Monday, January 11, 2010

A look at intent...

My first piece of mail in 2010 was a notification from the Department of Real Estate informing me that I had to update my license in order to be compliant with a new law. Having heard from another licensee that the process was nominally painless, I finally mustered up the strength and went online to complete the form.

After entering in my basic information (name, SSN, license number, etc) it asked me to identify which kind of real estate business I had participated in. I thought it interesting that one of the options was "Sell or offer to sell, buy or offer to buy or exchange notes secured by real estate." Selling, buying, and exchanging notes is not eye catching, but the "offer to" part was.

It seems that the DRE looks at action that same way God does, by measuring your intent. In Matthew 6:21-22 Jesus says:
You have heard that the ancients were told, "You shall not commit murder" and "Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court." But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, "You good-for-nothing," shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, "You fool," shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
It doesn't seem fair that anger would be comparable to murder until you realize that they are just different results of planting the same seed. Take a moment to look at your actions and the motivation behind them. You might be surprised at what you see.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way past the candy dish...

The last few years I have decided that I can't - or, let's be honest, maybe just don't want to - make New Year's Resolutions. I like to tell myself that there are just too many ways I want to improve myself, and so instead I make New Month Resolutions! Maybe I'm just non-committal.

This year on January 1 I resolved to not eat chocolate for the month of January. Though I'm sure right now my boss Karen, the queen of all things dark chocolate, is considering firing me for this, it's a decision I made for a few reasons. First of all, recent findings show I may be allergic. I know, I know, but please don't cry for me. Secondly, I could stand to lose a few pounds and avoiding chocolate certainly won't hurt, except maybe emotionally.

Well, it was only January 2 when I realized how prevalent chocolate is in my life. My husband bought a delicious birthday cake for our son and it had the most delicous chocolate mousse filling - I'm speaking from memory of course, because I some how managed to only eat the cake and frosting, thus keeping my resolution. Despite crazy thoughts of "how could I NOT eat my son's birthday cake" I stood strong. Phew! That was a close one.

So here we are a few days later and something amazing, even empowering, happened. On my way out the front door of our office, as I walked right past the candy dish my first thought was not to questions how to avoid the chocolate, but rather that I really didn't want/need ANY candy. What a surprising turn of events: I took one small stand and it gave me more strength than I planned on.

With that on my mind, I wondered what might happen if I took a similar stand in some spiritual matters. If I resolved to read one Bible verse a day, perhaps I'd read a whole chapter. Or two. If I resolved to say please and thank you more, maybe I'd actually feel more grateful the gifts God has given me. 2 Timothy 1 tells us to "fan into flame the gift of God." Notice it is not "fan the flame" signifying a blaze that is already burning, rather it is the transition of something small into something greater.

Let's see how the rest of the month goes...