Wednesday, December 18, 2019

That Thing About Christmas


He asked me what Christmas was like when I was a kid. I had to pause and edit the plethora of possible answers into a brief summary. 

After a moment I told my grandson that, first and foremost, I recalled that Christmas was much simpler in the fifties. No one even spoke of the coming season until after Thanksgiving. There were no decorations in the stores or on the streets until about mid-December. But of course that was before The Great Force of Commerce had taken the helm and steered the ship into a new direction.

We discussed ever morphing societal change and how things evolve and often at the center of great change is economic in nature.

Later, after our home schooling for the day was done, I sat and reflected on our discussion. So many Christmases in my history of 72 years. Almost recallable as though reading a book - each era of my life recounted as though in a separate chapter. Good years, not so good years, prosperous years, lean and sometimes frighteningly difficult years. I’ve seen them all. I’ve lived them all. Traditions begun and then softly abandoned over time to be replaced by others as children grew up and brought home new additions to the tribe. 

As I reminisced, trying to recall all the best years, I discovered that my most vivid memories were of those when times were tough and I was forced to soldier on to make the holiday as good as possible for the ones I loved. Thus, all the best Christmases are swirled together into a single sparkling blur, like a galaxy far away. I’d be hard pressed to identify a specific year or moment that stood out. Conversely I can recite the details of all the times I had to simply make it work and smile as though nothing was wrong. 

In summary, I told my grandson that Christmas comes anyway, no matter what is going on in your life. Just like the residents of Whoville, upon waking to the destruction the Grinch had committed, they gathered around in the town square and sang praises to the One they celebrated on that day.

That true thing about Christmas is that it can never be taken over by any commercialization. It stands alone, with no need for any human decorating or dressing up. It comes even if you are  sitting in a trench on a battlefield. 

Because…

Christmas isn’t about traditions or customs. Christmas is about Christ. That He came, as a babe in the lowliest of circumstances. That He is our gift, our reason for standing in spite of the noticeable great growing opposition to the faith and reason for the season. 

But regardless, just as you can pray anywhere, and no one can stop you, Christmas is something you can celebrate in your heart 24/7/365.

Merry Christmas! No matter what your circumstances this year, may your hearts be light and grateful. 

For Him,
Meema

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Not So New Selfie Age



It’s been a slow boil, a subtle building up, so slight as to be unnoticeable, that it’s practically impossible to pinpoint how it has come to this. Perhaps it was a collective of conditions that have brought us to the narcissistic world of self-absorption and promotion. No doubt social media and cell phones with professional quality cameras have moved us further faster than the days of glamorous magazines and humanistic Live Your Best Life - You’re Okay/I’m Okay gurus could ever have. 

The question is begged though… have we reached the point of no return? What would it take to stop the madness? Is there a reset button? When will we see it’s time to slam on the brakes? Are we destined to end up crashing and bursting into flames? Will we have to be ‘blinded lest we see’? (John 12:40)

I have no answers to those disturbing questions. All I know is that self-focus, self-centeredness is epidemic and, even worse, is embraced and accepted as the new norm. We are mentored and encouraged to be ever cognizant of our emotional temperature, the health of our internal state of being, which has fostered a societal demand for constant self-assuring, self-inspiring, self-loving to hedge against self-loathing. 

Not surprisingly, self-focus has become a vehicle for promoting what seems, in a worldly view, to be what I have often referred to as Good for Goodness Sake illusion, a great pretender, a substitute goodness that fusses and flurries and dresses itself up to replace genuine Godly goodness. 

Ironic, isn’t it, that if we were properly focused on Godly good, we would be completely redirected away from the need to be identified with self-good.

Unlike SELF goodness, Real Deal Godly Goodness is usually unnoticeable, mostly goes undetected. More often than not it’s a simple gesture of self-sacrifice, performed anonymously, a stepping up to do a menial task, a charitable gesture given with no fanfare, no applause expected. No glamour. No need for illustration with a self-portrait broadcast across all media. 

Narcissism isn’t all that difficult to recognize as such but there is an updated twist to the evolution of self-as-center that seems to me to be a bit more sinister and perhaps even more dangerous. When I see what appears to be good sounding ‘Christian’ concept words presented with a well-crafted selfie I have to wonder what the real point is. I instantly sense an unseen agenda.

