Thursday, August 11, 2016

Don't Be Riff With Strife

Some mornings here change rapidly weather-wise. The morning can begin overcast with a sprinkle or two of rain, then a slight fog can be detected on the mountains in the distance and that foggy mountain view can make for some scenic pictures. As the sun breaks through the clouds and fog, we begin to experience a sunny beginning to the day and that can be short lived or extend throughout the morning and afternoon. All that can be happening and can be seen from a chair in the living room looking out a window. I have seen some great rainbows in that window that necessitated further investigation. And on cue the sun has burst forth and covering the chair and floor with its glorious light.

I don't know what triggered this memory, yes I do, all about looking out windows and the differing views observed throughout mornings and days, but I was thinking about the day Jason, Ministries Pastor, and I moved into the Ed Suite now known as the Ministries Suite. It was not a move I was thrilled about. Our little team of Jason, Matt and I had been off by ourselves and now we were thrown into the sea of multiple desks and little offices. My office had this huge window in it that looked out onto the admin's desks and at the top of this window, in big letters it had the word INFORMATION and an arrow pointing into my newly acquired office. My first act of moving into that office was getting that taken off the window and I felt rather Reaganite cause when 'INFORMATION" came off the glass, it felt like the Berlin Wall had been torn down or the walls of Jericho come a tumbling down. When we ordered new blinds for the windows in our offices, I made sure that big a$$ window was measured and fitted for blinds. The previous occupant of that office wanted to know and observe everything that was going on in the inner sanctum of admins. I trusted they were doing their work just as I was doing mine. Oh happy day, when the blinds that were purchased, took the glare away...oh happy day. The previous occupant of that office had moved over just one office away and we came to heated words several times in the next few months. One time our persons and words spilled out of her new office and into the heart of the suite and because I had a parent, my father, who had the same type of personality and behavior as this person, my words came out easily and with great confidence. I could totally spiritualize this and say, I was like David defending the sheep from the lion and bear, so I had good practice when it came to defeating this giant of fear among the admins. In the midst of this huge "discussion" I realized we shouldn't have spilled out of her office and afterwards all those young women told me how they had loved witnessing the take down and they would like to see that happen again. As much fun as it had been for me because frankly, instead of giving my frustrations over to the Lord, I had harbored bitter thoughts about this person and their ways, it had amused me while participating in the take down. And at the time I was reading a book written about how the enemy attacks believers and one of the biggest ways mentioned was strife. Yes, those words from the book really helped me that day....well, they did afterwards when I realized I needed to go back to this person and apologize because in the office transition and being older than most of the admins, both of us, we needed to actually practice what the Word of God said, not mimic the words and our actions define us otherwise. I wish I could tell you that the apology made a world of difference, it didn't. In fact, I reacted to an insult while apologizing and once again apologized because keeping strife at a minimum was paramount. After that we walked carefully around one another in the office. The very system that had given authority was the same system that took it away and just like that they were gone. Did the Ministries Suite become an oasis of peace then? No, there were little foxes spoiling the vines on a weekly basis. Strife is not our friend. Romans 12 says it best, don't be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

Now that it is afternoon I can see out the window even better than before. My new glasses were readjusted and if I wanted to I could go out and get my new sunglasses too. Right now the sky is a lovely grayish blue with a few puffs of white clouds. The feels like index is 89 degrees so I am content to observe for now and maybe later get outside to enjoy a breeze and watch butterflies.

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