I Alone

This week was one of…hmm…I’d be lying if I said anything other than turmoil.  I won’t sit here and tell you that it’s been full of blessings and glory, just because I write a blog of how God does such things, and how our cup hath seemed to runneth over with such over the past few months.  The past couple of weeks, things have been growing troublesome for me, as you know, for lack of inspiration, problems with movers, little things here and there, but for the most part, they have been things that have not been hard to overcome.  This week, from the jump, it’s almost as if grace and glory came to a screeching halt, and thus, began the heartache and obstacles that once clouded my life.

The movers arrived Sunday evening, as they said they would, however, they were not able to fit the semi-truck into the complex (like the agent at our complex said they would) so immediately there was a problem.  Instead of just having to worry about a potential extra charge for a long haul because our apartment was an extra fifty feet from the parking lot, they now had to go get a different truck and transfer everything from the semi to a shorter truck.  Charge?  $300!  Avoidable?  No.  Since it was about seven at night by the time we could work out the details, nothing could be done, couldn’t get a U-Haul, and had to reschedule for Monday morning…BUT…I had to pay in advance for the transfer…by credit card.  Ooookay.  “I’ll be emailing you an authorization form to fill out and fax back tonight with your credit card information and signature.”  That sounded all fine and dandy except for the fact that both of my printers were on the moving truck!  So I had to haul ass over to our cousin’s house to print up the form, fill it out, then find a Kinko’s to fax it.  One would think it would be much easier to find such a place that was open late on a Sunday in a college town…but, alas, it’s not.  Something to remember in the future should I ever be in a rush to fax anything, don’t wait until late on a Sunday.  I managed to find a place, after looking for a very specific location for half an hour…trust me this place was hidden but visible if you knew where it was…and faxed it over.

The guys came Monday morning, carelessly dropped off our stuff, one of the younger guys was quite mouthy, then took off…not without asking for a nice report back to their quality control manager, as they were standing there.  What were we to do?  Tell the truth?  No…we were afraid of getting charged for the long carry still, which could have been another 100 bucks just for another fifty feet.  100 bucks that we didn’t have.  Things were broken, things were taped that shouldn’t have been that we can’t get the adhesive off, like a leather couch, and they tried to charge us the original invoice amount which was wrong and when I called to handle it, it almost became an issue.  Oh well, it’s all over now, and we’re still unpacking.

We picked up our daughter later that day and tried to brace her for the fact that a couple of her things got broken that meant a lot to her.  Turned out that she wasn’t as upset as we thought, thankfully.  Later on, however, everything went downhill even more.  Attitude.  There I was in a sea of boxes trying to do whatever I could to make some sort of sense of it all, feeling like I was getting nowhere.  My wife was working on the kitchen and helping out elsewhere where she could.  Our daughter was concerned only with her room, her things and herself, as she usually is.  I asked for a couple of favors throughout the day and her attitude started working overtime.  It had hardly even been a few hours that she was home from school and she had broken me down to a point that I hadn’t been in a long time.

How can you love someone and want so badly to run from them?  Even if it means running from the person that you are in love with because they are a package deal?  How is that fair?  It sucks when your mind and heart makes you think and feel like that person, although a child of God, is not a Godly person, yet is your own personal demon, at times, there to destroy your morale, your faith in humanity, and most importantly, your faith in God.  When the wickedness of their actions and tongue are more consistent than their kindness, you start to shield yourself against them, whilst praying for them, despite their apologies…because their apologies feel disingenuous.  It hurts just as much to feel that way about someone you consider your child than it does to be hurt because of the way that child treats you…like you are their servant, their emotional and verbal punching bag, like you are a piece of shit and no matter what you do for them, it doesn’t matter.  They can’t be thankful even if you tried, because it doesn’t matter to them anyway, but if it matters to them, you’re expected to do it.  In their life, they are god, and you are there to serve them, and if you don’t, your life will be hell, so much so that every aspect of your life will suffer….that is, unless, you are doing everything right…for them.

So that was Monday.  Tuesday, she stayed home, she was sick.  We had errands to run to be able to put up things that needed to go on shelves…shelves that we didn’t have and had to go buy.  She was told to do the dishes by the time we got home and did not, and therefore, earned a week of dish duty.  Wednesday, we continued unpacking and got quite a bit done, with the help of my mother-in-law…thank God she was here to help.  Not that we couldn’t have done it without her, but it was nice that she was here to help.  Thursday, I started getting sick so we called it a “do nothing and relax” day, in fact, it’s been like that since.  Friday we took MamaT to the doctor and had lunch then my wife and I had a date night, although by then I was starting to feel worse.   Yesterday, we still did nothing…all of us laid around all day…enjoyed the heck out of it too.  In fact, I didn’t even work on my blog yesterday, which is something I normally do…work on the first half on Saturday, then complete the last half, the sermon message and my interpretation, today….then post.  But, alas, my week sucked, wasn’t feeling well, and here I am…doing it all now.  Talk about waiting until the last minute to do a project!  Not that I feel pressured or anything or like this is a chore…actually, up until a little bit ago, I had declared that I wasn’t going to do it at all this week.  Why? 