Obsession with SELF is not new but rather an ancient device used by that old deceiver and is successful because it appeals to the immature flesh craving to be noticed and approved of, which leaves little room for looking out and up. Narcissism is addressed in the Bible in Paul’s second pastoral epistle to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:1-7).  Paul questions the character and behavior of leaders within the church, so he warns Timothy to beware of those who act out of a “self love attitude” and says, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.  And from such people turn away.”  

Oswald Chambers addressed the issue specific to those who seek applause for ‘good works’:

…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. —1 Corinthians 10:31


In the Scriptures, the great miracle of the incarnation slips into the ordinary life of a child; the great miracle of the transfiguration fades into the demon-possessed valley below; the glory of the resurrection descends into a breakfast on the seashore. This is not an anticlimax, but a great revelation of God.

We have a tendency to look for wonder in our experience, and we mistake heroic actions for real heroes. It’s one thing to go through a crisis grandly, yet quite another to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, and no one paying even the remotest attention to us. If we are not looking for halos, we at least want something that will make people say, “What a wonderful man of prayer he is!” or, “What a great woman of devotion she is!” If you are properly devoted to the Lord Jesus, you have reached the lofty height where no one would ever notice you personally. All that is noticed is the power of God coming through you all the time.

We want to be able to say, “Oh, I have had a wonderful call from God!” But to do even the most humbling tasks to the glory of God takes the Almighty God Incarnate working in us. To be utterly unnoticeable requires God’s Spirit in us making us absolutely humanly His. The true test of a saint’s life is not successfulness but faithfulness on the human level of life. We tend to set up success in Christian work as our purpose, but our purpose should be to display the glory of God in human life, to live a life “hidden with Christ in God” in our everyday human conditions (Colossians 3:3). Our human relationships are the very conditions in which the ideal life of God should be exhibited.


See? Selfie not required.

For Him,

Meema

Friday, November 1, 2019

On Being Irrelevant



On Being Irrelevant

Due to cyclical drought, our pond is a low as I’ve ever seen it in the 12 years we’ve lived on ‘The Funny Farm’. It fell about five feet during the drought of 2008, a year after we acquired this unique fourteen acre patch of earth, which was a cause for great concern.  Of course, we were only seeing it, based on our new eyes perspective, as it was in that moment, fostered by our lack of experience. I personally fretted over it, prayed about it and worried about the pond inhabitants, as though I had been appointed the official Pond Overseer. 

Eventually the rains came back and the pond filled quickly and the fish, turtles, herons, geese, ducks and things I don’t know about, carried on as though nothing had happened.

Over the past eleven years, the pond has stayed fairly level, with only occasional dips below full pool. Then, this year, after a long rainy winter/spring, the rains stopped again and the pond slowly began to recede. What is different this time, though, is my lack of concern. I’m just not.

But why?

Well, for one thing, I am older, which means I am tired in general but also I’m weary of fretting over things, especially things I have no control over, things that have managed to survive through all manner of crisis, whether I am fretting or not. This pond has been here, rising and falling with the natural cycles of wet and dry since it was formed as a cow tank in the early 50s for the real farm of  which this once was a functional part. Thus it has history, it has a ‘before me’ life and rhythm that flicks me in the category of irrelevant like I was a gnat. 

However, at age 72, after wrestling with the inevitable for a couple of years, I find being irrelevant is a huge blessing. Even though a decade ago I was still fighting the fight, resisting the concept of declining, of retiring, of becoming unnecessary, of striving to maintain, I’ve now passed through another threshold and I’ve not only made peace with this new paradigm, I realize what freedoms I now can enjoy.

For example:

  • I can’t fix the world but I don’t have to.
  • I can’t leave this earthly plane with all my kids perfectly aligned in their lives.
  • I don’t have to speak my opinion anymore. Who cares? 
  • I don’t have to fret about what the world thinks of me - only what God thinks.
  • I don’t have to decorate for a season. The seasons are amazingly temporary.
  • I don’t have to look good for my age. >BIG ONE<

Now it’s okay for me to be exactly who I am, warts and all, instead of trying to be what this illusion-based culture, women’s magazines, AARP, social media, and botoxed, ancient movie stars redesigned by plastic surgery, think I should be. No nude photos to prove I still have it are necessary.

