Thursday, September 28, 2006

Here I Go Again...

My last post was controversial and well, I guess I'm on a roll. This one will be a tad controversial, too.

One of my favorite bloggers is Laura at Here and Now. She's such a sweetheart and I would love to have her for a neighbor. Awhile ago she wrote about an idea she'd read about in another blog--you can read her post here if you'd like.

In theory, it's a marvelous idea. What is the idea? You choose to read a book which a friend or relative loves and has perhaps been begging you to read for a long time. And by reading your friend's favorite book you'll be showing him/her you care enough to read something they consider important. And too, by reading what they love, you'll perhaps come to understand them better and be able to relate to them better in years ahead.

And really, that is a sweet idea. And since Laura is a compassionate person, I could totally understand where she's coming from.

But I have just one problem with that idea. Until I went online, most of my friends had no problem with reading books peppered with swearing and using God's name in vain. Books which contain sex outside of marriage, adultery between people married to others, and bodice-ripping-like details of well... now you have me blushing!

And well, even for the sake of deepening a friendship, I cannot read books like those.

I just can't. Not even for my best friend or for someone who needs a friend.

Call me whatever you wish (believe me, I already know some of the names you might be thinking right now), but if I didn't follow my convictions in this area, I couldn't live with myself afterward. I feel God has asked me to stay away from books like those and what He asks of me must be considered first. Always. When I plow right through my convictions, I always discover myself later in some troubled land.

And for me, that whole idea carries over into other areas, also. If I have a dear friend who 'needs' me to do something, anything, which shoots-off all sorts of red flags and lights inside my heart, well, I will have to say, "No, I'm sorry." (And knowing me, I'd be lightning-quick to suggest an alternative plan, being a retired subtle control-freak.)

I have not gained popularity living this way. Trust me. But I have gained a deep, lasting peace. And days when it feels like it should be illegal to carry this much joy.

But let me be quick to add-- I also believe that we are all in different places in our walk with God... and sometimes what He convicts one person of, He doesn't appear to convict another. Some people have wonderful ministries and yet they do what God won't let me get away with. I get that. And when I really got that--I stopped complaining about how unfair that appeared to be and I just left those things in God's hands. I realized Trust requires some unanswered questions. And besides, God knows exactly what He's doing--even when I don't have a clue as to why He's doing it. (Imagine that!)

And then I began being more observant about whether *I* was obeying God--or not. Because after all, I can do something about that. And God can help me understand things which concern myself--that's not too much of a stretch (or shouldn't be, anyway).

I've discovered Life is so much less complicated when I just plain ol' mind my own business... and do the best I can with God at my side, guiding me through the murky stuff. Upon this Earth, there will always be the murky stuff--and oh, how I need Him to walk me through it!

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