Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Here's Anna at her end of the year pre-school concert...
Tempering the Extreme
I have a tendency toward dorkiness… I can’t help it. When I was in about the fourth or fifth grade, my dad bought me a comic book for a long road trip and it changed me forever. I became totally obsessed with comics, sci-fi movies and all things fantasy. I know the history of every X-Man, can tell you which characters were in both Star Trek the Next Generation as well as Deep Space Nine, and I do a pretty mean impression of Chewbacca. I mean, I’ve even read The Silmarillion multiple times… I know, that’s a little ridiculous, but hey, I’m a dork. Here’s the thing though, I know I’m a dork. I’m not in denial about it. I’m fully aware of my condition, unlike some folks out there…
You see, this week the new Wolverine movie came out and today Charlie and I are going to go watch it. I am inordinately excited about a movie that may in fact be terrible. The thing is, I’m so excited that somewhere in the back of my mind there is this temptation to totally geek out… but I guarantee that this temptation will be held in check by the presence at the movie theater of some guy who has no idea that he’s a dork. I just know that at theaters all across this country there will be guys who have spiked up their hair, grown struggling little beards and even tried to fashion some claws for their hands. It’s like the time I got so excited to see the new Star Wars movie a few years back that I could hardly contain myself and then there he was… some uber-dork at the theater brought his light saber and a Darth Vader mask, which calmed me down in a hurry. There was a part of me that wanted to completely geek out, but seeing the extreme tempered my geekiness.
This week started out pretty crappy and there was this huge temptation welling up inside me to be extremely grumpy and complain about all of the stuff that’s not going well in my life, and then I read the first chapter of Ruth and changed my mind… Basically Ruth starts out telling the story of this one little family from Bethlehem. There was this dude named Elimelech, his wife Naomi and their two sons. There had been a severe famine in Judah, so Elimelech packed up his little family and moved to Africa, where his sons met these two really cool girls and married them. Not long after that, Elimelech and the two boys died, leaving Naomi a widow along with her two widowed daughters-in-law. Naomi decided to go back home to Bethlehem, so she told the girls to stay in Africa and make their own lives. One of the girls did just that, but the other girl said, “Nope. I’m with you. Wherever you go, I go.” That was Ruth.
So Naomi and Ruth headed back to Bethelehem with no husbands, no money and no prospects. When they arrived, everyone was like, “Hey! It’s Naomi! She’s come back home!” In Ruth chapter 1 Naomi said, “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty.” You see, ‘Naomi’ is a word that means, ‘sweet’ and ‘Mara’ is a word that means ‘bitter.’ She was so angry with God about all the hard stuff in her life and it made her gross. She used to be called ‘sweet’ and now she was complaining, hardened and bitter toward God and life in general. When I read that little speech Naomi gave, it helped me snap out of my funk! I don’t want to live like that! I don’t want to be running around telling everyone who’ll listen how terribly God has treated me when the truth is, He’s been so very good! When things are going rough, it’s tempting to get frustrated and complain, but in the end, you’re only mad at God and it just makes you bitter… I decided right then and there to have a day filled with praise for God and love for Jesus and I did! It was the sweetest day ever, and I gotta tell ya, life’s a whole lot more fun that way.