Because my demon struck again, after church, everything came full circle and as if my week hadn’t been rocked enough, now, I feel like I’m hanging on with one finger.  And what was the sermon about today?  Ha…Discipline!

Warning!!  This video has snakes!!

Curious about why this video?  Perhaps you should check out Luke 8:22. 

I’m a follower of Jesus.  I disciple, if you will.  In a storm right now, because of everything going on, the circumstances around me, and I’m afraid because, well…everything is unknown…and that, in itself, is new to me.  I’m still new to this, I’ve just set sail a little while ago, and my teacher, Jesus, well…while I know He’s there, the seas are rough and the winds seem to be blowing the rain so much that I’m having trouble seeing and hearing Him right now.  Again, all I have is my Faith that He’s there and that, if I steady my sails as much as I can, He will guide me where I need to be, despite the temptations of those that may try to swamp me.  But it takes much discipline to be a follower, it takes much discipline to be many things in life.  It takes discipline just to want to be alive sometimes…especially when all we really want is what is right, was it just, what is Godly in our lives, what is peaceful.

Cal spoke today of times back when, before this generation became less self-serving and more serving of God, at least, that’s what I make of it.  Times when abortion wasn’t the first answer to a moment of bad judgment and people just let that child be born as the child of God that it was intended to be, and of when doctors would just admit there was nothing more that could be done because it’s not God’s will, and we could let that loved one go without further suffering and technological interference, because Heaven awaited us all who served Him.  He spoke of times when it was okay for us to pray in schools, that place that served as a platform for our life to take us wherever we were going to go in life, or even read The Bible, the very foundation of our core morals and values of life, so that we may jump from one platform to the next with dignity and integrity to become whatever it is that God may have in store for us.

But now, the world, this country, runs interference on our souls, on our children’s souls and for our chance at peace and glory.  People have become self-serving and only seek what is good for them, if it happens to please others while in the process, then that profit is an unintended, and often times over-played, by-product…meaning, if they get gratitude from it, they want to hear it over and over again until it becomes annoying to give it.  People have become interested in “fast – fixes, such as abortion.  They made a bad judgment call, or made a mistake, or something bad happened and caused this to happen, still, who are we to fix something that God didn’t break?  And who are we to extend what God said it’s time for?  And who are we to say that we are not allowed to read and pray what humanity, this country, was founded under?  For am I mistaken?  Was this country’s laws and values not founded under God?

But it’s a different world now, and the people of this generation no longer abide by those laws, values, and morals.  They look to themselves before looking to God for direction, and are therefore, lost and without the discipline necessary to help, even themselves, find their way back to shore to safety. 

According to Dictionary.com, the word “discipline” has five different definitions.  1.  Training to act in accordance with the rules.  2.  Activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill.  3.  Punishment inflicted by way of correcting and training.  4.  The rigor or training effect of experience, adversity.  5.  Behavior in accord with the rules of conduct;  Behavior and order maintained by training and control.

So now that we’ve defined what “discipline” is in the English language, what does it mean within Faith.  How does it fit within Faith, and specifically, within life?  Well, first of all.  To have Faith means to fervently believe with all of your heart and soul that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior and that He died on the Cross for your sins.  If you believe that, then you also believe that it wasn’t easy for Him to live his life the way He needed to in order for Him to spread His message of God, of love, of peace, of the Heaven that awaits us all should we accept Him into our lives and do our absolute best to live Christ-like.  It took a great deal of discipline for Him to do so, and if you know about “The Passion,” then you know the amount of discipline, physically, emotionally, mentally, faithfully, it took for Him just to make it to the mountain and make it onto His own cross.  Justly, if it took discipline for Him, then so too did it take his disciples, his followers, those who believed whole-heartedly in the words, actions, miracles of Him.  They did not join His clan one day, just start walking behind Him, eating the bread and drinking the wine, just because they said they believed.  No…they too had their trials and tribulations and their work cut out for them.  They too made mistakes for which they needed to be disciplined by the Lord.  Mistakes, however, are part of life, and can only be a mistake and not a habit unless it is corrected, and that is through discipline.  It is important to remember that “discipline doesn’t contradict love; discipline expresses love.”

