ( Now I don’t need any tips from trainers, I am one. He is quiet self assured, and loves his crate.)

After ordering Patriot off the bed this morning, I offered him affection from where he was. It wasn’t enough. He walked around to the other side where the other two dogs were, sat and began to moan a guttural moan that sounded like he was trying to talk. I knew what he wanted. He wanted me to sit on the floor so he could curl up in my lap. He wouldn’t give up either. We told him to go lay down on his bed. My husband tried, I tried. Nope. The moaning continued. Finally, my heart knowing what he needed, I got up and indulged him. I sat on the floor, he quickly came over and curled right up and moaned a pleasant moan…over and over and over. He quietly moan/whined as I petted from his head to his tail in a circle. The he tucked his nose into the crook of my elbow and moaned again; the moan that lets you know he is content.

Proverbs 8:17
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.

Isaiah 58:2
For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.

Isaiah 65:1
“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’

Isaiah 65:10
Sharon will become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a resting place for herds, for my people who seek me

Jeremiah 29:13
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Hosea 5:15
Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me.”

Amos 5:4
This is what the LORD says to the house of Israel: “Seek me and live;

Romans 10:20
And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me ; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”

Our God wants us to actively seek Him. Over and over he says it. He wants us to be looking for Him in everything, at all times, everywhere we go, and in whomever we meet. He wants us to find Him because He will be the comfort, the soft place to land, the lap of the master who loves.

Are you actively seeking Him? Commit today to look for Him, in all places, at all times, in everything and every one. You WILL find Him. He wants you to find Him and when you look He will reveal Himself.

Seek and you will find. Believe so that you may understand.