I asked the Lord this morning for an idea to make special my 100th post. The way things have gone lately, I wouldn't have been surprised if He blew me off- after all, I've done it enough to Him. Arguing with co-workers, arguing with Him, even with myself- oh, especially with myself. At church, sometimes I feel a great disconnect, caused by the distance I've travelled from Him. In recent days, He has reminded me to look in the mirror, and that the obedience I owe Him is not being delivered. Prior to the service today, He showed me a powerful lesson about how to get back where I need to be, a message enhanced by an excellent sermon by Pastor Dave today. The lesson Dave taught, which I shall not try to reprise, was on Collosians 3. The lesson I learned myself, which I shall share here, is in Psalm 51. And that lesson titled itself, what are the steps I must take to get back near where I should be.
1. From v. 3- I need to Acknowledge my faults. I need to look at my actions as others see them; in normal view, I can be oblivious. I need to recognize when I am thinking/heading toward sin, and abort course. I need to stop being self-righteous, especially in prayer.
2. From v. 8, - I need to listen for the joy and goodness that He puts into this world. So many times, especially in light of two incidents this week past that I will not mention, all I hear is the crap that man dredges up and the crap Satan feeds me all day that I chew on like a starving dog. The same God that is so awesome in the midst of the beauty of nature exists under the corrugated roofs of factories and the domed halls of legislatures, and even amidst the polished floors of pagan mosques.
3. From v. 10- I need to strive for a steadfast (i.e. stable) spirit. Not be blown so much by the winds of sin and everyday life, but to keep a constant eye toward God in what I'm doing. Pastor Dave suggested we "be excited about our work job", i.e. the prospects and opportunities and being thankful for all of it; I have been better at appreciating it this year, and it makes it so frustrating when it seems that you become perceived as an a-hole with one frustrated incident. More so when you look at number 1 above and say, well, maybe more than one...
4. From v.17- remembering that God's delight is in a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart- and that He is more than willing to set up the means to break it if you don't particularly feel like doing so.
These four things that I need to work on hold the key to not being quite so miserable. The death clock (see http://www.deathclock.com/) says I still have 1 year, seven months, and 3 days to put up with this world, so I might as well start following these pointers and get comfortable. Which puts me in mind of one more thing: Pastor Dave spoke about being in the "end times" and that wouldn't it be nice to get back to heaven and everyone agreed; I hesitated. Not because I'm not ready for this life to end; but because where Dave said it from a mindset of happy, hopeful expectation of the next life, I would have said it from bitter disillusionment over this one. When I get from one mind set to the other, I'll know I'm almost ready.
The world cup ends in dramatic fashion with the Czech Republic breaking Russia's two year reign and 27-game win streak, 2-1. Goalie Tomas Vokoun was the star, stoning Malkin and Ovechkin on breaks, receiving some help from the post on what looked like a sure score by 40-year old Sergei Federov, and having a goal by Pavel Datsyuk waved off as coming just after the second period buzzer sounded. Datsyuk eventually did score with 35 seconds left, but Vokoun kept the door shut from there. Despite almost not making the final eight, the Czechs win their first title since 2005, their 12th overall- 6 of those as Czechoslovakia. Sweden took the bronze, topping Germany 3-1 in the consolation game.
(pictured is Czech captain Tomas Rolinek.) Congrats on a upset victory for the Czechs! and congrats to me. 100 posts are in the book.