Tag Archives: Priorities

Chasing a Hearse on a Harley

Our pastor told a story this past Sunday about a funeral procession that is totally unrelated to this blog.   However, I thought his story made a perfect title so I’m stealing it.  Do you think I could get in trouble for plagiarizing part of a sermon?  Seems dangerous.    At any rate, I’m taking my chances.   Aren’t you curious how I’m going to work the title into this blog?

My birthday was over the weekend.  I’m thirty-six.   I had a one of those birthday celebrations that lasted all week, lunches and dinners and even a birthday breakfast.  My spouse spoiled me. My friends and family wrapped gifts and wrote cards.  My daughter got me flowers.   My sister bought me an outfit that I would not have picked.  I loved it.  I got a ton of compliments.  I may make her pick all my clothing from now on.     I ate banana cream cake with white chocolate frosting.   I ate cherry chip cake with lemon frosting.  I ate chocolate caramel cake with toffee frosting.    I really must run more.

Last year on my birthday my mother informed me that I was halfway to seventy.  This year she told me I was closer to seventy than to zero.   I’m not sure if she just likes math games or if she enjoys seeing me stricken.    It did cause me to pause and take stock.    I made a mental list of things to be grateful for in my thirty-sixth year.    Friends and family, health and home, Grace and generosity.   I ran down a painful list of things I’d rather not be a part of next year; arguments and misunderstandings, imbalanced priorities.

So this whole birthday week I couldn’t shake the sermon story or the image of a big ol’ bike following a big’ ol Hearse.  It struck me that frequently in life I do this very thing; put a whole lot of effort and money and time into chasing things that only lead to dead places.    I’m going to focus this year on where I’m headed.  How about you?

 

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Moses goes up the moutain with a cell phone.

I got a new phone.  I’ve been happily downloading apps all week.   I can now track my Christmas purchases, blog, play a myriad of word games, track my running, banking and movie purchases and I have three different reading programs.   Just because I thought it was cool I downloaded the entire works of Shakespeare, the US Constitution and the Bible.   I signed up for a daily Bible reading program to attempt to keep my priorities straight.   Before I allow myself any Facebook or Bananagrams I read my Bible.   I’m working my way currently through Exodus.

I’ve read all about how Moses went up the mountain and had a conference with God.   God laid out the laws he wanted the people to follow.   Three chapters.

I hear people say all the time that the Bible has too many rules.  I think God did better than us.   The US Civil Code currently has 51 books, its revised annually.  In addition to civil code there are currently four thousand four hundred and fifty federal crimes.   This does not include any state or local statutes.   The American Bar Association website sports eighty four topics of research.  My favorite book on their best seller list was The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law.   Frankly, I think the Bible was pretty concise.

Moses went down the mountain and gave a report.   Mind you, they’d just been dramatically rescued from slavery and seen the Red Sea so they were in an amiable mood to accept rules from the One who’d saved them.    Exodus 24:7 says the people said “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!”   I like the exclamation point.

Moses goes back up the mountain.    God resumes the conference with Moses.   He’s gone forty days.  It takes eight chapters.  God lays out the plan for the tabernacle, offerings, priests clothing, alter and or meeting place.  This is very exciting.  Slightly overwhelming.  I’m sure Moses was panicked.   The creator of the universe wanted to spend time with His people.   Moses is writing all the details down.  Surely he’s trying to figure out where he’s going to find someone who knows how to carve Acacia wood or spin fine linen.

This is what I do.  When I feel like God has asked me to do something I charge out with lots of questions.  How am I going to do this?  Who am I going to find to help?

Guess what.    Chapter 31 God says to Moses “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.  I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge and in all kinds of craftsmanship to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze…” It goes on from there.

I love this.   God had a plan.  I need to remember this next time I spin into overdrive.

So Moses goes down the mountain all ready to give the good news to the people.  God is coming to meet with you!   You promised to listen to what He said so He’s coming to lead us!    Moses has been gone a month.  And the people….were….worshipping a golden cow.    Just lovely.

I do this too.   I see God do amazing things in my life.   I promise to listen.   I get tired of waiting.   My attention wavers.   I end up over in a corner obsessed with something other than what’s eternal.   Sigh.   Golden Cows.   Like Facebook.

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