Thursday, July 14, 2011

Higher Learning Through Online Shopping

I’ve been away from my blog for over two weeks now. How time slips by... God had guided me into thinking about all of the experiences I have had that have led me to want to show mercy to others. I started to write about it and soon realized that it would be a multi-post endeavor. And with life happening all around me, I got bogged down and stopped. (Could that be called getting “blogged” down?)

The multi-post writing job is still in process. However, wanting to be faithful to God’s call to keep myself accountable through writing, I’m going to keep on typing about things that come up.

During all the time that I was ignoring my writing, I still found time (unfortunately, according to my husband) to shop online. I should probably examine that closer, but I’m not ready (not willing?) to yet. I’m not sure that I enjoy “being accountable through writing” when I end up having to admit to one and all the vices in my life. But there it is.

So what new finds did I haul in from online? Well, I have a new ring. I wasn’t actually shopping for a ring, but it was shiny and caught my eye. It is inscribed with this verse: "Delight Yourself In The Lord And He Will Give You The Desires Of Your Heart - Psalm 37:4." Being the self-centered person that I am, getting the desires of my heart has a big interest for me. And wearing Christian jewelry makes me a good person, right? (please read that sarcastically) It is just another type of cop-out evangelism for me: don’t approach people directly about my beliefs, but have some outward sign that might make them ask questions. No pressure on me to spread the Good News. God will just make it happen because I’m wearing this ring, right? Wow. This accountability thing sucks sometimes. Sorry I can’t think of a better word for it, but really...

So far, nobody has asked me about the ring.

It did get me to thinking, though. What does that mean, “Delight yourself in the Lord”? I approach God with reverence and fear sometimes. Sometimes I rail at Him when I don’t understand why He is leading me down a certain path. When I’m feeling philosophical, I wonder what led Him to create humanity in the first place. But I don’t understand how to delight in Him. I learned many things in church while growing up, but I don’t remember a lesson on delighting in the Lord.

A Google search did not provide much help. There were many unrelated results. I did find an article about how God delights in us. But not much more. A quick look at Amazon and C28 shows some books/videos on the subject, but I don’t recognize any of the authors. I might have to look into some of those resources to see if they will help.

I started to wonder if anyone in my life thought about these things. So where do you go to ask questions like that? Facebook, of course! This is what I posted:

“Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” How do you “delight yourself in the Lord”? Wrestling with the idea for a blog post. If you answer this question, be warned that I might quote you.

People must have taken my quote warning seriously, because out of several hundred “friends”, only one person answered. I have email alerts on, so this is what showed up in my inbox:

Brandy ******* commented on your status.

Brandy wrote: "I am so praying for a great revelation on that sister....I really want to know"

That gave me pause.

Let me explain. Brandy and I have been “Facebook friends” for some time now, but I have met her exactly once. At her husband’s funeral, when she was pregnant with their fourth child. If it is possible, it was a happy funeral – we were all celebrating one of the Godliest men any of us had had the privilege to meet. There is no way to exaggerate it. He fairly glowed with the presence of the Lord and he had made it his life-work to share God with “the least of these”. Charles and I only knew him for a short time before he died in a car accident, but we treasure that short time.

So what I know of Brandy, other than how her life could be viewed as tragic from an outside perspective, is from what she posts on Facebook. There are plenty of posts about how the kids are doing and moving to a new area. There are just as many – if not more – posts about Brandy’s relationship with God. If it is possible for somebody to glow with the presence of the Lord through the internet, Brandy does that. I’m not saying that she never questions or feels a little empty. But she is so connected to seeing God in every aspect of her life. She constantly asks for more of Him. She loves Him and others. She worships Him with her posts. And I have never seen anything that makes me think she sees her life as tragic. Ever.

So Brandy wants to know what it means to delight in the Lord. Personally, I thought she already knew. And in a brief moment of panic I thought, “If Brandy of all people doesn’t know, there is no hope for me to ever figure it out.” Blessedly, God didn’t let me sit with that thought for very long. It is my suspicion that Brandy does not try to quantify the quality of her spiritual life. So it would not occur to her that others are comparing themselves to her and finding themselves lacking. The way I was doing. I also suspect that she is disciplined enough to be spending time in the Word and prayer and thanksgiving on a regular basis, which shows up as delight in the Lord to those of us blessed enough to have any connection with her. If that is evident to those of us around her, why is she still really wanting to know how to delight in the Lord? I think Brandy is just humble, doesn't think too much of her abilities, and wants more of every good and spiritual thing that God will give her.

I am beginning to enter the very edges of a spiritual maturity that makes me want all of those good things too. What a strange new world this is – the Land Beyond The Tip of My Nose. I expect the answer to how to delight in God lays somewhere in this realm. With more discpline to be spending time in the Word and prayer and thanksgiving, I just might find it.

So here we are again. I have come to the end of a post without providing an answer to my big question of the day. If you were expecting any type of insight, I am sorry to disappoint. My internet-impulse buying got me a shiny new ring that has left me pondering, but I at least have held myself accountable again. Another small victory on this journey.


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