Thursday, March 31, 2011

No Stopping Any Time

Anyone love a challenge? I have mixed feelings. I've realized that I love accomplishing something new, but I really don't like doing something new.

Last week my running partner Heather and I decided we should run a hill to prepare ourselves for our race in San Francisco which will surely have some elevation changes. The hill which is actually less than 1/2 of a mile long could have easily been 10 miles long because I had only trained on the flats.

About half way up the hill and close to passing out, I had to laugh as I saw a "No Stopping Any Time" sign. I began to think, what would ACTUALLY happen if I sat down right now? Surely Heather, who had long passed me, would eventually notice I wasn't behind her, right?

At first I felt some guilt - the sign said no stopping and I had already reduced my speed to barely a walk and was seriously contemplating sitting down. But then I realized I hadn't sat down and despite my progress being greatly behind Heather's, I was doing my best and still moving!

So my message today is a simple word of encouragement. As I once heard a radio evangelist say, "When you're going through Hell, DON'T STOP!"

Friday, March 11, 2011

Overflowing Oatmeal

This morning as I cooked my oatmeal in the microwave it overflowed, leaving quite a mess for me to clean up. I tried to remove the bowl from the microwave, but it was hot and sticky, so I got napkins to grab the side of the bowl. Then I cleaned up what had spilled over into the microwave. This was a pretty easy task, but in looking at my bowl (which I had intended to take with me to eat on the way to work) I realized it was going to be a problem. The messy bowl no longer seemed suitable to go with me.

I seriously had a moment when I thought I might just abandon the whole thing - oatmeal and bowl - and start over, but then I realized what was on the inside could still be saved.

In our Wednesday Bible study we've been reading through Genesis. One of the comments that came up as we read the story of Adam & Eve through Noah was why God didn't just wipe out the human race and start over. We certainly gave Him plenty of reason and opportunities to do so. Ultimately, He looks at us like I did my oatmeal - able to be saved... with help from the Creator.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Popcorn and Bloody Noses

If you read the title to this blog, I'm sure you're wondering what popcorn and a bloody nose might have in common. And rightfully so, because in reality they have nothing in common. But here's what happened this morning:

My son Josiah has been sick for a while. And though he's been a pretty good sport about the coughing and the weak voice, he woke up this morning and said to me frailly, "Mommy, can I have popcorn for breakfast. Popcorn starts with a little p." How could I say no to that request? I really could not, especially since it seemed no less healthy than the Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal that was otherwise slated for him to eat.

By the time I got to work, my husband called to tell me that Josiah had gotten a bloody nose - an unfortunately genetic weakness he's inherited. As my husband was cleaning up the blood Josiah asked him, "Why does this happen to me?" And then he continued, "Is it because I eat popcorn?"

Poor Josiah! In his four year old mind this was a simple case of cause and effect. Though we got a good laugh out of it, I began thinking that I tend to oversimplify things like this too. When something bad happens I often trace it back to the last significant event, even asking God why! I've heard so many people ask why bad things happen to good people or why good things happen to bad people.

I have a feeling that God's answer is much the same as our's to Josiah: that's just the way it is sometimes.