Prov 22:15 – Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away

Prov 13:24 – Whoever hates their children spares the rod, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline

Prov 19:18 – Discipline your children, for in that there is hope, do not be a willing party to their death

Prov 29:17 – Discipline your children and they will give you peace, they will bring you the delights you desire

So what’s all this about discipline and children?  You thought I was talking about discipline and your own walk with God right?  Well, I am!  At the moment.  Because discipline is the same as discipleship.  If you are a follower of God, then you are a disciple of God, and therefor, you must hold fast and strong to your own discipline within your discipleship.  God is always there, and in his way, with his own rod, disciplining you…not that you may be doing anything wrong, but that you are in training, that you need improving, because you are His child and that, because He is your Father, He wants you to be the best you can be.  Therefore, not for punishment’s sake, but for the sake for maturation, may He have you tossing about in a storm that seems relentless at the moment, for there may be a lesson there that you, and quite possibly others in that same boat, may need to learn before the seas calm and you can continue your journey.  Continue to set the sails of His Word and His Spirit, surrounding yourselves with Godly people, and you will weather the storm, but cower and hide in the dark of the cabin, the devil will surely find you and your boat will flounder and flip, for you have forgotten your training, lost your Faith, lost your way.  If you lose your way, the devil will find you, because we’re more inclined to hear words of temptation towards potential solid ground than a whisper of hope towards the unknown land.

So my boat is out at sea, and it’s tossing and turning, floundering, but I’m gripping onto every rail I can to keep from falling out of the vessel that’s carried me all this way so that the devil won’t drag me under.  And this takes two types of discipline…my own to God, and to my daughter.  I know she’s been disciplined, with words, with a hand across her fanny as a small child, (sorry if you disagree, but I disagree with “new parenting…if you look at what I’ve written with an honest eye and open heart, you’d see that the new generation of 20-something’s and younger and brats because of time-out’s and etc), and she’s had discipline with punishment of grounding and extra chores as she’s gotten older.  So now what?  What kind of discipline does a parent dole out to a child of God who is, 90% of the time, ungodly, to her family and friends…yet will turn around and give a homeless man her last five dollars?  Do you take what you can get and deal with the humiliation that she unleashes onto you?  Do you let her put you in a place that makes you feel like you want to give up on everything, including your own Faith, because she makes you question if God can really exist if it can’t even exist in your own daughter?  Do you stop talking to her all together, which is your first inclination, because that’s what you learned as a child while watching Bambi…”if you can’t say anything nice…don’t say anything at all!”  What, Oh God, kind of discipline, is in store for your child that you have placed in my hands?  What am I to learn so that I am to teach her to when all that I want, so badly, is for her to first and foremost, is to have even just a hint of Faith, and all she does is argue about having it all.  I’m stuck!  I need help!  I’m crying out for all the angels in Heaven to help us!  When parental discipline has failed one of two children, and they were both disciplined the same way, how then does discipline help in this case with the one that doesn’t respond to it?

Prov 12:1 Whoever loves discipline, loves knowledge, but whoever hates discipline is stupid

Psalm 141:5 – Let a righteous man strike me – that is a kindness; let him rebuke me, that is oil on my head.  My head will not refuse it, for my prayers will still be against the deed of evildoers.

I still sit without an answer on this one, as if it were a riddle, ungodly, which is the hardest part, because to think that way about your own child feels like a sin.  And for the, Lord, I am sorry.  Although I won’t give up the fight.  I won’t stop trying to induce the truth, one day, it might set in…

For now, I guess the discipline is still in my hands.  And my teacher, He’s still trying to teach me a lesson.  And while this storm leaves my sky cloudy, I will look through every cloud for that ray of sun to find a direction to travel, and squint through the rain that pounds against my face, making me want to look down in defeat…but I won’t.  There’s something there that is meant for me…and dangit…I’ma find it!

Prov 6:23 – For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life.

~Dear, Lord, Thank you for all the blessing you have given me, even though I’ve struggled to see them through this storm.  Please guide me through the waves of my journey and help me to guide those around me, and help those around me to guide me as well, as we are all your children and all capable of hearing and spreading your word to each other in times of need.  Please help those who lack in Faith find it, please help us with patience and understanding, health and safety.  Please help us to keep our eyes, ears, hearts, and spirits open to you, Lord, so that we may hear your call and your message, so we may continue to do your works, spread your word, and be of faithful service to you.  In your most precious and holy name I pray, Lord.  Amen~

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