Unrequited

His words echoed with heavy tones and then just faded away. No answer.

The stillness of the night was unsettling. No crickets. No sounds of distant trains moving strongly through deserted intersections. Booming silence.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons/PhotoCo.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons/PhotoCo.

He was alone. With his thoughts. His prayers.

Then he remembered all that God had done. And it was enough.

His spirit, now lifted, fueled his rising . . . and the strength to pray, yet again.

Psalm 77.

The Crossroad

Every day, multiple times a day, I come to a crossroad.

Tomorrow is the three year anniversary of one of those chance crossroad experiences. About 1 p.m. on May 24, 2010, I was a few blocks from my house and headed to the downtown post office. Something happened.

I’ve written about the experience before, so I won’t waste anybody’s time rehashing the details. Suffice it to say that I was in a major car accident. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. My take-away was a small air-bag burn on my hand and a concussion that wiped away all memories of the incident and the hours that followed.

The intersection in question is a dangerous one. For some time following the accident, I had trouble forcing myself to drive down that street. No physical signs were left behind except for a scratch in the concrete curb where my car slid to a stop. I wasn’t really afraid of the spot. But I did panic sometimes because I was passing by a place where something momentous happened . . .

And I couldn’t remember.

give wayI’m wondering now about how many crossroads I’ve come to in my life, made a decision to turn or stay my course, and now have no recollection of what happened . . . or why . . . or how my decision immediately impacted my life.

God often gives us a marker of some kind for those life-changing moments. In days of old, he told his people to stack rocks by the path. Or he put a rainbow in the sky. Or imprinted a story of heroic dimensions so deep that it has been told over and over through the generations. God encourages us to leave markers that remind us to tell the stories.

Many of the crossroads I’ve come to have no visible markers. Some have markers I’m not proud of.

In the intersections ahead of me, I hope that I can leave signs that tell a story of how blessed I have been — even when I’ve made a wrong turn or when the actions of others have thrown me off course.

I hope I can remember that, regardless of the circumstance, God is always there, handing me another marker to tell my story. His story in my life.

 

Photo Credit: Creative Commons/fabbio 

The Whatever Project

My name is Joey . . . and I have a problem.

I have a tendency to be cranky.

I believe that I cover it pretty well. Only a select few of you out there know that I’ve been battling this affliction most of my life. But those of you who know I have it truly wish that you weren’t one of the selected. Please forgive me.

I am not plagued with indiscriminate crankiness. No, my crankiness is finely tuned on the acts and attitudes of other people. You see, I’m judgmental.

Now, most people are judgmental to some extent. If you don’t believe that’s true, I would guess that you haven’t watched the news, read a paper, browsed the net, or had coffee with a friend . . . ever.

I find it ironic that I absolutely detest it when others are judgmental. I have banned certain television channels at our office and I refuse to read the comments on certain blogs. I don’t think that I would even tolerate judgmental talk from other individuals . . . except, I often walk away from those conversations with the sinking feeling that I was leading the cranky parade.

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time driving through West Texas. On one of those journeys, alone in my car, I had an immense bout of crankiness about one certain individual. I was beside myself with thoughts of his stupidity, laziness, disregard for human kind, and, even though I knew it to be false, his total lack of affection for puppies.

As I felt my negativity levels soar, I suddenly thought, “I don’t want to do this.”

At the next truck stop, I pulled off and rifled through my back pack. With Bible in hand, I went to Philippians 4 and to the “whatevers.”

The answer to my crankiness was right there. I started thinking that whenever I begin to get cranky towards someone, I needed to start building a “whatever” list for that person. Further, I realized that, in order to prevent crankiness, I could inoculate everyone I know by saving up “whatevers” for them.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. (Philippians 4:8, NIV)

This is my Whatever Project. I hope it makes life better for all of you. I know it will for me.

“Whatever.”

Almost

Every day, it seems I’m almost ready . . .

  • To die to self
  • To let God rule my life
  • To love others because I love Him
  • To live as a totally new creature

Standing at “almost-always” means I still have lessons to learn and steps to take. But it’s okay. God sees me as “alright-already.”