Posts Tagged ‘hero’

You know the word “ford,” right?  Not the pick-up truck.  As in a river.  It’s the shallow area where one can safely cross a river.  To have a ford, you need a river.  A river is a depression in which water flows.  So you need a depression, and water, and then you need the shallows.  Read on. 
My oldest younger brother moved out last month, into a condo.  Tonight for the first time I got to see it with furniture in it.  Well, furniture and boxes and a general mess upstairs.  He managed to fill the entire place remarkably well.  So my visiting sister and I helped unpack for a while.  He has a skylight, on which our majorest Autumn Rain of the season was pattering peacefully. 
After an hour and a half of organizing and throwing things away, we decided we were hungry.  So we piled into my brother’s little white car that, due to a belt problem, squeals wildly whenever he shifts from reverse to drive.  The rain still came down, and when we got to KFC for their $3.99 colonel strips deal, there was a miniature river glimmering in the parking lot lights.  So our good brother dropped us off at the door.  My sister and I, we were wearing shoes not made for wading.  We wouldn’t even walk through the wet grass.  So we were grateful. 

Our brother’s renter met us there a little after 9 o’clock, and after my brother prayed, “Thanks for the chicken,” we finished our meal.  The employees swept and stacked chairs on tables around us, even though they close at ten.  Anyway, we were ready to leave and the rain had let up so my sister and I thought we could jump the smaller river.  We stood on the edge, and judged.  I teased that my good brother might carry us over, or lay down his hoodie for us.  There was no jumping.  We would splash water all over our poor feet.  So we moved upstream to search for a ford.    

Which is when my brother decided to be the ford.  He put his two well-shoed feet in the water, and we stepped one foot at a time across the current.  It was a marvelous adventure, and we were quite dry.  Heroe brother to the rescue! 
The only time we were really wet was when we got into my car to go back to our house.  My car leaks.  See, when I got it several years ago the windshield was cracked.  And the dealer promised replacement as a condition of sale.  So he sent his pathetic contract crew to do it.  They didn’t come, and then they came the wrong time, and then they came with the wrong windshield so they came the next day with the right one.  And finally I had a windshield, but my confidence was duly shaken.  And as soon as it rained I realized I was justified.  My windshield leaks at the seams.  Maybe my car leaks in other ways, too.  In fact I know it leaks through the rubber seal around the door on the passenger side, and it might leak through the sunroof, too (yes, even when it’s closed).  So my seat was wet, and the dashboard dripped on my sister’s foot. 
Safe and dry now, we’re at home.  My parents were asleep early, the house dark at the remarkably early hour of 10:30.  And I trust my brother is safe, even though he was going to investigate several police cars with flashing lights near his condo.  It’s a nightly occurrence there.  He and his roommate need prayer for safety and that their neighborhood will be influenced with the gospel.  It can happen. 
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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Why am I writing this series?  On Saturday I went to a jewelry party (like Pampered Chef, Tupperware, PartyLite candles, etc.)  There are rules for how to wear your jewelry!  People are afraid to try something new or not their typical style.  Layers are very “in” right now.  But you can go with a classic look that never goes out of fashion.  My friend who was hosting the party disagreed with some of the fundamentals of wardrobe, and the jewelry saleslady assented, “If it looks good to you, wear it; it’s all about confidence.”  I know my friend is independent-minded.   

Style is a big industry.  People advertise their designer creativity with crazy lines of clothing in fashion shows, and somehow make plenty of money.  This happens even though I don’t see anyone but models wearing those things, and if they’re not wearing them, are they really buying them?   Why do people follow trends, anyway?  The popular girl wore that, so I will too?  We really think the movie star’s life is so wonderful that we want to do everything like them, including clothes and hair? 

Because something is popular, we consider it beautiful?  Or just because it is new and different, edgy, we invest money in it?  I can understand doing that with a car (whose innovations usually look good and have functional improvements in performance).   Apparently advertising agencies run the world.  They created the concept of teenager, which now governs economics, education, family, marriage, morality, justice…  The industry tells us how to spend our money by manipulating emotional, need-to-fit-in people into feeling like they need their products.   

Do we have a choice?  Does God have choices?  What is the meaning of not choosing something?  Is value subjective or objective?  Is value placed on a thing by a chooser, or is it inherent?   The capitalist system of economics is based on the notion that consumers will act on their sense of value.  For example, I value a necklace at the jewelry party, but I value other uses of my money more. 

A wrench is thrown in the theory of capitalism when I say that even though I value something more than my fluid cash, I won’t buy the item because of moral/spiritual convictions.  I may believe that God doesn’t want me to spend money I don’t have, for example.  I believe that $15,000 would be a great deal for a house.  But I don’t have 15 grand, so I’m not acting on my sense of value.  Even if I need a house, or think it is a great investment, I won’t buy.   

God is also teaching me about embracing sacrifice, intentionally going without what I want.  This is part of the concept behind fasting.  Fasting is a huge exercise of will over want.   If I was being sincere, I would tell you how I really feel about fasting.  My convictions tell me that the way I feel is sometimes wrong.  So I will exercise my will in acting upon what I ought to be in order that I may become that ideal in sincerity.   

Finally, I’ve been reflecting on strong-willed people, especially children who try their parents.  Some strong-willed rebels are breaking my heart.  Other strong-willed children are too young to have made life-altering mistakes.  I listen to their parents talk about them, and I wonder if I could help them to understand the puzzles who are their children.  Would it benefit them to know?   Dr. Dobson wrote a book.  I haven’t read it.  He doesn’t seem to be strong-willed to me.  I think President Bush is.  President Reagan was. 

Heroes are strong-willed, fictional or historical.  Villains tend to be that, as well.  In Beauty and the Beast, both main characters are strong-willed.  Think of their argument after she runs away.  But, as the song says, somebody bends unexpectedly.  Notice it doesn’t say somebody was bent.  They bend.  The tense is intransitive.   

I can relate.  This could be titled, “Confessions of a Strong-willed Christian.”  In writing this series, I discovered a lot about myself, and happily connected dots.  I have a friend who thinks that it is inconsistent with the rest of my personality that I like to watch football.  My position is that it must be linked to my fundamental identity.  This has been an exercise in associating who I am with that identity.  But no, I still can’t explain why I like football. 

Still to come:

What is a Strong-Willed Person? 

How Can you Tell if Someone is Strong-Willed? 

What should Parents of Strong-Willed Children Do?  

Is there Hope?  The Good Side of Strong Will.  To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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