This old pond, then, is analogous to how I see the sum of my life. The importance of what and who I have been as well as who I am, is mostly below the surface, unseen by anyone else but God. I served my purpose, with no need for recognition, fanfare or applause. I survived all manner of tribulation through the grace of God who owns and controls everything. The world will go on, no better no worse, when I bid adieu. What is there to fret over? 

My oldest granddaughter wrote a poem in high school as we had only just begun to discover the somewhat anomalous life on a pond. I read it now and see a bigger picture. Funny how even old eyes can see with new perspective. 

As I type this, the rains have returned and the pond is rising. 

“But when the fury and the flash is done, they carry on with what they have begun.”

For Him,
Meema


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Until...


Waiting on God requires more than patience. It calls for discernment, in good measure, which, in turn, calls for accumulated experience with trouble and tribulation. It’s something of a journey that calls for, often tough, periodic testing.

Having long ago chosen to strike out on my own with a personal relationship with Jesus, rather than plug into any specific denomination or doctrine of Christianity, I’ve had to figure out for myself how to hear God’s voice above the din. Full disclosure, I haven’t always been successful. Sometimes I heard the voice I wanted to hear and took a pitted path that I might have avoided. 

But God is so good and He has always managed to rescue me, because, while I do not trust myself, I do trust Him, and He gets me back on track. Those were the times I had to earn some hard lessons and, in the process, added on a bit of discernment as I bandaged my wounds.

It is a fine line to walk though, I do concede, knowing when to be still and wait, and when to step out. 

There is an old story about a man who had to climb up into his attic to escape rising flood waters in his house. Frantic he cried out for God to deliver him. Eventually he was forced to break open a hole in his roof and he climbed out and sat on the peak, desperately praying for help. Soon a boat came along and shouted for him to get in. He waved them off and said he was waiting on God to rescue him. Then a helicopter appeared and he waved that off with the same reason. 

How does this story end? Does he get another chance to be rescued or does God allow him to suffer until the storm stops and the waters recede. He would likely be very hungry, cold, in shock and traumatized and quite possibly angry at God for not answering his prayers by that time.

And so it goes when we pray for an outcome but do not recognize the answer God gives us. Sometimes He says, “Wait” sometimes He says, “Do” - but if we don’t know how to interpret those commands, if we aren’t armed with discernment, we can still stumble and choose wrongly, thereby causing our own delayed rescues.

Having been around the block a few times in the last 72+ years and suffered my share of discernment learning experiences, I still can’t explain how I know when it’s time to wait or do. I guess it’s a condition that is one of a kind - unique to each follower, a one on One dedicated channel. I think the closest I can come to advising anyone else how to hear the still small voice is expressed in the lyrics of Mark Harris’ song Until.

Until this mountain moves
Until the path is clear
Until Your voice is the only one that I can hear
Until I see Your hand
Until I know Your heart
Until I trust the grace that's carried me this far
I will be still, until …

Note: the preposition/conjunction ‘until’ implies that we need to be at the ready to leap, in faith, into the boat or helicopter, even if we are afraid to jump or think it's too hard or scary to climb the rope, or that it's not what we prayed for or were expecting.

For Him,
Meema

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Covfefe




Though we cannot know what we do not know, it is also true that nowadays we are much too easily persuaded to believe something that isn’t remotely true. It would seem that, in this era of illusion and delusion, we actually prefer the lie, or  even a half truth over what is simply true that we ought to be able to see with even partially opened eyes.

But in many ways, and over the course of many years, we have been conditioned to accept falsehood because it just seems better. Certainly, a soft lie is easier to embrace than a tough truth. This seems to hold us hostage and makes us extremely vulnerable within all areas of human existence, whether in our religion, ideology or personal/business lives.

In fact, we have never been so vulnerable as we are in this high tech manipulated era. We are too easily blinded to what is true by what simply sounds/looks good. In fact, our conditioning has been so deep, wide and thorough, we trust anything that is told to us so long as it is presented in a way we accept as righteous/perfect/standard. I attribute this to the power of advertising - ‘Nine out of ten doctors agree!’ ‘Studies show that…” ‘A scientific fact!’  ‘Experts agree.’

