Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mines & Mindsets

At home sits a girl, a laptop propped on her lap, music going in her ears.  Clicking mindlessly at the beginning of a dozen minesweeper games, she wonders when the big field will open up where there are few mines.  Just a few more games. Just a few more minutes.  What else is there to do, after all?  Draw-- play music--write--where is the meaning in that?  Oh, perhaps there is more meaning in it than games, but there is always time for that later.  A time when she's feeling more inspired.

The truth is, life is a lot like the minefield on minesweeper.  There are dangers, yes, but we want to find the easiest path with few mines, or what looks like few mines.  But the clear field is really just pushing the mines outward, not lessening the number; they gang up on you in the end, and then they are all the trickier to overcome.

A few obstacles and hardships are helpful along the way to keep us careful, learning, and dependent on God.

And sometimes the littlest things we do are used to the greatest effect by a God who is bigger than all.

If we stop and think, our talents can be used by God, can be a blessing to others, and most definitely are more important than a game of minesweeper, where the only reward is a name on the high score list.

*You do need a bit of a clear field to open up when playing Minesweeper, but if you keep clicking and waiting, you will run into mines, and the game is then over.  Or, like I said, it may be that more mines will be clustered together later and make it harder to finish--that's sort of a working theoryAnd I try not to play the game too often.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Call to Wonder - Book Review

This is an amazing book for those of us who have lost at least some of our childlike wonder and trust. I wasn't quite sure how much it would help me, because I already marvel at God's creation. But there is so much more to it than that! And I still take God's creation for granted sometimes and focus on the downsides of things. From topics on humility, joy, and drawing near to God, there are so many things to learn from this book! One of the big things for me was the reminder that God is a loving Father to His children. Obvious point, but for some reason my mind tends to stay on the judging, angry side of God, when He placed the punishment for sin on His Son. We are still called to maturity and holiness, of course, but we should love and seek those because we love God.

The story Dr. R. C. Sproul Jr. told of his daughter, "Princess Happy" just blew me out of the water, too. She and others like her are a gift, not a burden, and they are our spiritual betters in many ways! They know how to trust, to enjoy, and to please.

Even if I didn't agree with every little point of the book, it still deserves a definite 5 stars.

Here are a few quotes from the book:

“There's this thing that I like to call the RC Sproul principle of hermeneutics.
When you're reading the Bible and you come across someone doing something really stupid, don't say to yourself "I'm glad I'm not him." Ask yourself "How am I that stupid?”

"Daily I witness my spiritual betters in my own children. When the snows come, I see ice crystals falling, slick roads, and rising heat bills. They sit at the window in awe of God's creativity. When nighttime falls and the stars shine, I muse about burning balls of hydrogen. They join the dancing of the spheres in celebration of God who made them. When our family sits down to eat, I envision a cluttered kitchen and dishes needing to be washed. They see daily bread delivered by their faithful heavenly Father."

"If you should ever be blessed to be far enough from the cacophony of civilization when a heavy snow falls, you can even hear the very music of the iced dew's delicate descent. It is the repainting of a landscape in a thousand hues of white. It is the dance of the wind."

"The trees in the fields clap their hands, not as solemn applause but as giddy frolic. The seas roar, not like a lion but like the crowd at the football game."

"Because we are more adult than actually mature, we tend to take our sins and baptize them, dressing them up as spiritual maturity."

"Perhaps the most shockingly transcendent thing about the God we worship is that He is pleased to stoop down to us, to draw near, to know us, love us, walk with us, and call us all by name."

"The call to delight in our heavenly Father is not one that can be rightly obeyed with bootstrap effort. One cannot grimly determine to rejoice in the grace of God. The only way to rejoice the way David did is to be overcome with emotion. David's joyous dance was true to who he was and true to how he felt about God. It was David becoming like a child, so much so that he insisted on giving in to his willingness, even his eagerness, to become undignified."

"Instead of seeing all of this as God's extraordinary grace, we come to expect the comfort and joys that God gives us as the baseline, the measure of what we believe to be our due. When our comfort level drops below our expectations, we are shocked and angered, and even foolishly express our outrage to God Himself."

Recommended for everyone, especially grown-up Christians, who may have to grow down. :)