So that campaign I embarked on to "bless" others...yeah, a lot easier in theory. And a LOT easier when it's being kind to a gentle old lady or holding a beautiful baby.
The guy who crossed in front of me today (not on a crosswalk) and when MY light was green? Not so easy. I yelled at him through the passenger window that "THIS IS NOT A CROSSWALK! YOU DO NOT HAVE RIGHT-OF-WAY!!"
Just in case he wasn't aware.
When my 3 year old son asked who that guy was, I replied without thinking, "a moron!"
So, that attempt went down in flames.
And this is after driving home from an appointment and praying that God would lead me. That He would guide my thoughts and actions to reflect His own. I cried my way through 35 minutes of asking--no, PLEADING-- Him to use me and reveal how He wants to use me...
I prayed for the safety of my children and that they would respond to HIM early in life and before this awful world gets a hold of them.
I am furious and angry and saddened beyond belief at the world we live in now.
Forget the news, I can't even peruse Facebook anymore without seeing an onslaught of negative, demoralizing, enraging news. From seeing friends' comments on different posts to seeing the posts of pages I have liked myself...every day it's a constant barrage of the moral decay we are living in.
I can't figure out if it's really increased or if my access to it has increased, or both.
It sickens me.
I'm torn between feeling emboldened and empowered and convicted to speak up and wanting to bury my head in the sand because that's so much easier.
I also want to adhere to the "turn the other cheek" that I blogged about the other day.
So, when do we do which??
Jesus told His disciples to "stand there and take it" (the Message version of Matthew)
**HOLD THE PHONE**
...as I was looking through Matthew 10 to give you an exact scripture passage for the above reference...I came across THIS:
Matthew 10:26-28, (The Message)
"Don't be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don't hesitate to go public now. Don't be bullied into silence by the threats of bullies. There's nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life--body and soul-- in His hands."
And there you have it. I just answered my own question.
Actually...God answered my question, as He always does...so precisely and right on time.
I won't be bullied. I won't be silenced by bullies; any who would silence me simply because they don't want to hear what I have to say.
So there I was, crying all the way home, begging God to reveal to me what His will is.
It's always right in front of me. Always in His Word.
If you have not tried this before, try reading the Message version of the Bible. It was painstakingly translated from the original text into a more modern-day translation. I volley back and forth between it and the NIV, and the meaning is so much clearer to me when I read The Message. It's not changed, just clearer.
Last night I was reading yet another deflating post about what our administration is doing on an international level when Joe called me. He could here the tenseness in my voice and I shared with him what I was just reading. He told me to "STOP reading that stuff!" And at first I wanted to agree.
Yes, I need to stop stressing myself out. I read too much of that junk and let it get the best of me. I need to enjoy my life and focus on my family.
And then I stopped short.
Wait a minute...I've been burying my head for 35 years. What has that yielded me? A country where morals and ethics are down the tubes, Truth is what you decide it is, our nation shakes hands with known terrorists, a country that's more divided than I have ever seen, a gut wrenching F.E.A.R. in the pit of my stomach for my kids and our future...yeah, doesn't seem to be working so well for me.
So, I'm not burying my head. Not anymore. I am 'eyes wide open'. I'm praying for the strength to stand up for my faith and for what I believe in, even when that earns me ridicule and angst.
Although it's not my intention to offend, I'm convicted that even if it offends those I care about, I can't back down any more. I have watched people I love take a slow, torturous journey backward and I sat by idly "minding my own business" because, after all, it's THEIR life, and who am I to butt in??
But at the end of the day, I have to decide...will it be worth it to me when I watch those same loved ones suffering in their self-made misery, alone? Will I be justified in being on the outside looking in, never having made even an effort to reach out and be a blessing to them?
And here we are back at being a blessing.
So maybe a "blessing" isn't always "feel good" kind of stuff. Maybe it is always in the best interest of that person, but doesn't always come wrapped in a bow.
More stuff to stew about.