It has taken awhile, as the digital age has grown into a huge monster, but now we are so truly dumbed down and manageable we are completely ripe for the picking. 

These are seriously scary times we live in, unlike any other, especially for the remnant who persist in thinking for themselves, asking questions, and clinging to independent conclusions, even if it goes against the mainstream. Whereas once, in the not too distant past, the norm, especially in the free country of the United States, was the intelligent application of logic and reason, now drinking the Kool-aid, because everyone else is slurping it down, seems to be the standard. We don’t question anything anymore, especially if it is presented in the flash and dazzle of social media - the now fully accepted vehicle for TRUTH. 

Example: In May of 2017 President Trump, returning from Saudi Arabia, outed the fake news media and used the word ‘covfefe’. No one knew what that meant so the first reaction was to grab it like a weapon to declare that the President of the United States was mentally ill and in need of being removed from office. 

Recently, it has come to light, due to the diligent digging and dogged questioning of a few remaining free thinkers, that covfefe is actually an Arabic word meaning ‘I will stand’. Nevertheless, the executives of Google sent out a design order to the rank and file employees to block access to the definition of the word from any dictionary source online, thereby allowing the untruth that President Trump was mentally ill and using nonsense words could be fostered and promoted throughout cyberland and into the receptive brains of the officially dumbed down.

Let that sink in. We readily assume, because we have been told, that Google is the ultimate authority on searchable  and  attainable true facts. In our delusion we embrace, without question, that it is a truth-based mindless operation. We do not take into consideration the possible (and likely) bias of the charlatans behind the screen.

But that’s just politics, right? We have come so far we actually expect to be lied to when it comes to the sweet manipulations of political rhetoric. Oh the promises we hear during any election cycle! The magic words usually include free free free free free! Once the votes are counted, the promises seem to fade like an old canvas in the sun. 

Unfortunately, our inability to recognize when we are being schmoozed and used actually begins within our own personal life experience. Psychopaths and con artists, or just ambitious liars, are especially skilled at sniffing out their next victim. They seem to have the predator instinct to recognize and tap into vulnerabilities when opportunities are spotted. Those who prey on others can be found in all walks of life. Once infected and, in many ways, saturated and possessed by the good sounding lies, the victim very often is left unable to see the truth sometimes even long after being rescued.

Driven by the insatiable need to have power over others, the perp uses every trick to create the illusion of goodness, rightness, and virtuosity. But why?

Humans have a natural weakness to be attracted to that which can be described  or interpreted as ‘good’, even though humans fall short of defining good as God does. The human version is always a facsimile, a cheap representation of goodness, but never true goodness. It cannot stand the test of time. It will always fall apart eventually.  At which time the perp moves on to his/her next victim.

We’ve all been scammed and hoodwinked at one time or another, the worst of the worst comes very close to destroying us or even leaves us in complete devastation to somehow figure out how to pick up the pieces and rebuild. But even so, many victims are still so infected with the poison of well-crafted untruth, regardless how irrational it is, and so never fully recover, like disillusioned members of a cult, they still cling to some irrational loyalty to the one who sucked them into the lie. 

Whether it is ego-based or embarrassment, or incomprehension that such a thing could ever happen, some victims refuse to admit they were scammed exemplifying the old adage that it is easier to fool someone than to make them admit they were fooled. 

When we experience the devastation of having been duped, if we could just take our lumps, realize that what happened to us was as much about how we have been conditioned to believe only what we want to believe is true, we can begin again, albeit a bit worn around the edges but so much wiser. 

And then we can say ‘covfefe’ with confidence - I will stand.

For Him,
Meema


Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Twilight Zone

Twilight Zone

Just sharing a link. Could not be said any better. Only thing I could add - this era can be perfectly described as the Age of The Great Delusion.

For Him,
Meema

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Redefining Relevance


Matthew 19:24 - Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

Regardless our diverse life paths, whether we win more than we lose, reach most of our personal goals or take multiple failures on the chin, have more to be grateful for than regret, we, the best and worst of us, all have one thing in common. One day we will no longer exist on this earthly plain. I, being an unapologetic Christian, believe we will move on to be accountable for those things we did or did not do that were required of us. Some don’t believe that and I can only reply to those who do not believe in God that they had better be right.

