“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
Christmas Day was as comfortable a day as possible, I suppose. I spent a nice morning with NiLaLi – thanks so much for your hospitality and understanding. I received many phone texts from family and good friends – you don’t know how much your words meant to me – throughout the day. The messages started coming in around 7am Tues morning and they kept coming in until last evening around 9pm. I also received phone calls from family and friends, too. Of course, I appreciate your time and the energy you invested to think of me.
I only hope that I can be as out-going next time someone is in need and is hurting. This is one of the many lessons I have learned in the past few months – take the time to reach out to someone who hurts. It is simple and very meaningful – especially when coming from special people. I hope I can do as well with others as many of you have been doing for me.
I am about to wrap up this month of opening up for you in this forum. Then I will take a break. It may or may not have been coming through clearly, but I’ve wanted to inspect the mysteries of God and the universe that I believe I am now facing.
Basically, my world was rocked when I lost Regina and everything ended up – and is still – falling into one of two buckets. One bucket seems to be leaky and has no staying power – the other bucket seems like it could extend into eternity and is something I can’t really explain. These are the two buckets:
1. Stuff that doesn’t matter that I should throw over the side – I don’t need it
2. Stuff that really matters that I should keep hold of – I really need it
It may not be quite as black and white as what is in the list below, but these are becoming some pretty compelling filters that I can and have been using to make decisions that I’ve had to make – and will continue to make – as to whether something stays or goes. And yes, this applies to things and it applies to relationships. This is what my filtering has started to look like:
1. Have I used or done anything with it in the past twelve months?
2. Does it encourage and strengthen me or does it drag and choke me down?
3. Does it hold an aspect of faith and endurance or is it about quitting and giving up?
4. Is it about building someone else up or is it about building me up?
5. Is it good or is it evil?
6. Can it be used by me or someone else in the future?
7. Does it smell like an eternity thing or is it a flash-in-the-pan?
8. Is it popularly valuable or is it popularly faddish?
9. Does it cause thankfulness or shame?
10. Is it mysteriously uplifting or is it safely debilitating?
And my extra credit:
11. Is it because I am thinking with a level head or is it because I am angry?
And I think somehow – again – these two buckets are basically different in that one is all about the here-and-now and the other one is all about everything else. I can’t explain the second bucket very well. I think it is about God and eternity and everlasting and islands in time and so forth. It sounds good to me but I can’t explain it.
For the next few days and as I wrap this up, I want to consider and wonder about my bins and what I put in each one of them and what happens to what I put in the two buckets and how I get stuff in one or the other bucket and what happens to me now or forever depending on how I fill my buckets. You get the idea. Maybe.
I probably can’t do this right on my own…