Thursday, January 8, 2009

Peppermint lattés and envy

Here's a devotional I wrote back on 11/22/08. I stumbled across it today and thought I'd post it online. Enjoy!

Today I sit with a wonderful espresso creation called “Peppermint Patty.” It is warm and rich, so good that I’m wondering how it could possibly still be sugar free! As I sit sipping my drink, my thoughts turn toward the holiday season. With the Christmas season around the corner, my list of wants is starting to grow. For Christmas is the time of year when I have the possibility of getting all the things my friends have. As long as it makes the Christmas list, and enough hints are given verbally to my family, I stand a good chance on getting that new sweater or electronic device I’ve been wanting for so long. Greed and envy are big nemeses of mine. In the 21st century I am surrounded by the material day in and day out. Anything and everything I want is only a credit card away. Instant gratification is key.

Wow, I’m painting a really poor picture of myself here. A picture of a greedy, envious woman who would stop at nothing to get what her friends have. And this is what I would be like, where it not for the saving grace of God. He is the one that has to rein me in from time to time and remind me of the kind of person I could become. Consumed by envy and greed, I could live my life feeding on instant gratification, never really happy or fulfilled. But I’m not.

As Paul writes in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” What a promise. He will take care of me, not necessarily supplying all my wants, but my needs. God knows the difference between the $100 sweater I want and the boots I actually do need to keep my feet warm this winter. And he will continue to provide for me, reminding me of that wonderful chapter in Corinthians where Paul talks about real love. Paul writes that love does not envy (I Cor. 13:4). What a reminder to me, when I start to envy things my friends own. Instead of envying, I need to somehow learn how to love? But learning how to love will have to wait for another day. For today, I’m praying that God will create a new heart inside of me. One that is not consumed with what I do or do not have, but is thankful for the things he has given me, such as peppermint lattés.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Can you stop wiggling, even for a second?

I am one of those people with an extreme urge to wiggle. It’s been there ever since I was a little girl. If I’m standing, I’m leaning back and forth, shifting my weight from one foot to the other. If I’m sitting I’m likely playing with the pen in my hand, tapping it on the tabletop or twisting a strand or two of hair between my fingertips. I cannot sit perfectly still. I honestly think it’s impossible. My hands, my feet and my mind never stop. I’m a world-class multi-tasker.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be Still and Know that I Am God,” hard words for a girl such as myself. Even so, this is an area that God constantly calls me on. This may mean physically laying still, face flat on the floor before my God. Or it could mean slowing down my mind and basking in the presence of God.
Sure, there are things I want to fix in my life, things I wish I could change, but God is calling me to be happy in this moment. To praise him for everything I do have, and pray about anything that may be bothering me. To be still, I need to push the pause button on my life and get a reminder about who is really in charge. I need to stop wiggling, just for a moment, and listen for God.