In the meantime, though, regardless what we believe happens to us ultimately, we move through each stage of our life, often unaware, at least in the early years, that we periodically come to a threshold we must pass through - a doorway where we must leave some collected things behind in order to enter into the next phase. 

At my ripe age of 72, I’ve crossed through quite a few of these portals. Some things are much easier to lay down than others. When you are a child moving to adulthood, you can enthusiastically give up childish things. Trust me, though, it’s not so easy to lay down a backpack filled to capacity with hard-earned knowledge, skills, experience and cherished things that no longer matter, in order to fit through the narrow gate.  

I can’t help but visualize the camel trying to pass through the eye of a needle. Not many understand that Scripture but the history behind it was explained to me long ago in a sermon by Billy Graham. 

You see, the theory is, in ancient Biblical days, vendors would come to a gated city with their wares strapped onto the back of their camel. When they reached the opening to enter it was often quite narrow, for security sake, and was referred to as an ‘eye’.  So, the vendors would have to offload their stuff in order to get the camel through into the city so that they then could go in and set up shop. 

Whether true or not it is a great yet simple analogy for what we often have to do in order to continue. We must off load our baggage first before we can proceed.

I confess I have recently reached the been-there-done-that-now-what? door and I’ve paused to consider what might be on the other side. Though I have always believed and held fast to the concept that one can continue to learn new things up until one stops breathing, I am forced to accept that it is more difficult, for all sorts of reasons, both physical and metaphysical, to build new neuron paths in an old shrinking brain. For someone who is a learner/doer that is an especially bitter pill to swallow.

But it doesn’t really matter what we do not want to give up or leave behind, we cannot allow ourselves to stand outside in a state of fear, angst or suspension, clinging to all that once was important but no longer matters. We have to come to grips with the inevitable in order to prevent stagnation. Even if everything we have ever been or whether the accumulation of all the bits that we think defines us are no longer germane in a modern world, we can’t change this by denying that it is a reality, a genuine force to be reconciled with.  

I have so many of these passages in my history now I feel somewhat like an alien from another century. Even as I let go, though, I must cling to the assumption that God might still have a few things left for me to do for Him and so while waiting I amuse myself by practicing my ukulele, composing, writing more than speaking and doing as much as I can while sitting. 

That might sound sad and bleak but it is actually the opposite. You see, I have come to terms with my limits. I’ve made peace that it’s okay I am not what I used to be and, more importantly, I’ve run out of will to be anything at all anyway. In fact, that’s an incredibly liberating concept to embrace. For one thing, it means I don’t have to be anything anymore. 

With the exception of being always at the ready to pray or write words that might inspire, I don’t have to be or do anything specific in order to be relevant to God. So I can, in fact, still be relevant in ways the world can’t see. 

Relevant enough anyway.

For Him,

Meema

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Encourager


In the early 2000s, just as I was exploring and dabbling in the difficult and often frustrating world of authoring and publishing books, I joined a worldwide online writers’ forum. Actually it was a conglomerate of forums, each categorized to specific areas of writing to publish. I spent a lot of time in there,  eagerly leaping into lively discussions in numerous groups. 

One in particular was focused on short story composition and now and again someone would post a challenge to write and post a short short - 1000 words or less - in a 1 hour timeframe. Then, all would read and critique each other’s efforts.

One day, as we were sharing our thoughts about our posted stories, someone joined the discussions whose avatar I had never seen before. It was pretty clear from the get go that this person was known, had a stellar reputation, was well-liked, and even in the virtual context of cyber space, brought an immediate exciting energy to the typed conversations.  

Everyone clamored to have exchanges with the one I will always refer to as The Encourager. As is my usual MO, I stepped back and quietly observed what was unfolding. I had no clue who she was. It occurred to me she might have been a real honest to goodness published author, the pinnacle of achievement within the ranks of those gathered there.

The Encourager, who was certainly a gifted wordsmith, offered her impressions of all the entries. One by one she made an effort to point out all the positives. I was instantly mesmerized by her ability to lift up without sounding patronizing. She was a master of the art of sincere compliment. 

