Whenever I get on my dashboard, being a statistic-minded person, I check to see whether I have any new followers or not. And if I do (And if you look at the current count, you see it doesn't happen all THAT often), I make a point of visiting their profile and/or their blog page.Because I think it's the honorable thing to do, and plus, I am curious about them and why they showed up on my shores. Many times, it's because I've commented on their blogs; sometimes, I can only assume, it's because they want me to follow them. Because they like statistics, too, or they have something to sell.
A few days ago, I acquired a new follower, and I dutifully went to their site. And really, I'm still scratching my head over what I found. Because their blog was basically taking ideas or characters from the Bible, putting a negative spin on them, and writing it up as a "humourous" news story. Honestly, I don't know if their just trying to have fun, or they are a closet atheist trying to grind their axe. Either way, it was uncomfortable to me because respect for God and respect for Jesus was one of the first lessons I learned in life.
When I was little, my mom read her Catholic prayer book every morning after dad left for work. Her first silent 15 minutes to 1/2 hour every day was spent with God. From her I learned ironclad faith that God is real, and He is what He says. And, I learned the reverence in which He deserves to be held.
Mom sent me to Catholic school, which taught me to have God in my life every day. I felt bad for the CCD kids for whom God was a "Crap, I have to go to class on Saturday" experience. And I learned what sin was, and its terrible consequences.
Along about seventh grade, the Gideons came to our school and gave us all New Testaments, which for most of us was our first real exposure to the Bible. There I learned how Jesus told us not to pray in vain repititions, and questioned the Rosary for the first time. I learned that we were to rely on Christ alone, pray to God alone, which threw everything I'd been taught about Mary and the saints out of whack. Thus I got a Bible of my own, and learned to question. And I learned that mom's answer, "Because it's in the Bible!" (e.g. when I asked her about life on other planets) wasn't good enough- unless I could find the verse that backed it up.
Later, I learned the concept of being born again, which was a rough one to come to terms with because of all that Catholic training I was beginning to question. It took coming to the dead end of a dark road to get past the fear of Hellfire and casting out in an entirely new boat and make that step.
I would learn the concept of service and doing it His way the very hard way. I was scared when I was asked to teach a Sunday School. But God directed me, against my own will and fears, and walked with me every step of the way for some time. But then I was asked to be a Deacon. Unlike SS, where it was just my fear in the way, I had a pretty good idea that this was NOT the way I was supposed to go. But I was told that my convictions were baseless and that I would do fine, and I told myself that hey, SS worked out. Maybe this is just God's way of pushing me. It was not, and it started a chain of events that culimnated many months later with my leaving the church, the pastor leaving the church, and seven in ten regular attnders going elsewhere.
In a hellish season in a trailer park on Moeller Road, I learned that I had a huge problem with controlling situations. I had to learn the hard way that some things work better when you put them in God's hands, or even someone else more knowledgable (than me, not God!) These last two, I wish I would have learned MUCH earlier, how much better my life would have been!
And finally, over the years on this blog, I am learning what fights are worth fighting, and which are not. Napoleon fought only when he had to for success; so, too, in WWI, the Germans finally learned (too late) that the only way to overcome the trench war they found themselves in was to Keep advancing, go around the rough spots, and clean them out afterwards, once their connection with their fellows was cut. Progress didn't mean fighting for every square inch, but steady moving forward, and relying on the reserves to clean things up afterwards. Two lessons come from this: Knowing which is a fight you're called to battle, on the idea of reaching the goal being more important; and making sure that you have a well trained force in reserve. The other combatants treated the reserve as those either to untrained to be of value, or those too shell-shocked to be good in a firefight. Thus, even if they had done it this way, they would have gotten nowhere.
What does this have to do with God? Consider: Most of us fight the battle loudly, across a wide swath- and only on Sunday. We thunder our Sunday guns, go charging out to overwhelm the enemy. Monday comes, the counter-attack begins, and we run back to the trench until Sunday's guns fire once more. The "German model" would be: Establish a strong reserve through prayer, discipline, reading the word, contact with fellow-travellers; Don't concentrate on moving the whole line, just the part you're assigned; Leave the rough spots to God (Martin's Second Law: Jesus said tell the mountain to move, not go out and try to pick it up yourself); and keep moving foreward, step by step, every day.
And what does this have to do with this "new follower"? Just that, whatever the deal is, it's not a fight worth going on her blog and fighting. My part is not to battle him/her, but to share what I learn as I move foreward every day. And to keep in mind the lessons I have already learned, especially in this case, the lesson of the respect and reverence God should be held in.