Monthly Archives: December 2012

Janus Past

200px-Janus-Vatican

I am thankful for another year of blessings. I certainly don’t deserve them, but because I am God’s favorite, He delights in me anyway. Go figure. Good thing He’s God and I’m not.

Janus was the Roman god of…a bunch of stuff. In this context, endings and beginnings, the past and the future, for whom the Romans named the first month of the year: January. It’s kind of cool to use that as a springboard for posting..at least as a basic idea.

The problem is that there is an important component missing, imVho. The Present. True, the present is fleeing and is often overlooked, but that’s the point. One could argue that Janus sits in the present, looking to the past and the future. But if he’s looking backward and forward, what does he see of NOW? I’d say not much, Maybe a bit peripherally.

Like all Roman (and Greek and…) gods, he is created in the image of man. And we are sooo much like Janus, either focused on the past, which we cannot change, or the future, which we can change, to greater or lesser degrees, sometimes.

But in either case, doing that we’re not in the present, which is the only “place” we actually live. And  focusing anywhere but here/now for any length of time means we miss out on what’s beautiful and blessing us in the present. Of course, we should look to the past occasionally: for reminders of God’s incredible track record with us as creatures and with us each personally. For learning lessons from mistakes so that we don’t repeat them (too often). But we can’t live there.  More on this theme tomorrow.

I much prefer The Lord Almighty, Who Was, Who Is, and Who Is to Come. Unchanging. Outside of time (unlike Janus who sits firmly inside time. On a fence, so to speak…) Because He is not bound by time (as its creator), past, present and future don’t mean the same thing to Him as is does to us time bound creatures. And that is such a good thing.

Jehovah Rophe: The Lord is Healing (my past).

Advertisements

At Year’s End, 2012

sunday’s Spiritual Spin

I am thankful for the tremendous blessings of past year–some of which did not look at all like blessings. And some of which I have yet to comprehend. But my understanding was never commanded, much to my dismay at times. Fortunately (!), my understanding or lack thereof in no way hinders the blessings or my thankfulness.

This blog is actually one of the more recent blessings, not that I have achieved the discipline or attitude adjustment I seek. But the groundwork is steadily being laid. I didn’t veer off course overnight (see About page) so I suspect that it may be awhile veering back to a more gracious, gratitude filled place. One step at a time.

Many things I wished to happen, didn’t. Several outside of my control; all too many others well within it. Of those, I don’t even want to count how many were due to unrealistic expectations and..let’s call it inertia.

I’m not one for making New Year’s Resolutions. They’re too much like diets. Vain mouthings clothed as promises with precious little intention, deliberation or resolve to motivate. So I’m not making any this year either. I do have some goals and some wishes/dreams that I’d like to see come to fruition this coming year and I will be continuing in their execution and pursuit.

Now is as good a time as any to renew some of the excitement and energy that has flagged over the passing months. A little time to review, rethink and re-prioritize what I want to accomplish is yet another blessing for which I am thankful.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future and with that, I am content and overwhelmingly blessed.

“Samuel took a stone and…named it Ebenezer, saying ‘Thus far has the Lord helped us.’” 1 Samuel 7:12

 

Leise rieselt der Schnee

I am thankful for the gently falling snow today.

I am even more thankful that we have a snow removal service. Or falling that, a snow blower. And a 14 year old who is actually still excited about using it.

 

Children

I am thankful for children.  Specifically my sister’s kids.. The youngest helped remind me of the wonders of Christmas–so excited about receiving so many little things, getting to sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. The oldest being thankful for a guitar, even when it wasn’t what his mom ordered, and being pretty good about getting outside to keep the porches clean (it’s been snowing pretty consistently today. And the middlest–who having some disabilities reminds me of God’s patience with me when I can’t seem to get what He wants me do to. (At 12, life’s transitions can be rough, even without the additional challenges of being handicapped. Prayers are always a great idea and joyfully accepted.)

While they can be self absorbed–like all humans–they also show some behaviors indicating they can think of others too. And that’s pretty cool, overall.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

I am thankful for Him, Jesus.

We don’t really know when He was born. It certainly wasn’t December 25. But that’s not the point.    We’re not celebrating when He was born; we celebrate that He was born.

God Incarnate–Deity Made Flesh. He became one of us that we might get a glimpse of Who He Is, to be able to relate to Him. He gave up “all the glories of Heaven” to become a tiny baby, laid in a stone trough (aka manger) that foreshadows the stone Tomb in which He would be laid and from which He would rise triumphant over death. Just as an aside, I find it fascinating that there is such an emphasis on His birth, which IS important, don’t get me wrong, but it is not the most important “holy day” in the Christian Calendar. That would be “Easter.” Why isn’t there the same kind of commercialization of Easter as there is Christmas? (A rhetorical exercise for the class…)

There are SO many bunny trails I could follow here, and although this is the Season of giving, I shall refrain and go help set up breakfast so the slavering hordes will have some sustenance prior to jumping into the goodies.

Movement 3 (Gloria) from Daniel Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata. I had the pleasure of singing this at a high school concert (regionals or some such). Enjoy!