As she zeroed in on each post, the writers literally gushed with appreciation for her gifts of heartening.  Honestly, I thought I could hear giggles.

I have never forgotten this experience. It comes up as a flashback when I read nasty, judgmental comment exchanges in social media - and between complete strangers, at that. How easy it is to let our ugly sides reveal themselves when we are protected behind a computer screen. Is this who we really are though?

I think of this person, this giver of inspiration/motivation to others, and wonder, why is it so difficult to be positive? To lift up instead of smack down? How instantly obvious is the day/night comparison between what happens when people are elevated instead of criticized?  Which begs the question, why wouldn’t we prefer that? 

My only conclusion is the condition of being human. We fall short in so many ways. Human nature is a stunted toddler that needs to feel superior and, in an underdeveloped perspective, the only way to do that is to smash others down. And so the cycle feeds itself. Negative begets negative.

I could point out that positive begets positive too, however, for some reason, this does not seem to be the auto-set in the human experience. What a shame.

What if we could reverse that? What if we could each be mindful of the power of positivity, the creative synergy born of promotion instead of demotion? What incredible results might we experience if we could be encouragers instead of discouragers? If we could be builders instead of destructors/dividers?

Being a pragmatist, I know that speaking about this, bringing this into being as a topic is not going to change a thing. Therefore, be assured I am not going to start a go-fund me to raise funds to bring awareness to this basic human flaw in hopes that we can turn this around.

Nope, I’m pretty sure this is a reality that will only get worse before God decides  to  say, ‘No  more!’

In the meantime, I offer the suggestion that we, as individuals, try, at least once   in awhile, to seize the moment to offer an encouraging word to someone who might not even know he/she really could use it.  No way can we change the world but we can seek to make some changes, if even if in the smallest ways, in our small worlds within the world. 

Trust me - giggles are contagious.

For Him,
Meema

Friday, June 14, 2019

Divine Intervention


Yesterday was one of those days that, when you look back and do a rerun, you ask, “What just happened?”

It went like this:

My husband and I have an ongoing private joke about me refusing to update to a newer model car because I don’t want to give up my ‘real’ key. I’ve proclaimed I would drive my 2011 Tucson until the wheels fall off. Not because I am opposed to new technology but because I just hate giving up what works well in exchange for something more complex, more expensive, and demanding. New for the sake of being new.

More importantly, I don’t like being owned by my things and I fight tooth and toenail to prevent that modern reality from taking over my life.

So, yesterday morning, as hubby was leaving for work, he, knowing that I was taking my car in for service, said, “Hope you get the color you want.” Ha ha ha.

When I took my car in, my only intention was to get it checked over, oil changed and tires rotated. I brought my computer to do some work on a project I’m wrapping up. When I had nothing left to do I closed my computer and people watched. Salesmen roaming about looking for potential buyers, potential buyers looking at models on the sales floor, repair techs explaining to waiting customers what their cars needed.

All the while, I kept having a running conversation with God about whether or not I should actually upgrade. One of my last thoughts before things started to change was, “Thank You, Lord, that I have a good reliable car and that I don’t need to get a new one.”  I also, still not sure what I should consider doing or not doing, said, “I will sit here and if no one comes up to me, I will go home in my trusty all paid for car.”

Then the strangest thing happened. I opened my computer and went to the website of the dealership I was sitting in. I opened the page of New Inventory. I scrolled down. Among the usual blacks, whites, silvers, one red, one blue, there was one bronze. 

Now here’s where it gets good.

Just as I was looking at the Tucson on my computer, a salesman walked by and for a split second we locked eyes. For some reason I cannot explain, I crooked my finger to invite him over. He came up, I turned my computer and showed him the car I was looking at.

You can guess the rest of the story, except maybe not this part:

During the inevitable time it took to process the paperwork, my salesman, Lou, and I had some interesting conversations. Among them, and most importantly, we talked about the reality of Divine Intervention and how it shows up when you least expect it but you always know that is what it was.

And then, just to make it more phenomenal, while sitting with the finance manager, he and I also connected spiritually, in the way you don’t usually risk taking nowadays. He got it. At the end, papers all signed, Lou coming to do the technical handoff, the three of us stood in his office and understood with very few words that this was a moment of Divine Intervention and not one of us knew why or how far reaching it was. It just was and that’s all we needed to know. The possibilities are endless.

