Today I was reminded that I’m growing up. The crazy thing? I was reminded by a board game.
This morning was really nice. All of everyone went to school and work, except for my father, who worked at home. The sun was shining and the air was crisp. I spent my time with God downstairs instead of in my room, as I would if everyone was at home. I’ve made my way up to chapter 21 of both Matthew and Isaiah.
Reading The Abolition of Man while reading these chapters made things really easy to understand, surprisingly. In The Abolition, Lewis is talking about when people bring up the ‘why’ and ‘who’ of the origin and authority of the Moral Code that exists within all of us. This Moral Code tells us what’s right and what’s wrong. For example; when Eve took the forbidden fruit and ate it and gave some to Adam, they felt guilty because they knew they’d done wrong. They didn’t need the Bible to verify it. They knew because once they ate of the tree, what was right and what was wrong was clear before their eyes (Genesis 3:7, 22).
When the Pharisees are doing what they do best, being doofuses, asking Jesus “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21:23, ESV), Jesus answers them with a question, a question that, if they can answer it, will present them with His answer. The question is concerning John the Baptist: who baptized John the Baptist? I’ll admit the question caught ME off guard, and I’ve read this story before. Imagine what it did to the Pharisees. They politically replied with “We don’t know,” even though they knew very well, or had at least some idea of the answer to this question. I think the Pharisees knew Jesus’ answer as well, they just wanted to challenge Him, as if they could really challenge the Son of God.
In The Abolition, C.S. Lewis talks about how those who don’t embrace the Moral Code can’t be critical of it, but rather only hostile towards it. Let me explain. When those who don’t know the Bible intimately try to criticize it, their words say nothing of their intelligence but very much about their emotions and their insecurities. It would be wrong for me to criticize Buddhism without first studying its doctrine and learning about its literature and history. Those who are trying to redefine morality and reinvent the traditional value system can’t really criticize those of us who still embrace it because they themselves have failed to do so; they’ve failed to learn about it, learn what it’s like to just do the right thing rather than redefine what the right thing is exactly.
“But the right thing in one person’s eyes is different in another’s.”
Not entirely. In the small things, like stealing, murdering, coveting, and purposefully inflicting misery, every person can find wrong. It’s in these small things that we exercise our conscience, the divine Moral Code we all have, regardless of whether we’re saved or not. Being saved just makes everything clearer; everything makes sense once we’re saved. As the challenges become harder and decisions are less obvious, we use the little experiences to decide what to do in the big ones. God trusts us with little first, and if we can handle that, then He trusts us with more.
So yeah, this morning was cool 🙂
About midday, Dad went to Stewarts’ and brought me back a tall carton of orange juice. Now, for the past forever, I’ve been needing fruit and healthy food and anything other than sweets. I’ve been craving sushi, organic strawberries, smoothies, veggie burgers, and all sorts of nonsense that I only ate in the City that I’m really beginning to miss. So when Dad walked in and set down the carton on the kitchen counter saying “I got the big one, I hope that’s okay,” I was really happy. I thanked God for Dad. My father isn’t perfect, but he does love me, and that’s all that matters when it comes right down to it. God loves me through my father sometimes, like when I took the first sip of orange juice. Oh! That was so refreshing! It put me in such a great mood 🙂
I spent most of the day doing laundry, washing dishes, talking to God, reading, and then near the very end before Gracie came home from school, I played tennis and boxing on the Wii because I can 🙂 I just want to let everyone know I totally owned all of my boxing opponents…tennis not so much; I honestly felt like I was competing with a virtual Venus Williams.
Gracie came home and we watched some Once Upon A Time before making dinner and breaking out some board games. It was just her and I tonight, which was nice. She’s going through a time of hormonal everything, and Jimmy’s going through the same thing, at the same time, so they’re both on edge most of the time…but they’ll be fighting one moment and then loving on each other the next, so we all really just have to go with the flow. My Mom has told me multiple times, when I get frustrated with Gracie or I’m butting heads with her, that when I was her age I was the same way. This made me wonder what superpower God gives mothers, because I don’t know if I would be able to handle being the parent of myself….I guess you never know how you do it until you get there 🙂
I made an egg white sandwich drizzled in hot sauce and Gracie made French toast. We began a game of LIFE as we finished up our dinner. As we played, I suddenly realized how easy this game was in comparison to ACTUAL life. Whenever I used to play this game, I would imagine myself having the life I created on the orange paths towards retirement, around mid-life crises, and over hills of pay days and job opportunities, all in a white minivan with three kids and a blue-skinned husband. But now that I was playing it while actually creating my own life, I realized how ridiculously different it is. At the same time, however, and I really don’t know why I thought of this while checking into Millionaire Estates, I was reminded of God’s plan for me, of how wonderful my life is as of now and how wonderful it will be, even if my plan doesn’t quite happen. The thing that makes it wonderful now and will certainly make it wonderful in the future is that I have an undying hope that doesn’t come from myself, but rather from something that never changes, never leaves, and never let’s me down.
Gracie, Jimmy, and I played Skip-Bo until Gracie began getting on edge and being dramatic so I ended up leaving the game and going upstairs, frustrated. I wrote a scene for my novel, one where the main character was kicking soil, cutting tree limbs and ferns with a sword because someone had made her angry and rather than completely lose her cool, she was given the self-control to walk away. Writing is definitely a God-given outlet. After writing the scene I did what I often do when I’m angry; I began organizing. The subject of my wrath was my collection of photos and the albums in which I put them. I re-sorted the events that each photo represented, brought out a box of photos that I still hadn’t put into albums or done anything with for some time. As I looked through them, using them as a coping mechanism, I became emotional over how much my siblings and I had grown, how much my family had changed. I found pictures from before everything happened with Stephen, from when Gracie had her braces, and from when Mom and I went to New York City for the first time, to name a few. It’s weird how photos can do that to a person.
Lesson of the day: Life is never easy, but God often makes it so you don’t even notice the difficulties, so long as you keep your eyes on Him. After all, He’s the cornerstone, the pivot point of life, the one thing that everything revolves around and the one thing that holds all things together. We sometimes get so caught up in the terrible tragedies of life and the heart-wrenching trials that demand so much of our energy and time and thought, that we forget it’s just life; it’s just another day in this temporary home. For believers, one day we won’t have to deal with any of it anymore. I can’t imagine living without that hope.
“..Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe…”
—Ephesians 1:18,19 ESV