I don’t understand for what or why this came about but I do know that it was not about me getting a new or better car. I thanked God for what I had and He accepted that genuine gratitude and then set things in motion for His reasons.

While we think we are all in control, we set our minds on this thing, this way, or that, all we really have to do is be open vessels, and, as my son once said, get out of our own way, and then we get to experience the exquisite joy of not just being in His will but, as Oswald Chambers proclaimed - we get to BE His will.

I’m all good with that. Even though now I have the dreaded electronic key, I won’t complain because I know there is a really good reason. 

For Him,
Meema

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Save The Bees, or something


Hard to believe but in spite of all the years I avoided being sucked into the Facebook vortex, I have been a sorta-kinda Facebook stooge for more than two years now. Admittedly I still struggle with the finer mechanics and often do not fully understand how it all works, or is supposed to. Like? Love? Comment? Don’t comment? Are relationships/friendships dependent on whether you respond or don’t? 

One thing I do understand very well, though, because I am nothing if not discerning, I see that Facebook is like a traveling carnival. Bedecked with artificial sparkle and dazzle even as it is fraught with deceitful and cunning carnies. Lots of fraud going on in the Facebook world. Well done ads by scam artists are more common than real ads. It’s a jungle in there.

The worst of the lot, though, are those that prey on current memes or the natural human compulsion to want to rally to a good cause. Unfortunately, these are those who are the easiest marks.

In this high speed, high tech, digital world, we are now so easily manipulated with good sounding words that are fortified with slick graphics. We have lost the ability to ask the simplest questions. Who? What? Where? Why? Show me the proof first. How much of my donation actually goes to the cause? Who runs the ‘cause’? How does my purchase do ANYTHING to help the cause? Why do you claim you’ve been selling this product for a year when your website was only launched a month ago? 

Easy questions really. But instead of asking these, we jump in, we buy, we donate, we share the links so others can climb on board. 

But because I am fine-tuned to see underneath the glitter, I can’t help but ask questions first, even at the risk of being judged a curmudgeon. 

Classic example - there’s a new rally call, at least in the things that pop up in my Facebook whatchamacallit. It’s all about ‘SAVING THE BEES’. New products are being offered, jewelry shaped like little bees, stickers to proclaim your concern, car tags, etc. And, of course, replete with promises that portions of the sale of these charming items go to ‘save the bees’.

Ah but, call me crazy, I’d like to know what that means, exactly. How do we save the bees? Frankly, I’ve been following the world-wide decline in bee population for a decade. I’ve read in depth reports on this growing problem. The big question is: how do we begin to save the bees if we won’t admit what’s really killing them? I have my opinion, based on my research, and, if true, no amount of donations, or products manufactured and sold, no organized efforts on a Facebook post will fix this problem - the problem is real, even as the solution is real. But unless and until the hard questions are asked and addressed, I fear never the twain shall meet. 

And so it goes in Carnie World. We easily see the glamour but not the ugly truth backstage.

Awhile back I read an eye-opening article in Scientific American about who/what launched the ‘Don’t Be a Literbug” campaign in the early 80s. Wanna guess? If you think it was concerned citizens/municipalities you would be wrong. A cartel of manufacturers of products packaged in plastic (think CocaCola) decided it was time to shift the growing problem of throwaway trash from those who make the throwaways to those who use them. In other words, by creating the meme (stream of consciousness) of being responsible for putting disposable trash where it belongs, in a trash bin, ultimately the onus of responsibility for the rise in world trash was on the consumer, not the manufacturer. 

Clever, hun?  Carnies are, after all, good at mental games.

So, curious/skeptical me, here I am pondering questions, like, how can we save the bees with campaigns on social media if we aren’t willing to call out who/what is the real cause for their decline? You see, at the bottom of it all is about money. If we truly wanted to stop the growing trash crisis or save our bees, we would have to change some very large industries that contribute billions to the economy. 

Since that’s not likely to happen, instead, we rally on Facebook and buy stuff and make donations to vaguely named organizations and then feel all good about ourselves for having done our part. 

Oh well. 

For Him,

Meema