Posts Tagged ‘control’

Plans

March 26, 2009

Many are the plans in a motal’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. [proverbs 19.21]

Tonight I got angry. All was going well and I was about 5 minutes away from walking out the door to catch my flight to Philly so I could Princeton Theological Seminary where I will attend in Fall (maybe Summer too). And then I got a phone call from an automated woman-computer-voice. This woman-computer-voice was calling to give me the news that my flight was cancelled. And in about .05 seconds I went from focused and intent to down right angry. I am actually somewhat suprised at how mad I got. I have seen myself get annoyed and frustrated even, but not usually angry. I am not exactly sure what the story is with my anger, but I think it has something to do with looking fowrad to my carefully laid plans and being angry at God that they fell through. I don’t think that God is punishing me (that’s rather vindictive really) and I don’t think he is trying to prove a point (kinda manipulative don’t cha think?) but I do think that this situation is helping me see myself a bit more clearly and it’s not a pretty picture. So yeah, I was looking forward to the trip (and still am). And yes, it’s okay for me to be excited about the trip. But basically what happened is when it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, I threw a temper tantrum. You know, those things todlers and preschool kids do? Riiiiight. Adults have them to…we just cloak them in psycho babble and tell people we had to “vent” or “get it out.” The truth of it is that 1) I did not like it that I was no longer in control of the situation and 2) for some reason I did not trust God enough to be up front about my sadness. I resorted to anger because it made me feel as though I had control again. Or something like that. Control is an illusion anyway but that’s an entirely different blog post.

I am babbling a bit but this all makes me think about the dinner I just had with one of my closest friends. Her little girl is 4 years old and is a beautiful, loving child. She has also become quite willful lately. Though I don’t have any children of my own, being an outside is sometimes helpful in these situations so at one point tonight I said, “It’s not easy growing up…figuring out who you are and how things work.” And now I find myself in that sentence. It’s not easy growing up in Christ. But then again, no one said it would be. In fact, “take up your cross and follow me” sounds like the antithesis of easy. But none the less, it is still hard. That whole “the road less traveled” kind of thing.

So I guess all that to say that I am thankful that God is patient with me. I am thankful that God loves me even as I am “acting out” and I am thankful that though I have many plans, the Lord’s purpose prevails. For right now that will be enough.

Here’s hoping it works out for me to go get to Princeton tomorrow in enough time to sit in on a class, visit Admissions and Financial Aid, and maybe even attend chapel. We will see….we will see…

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Part of the Problem

February 21, 2009

It seems that everyone, including myself, wants to get everything as cheap as possible.  This seems logical and is even spiritualized as being a good steward of the God’s money.  But with some of the reading I have done lately (i.e., Everything must Change, The Irresistible Revolution, etc.) before I buy something at an unbelievably low price I have started to ask myself, “At whose cost?”  As in who had to pay for the cheapness of this item before it ended up at this store for $2.99?  Did a beautiful 7-year-old girl in malaysia work long hours in a sweat shop so I could have this item for such a cheap price?  Was she forced to give up going to school because her mother and father and older brother work at the same sweat shop but are paid such meager wages that her income is needed just to get by?  Did a young Brazilian boy walk miles through the forests to harvest bananas so that I can eat them year round while he is forced to place himself in danger for money that I would

     throw
              in a
                  wishing well?

I have more material goods than I need as it is.  And I am willing to pay three times what Wal-mart is charging if it means that all the folks along the way will be paid more fairly for their labor.

I was talking with a couple folks about this recently and one lady asked, “But won’t that just reduce the amount of money going to the folks who already don’t get paid enough?”  I thought about this for a moment and realized that while this may be true at first and if I am the only one taking a stand, if we all decided to control the only thing we really have control over, the overlords who pocket 90% of the profits would start to feel the effect in their pockets and would be forced to change their ways.  What is the one thing I can control? 

ME.

And even that’s a farce to a certain degree since there are things I want to do and I don’t do them and the things I dont want to do, I do anyway (echoing Paul). 

BOTTOM LINE: I am part of the problem. 

There are a lot of things I can’t change.  I can’t change where Walmart buys their goods.  I can’t change what country those goods come from.  I can’t change how much Walmart pays for these goods.  And I can’t change how much the seller charges for them.  I can’t change what the seller pays his employees and I can’t change the conditions under which the employees work. 

But I can change me.

I CAN change whether or not I shop at Walmart.  I CAN change what type of products I buy with the money God has entrusted me with.  I CAN buy less of things at higher prices to try and ensure people are treated with dignity and respect.  And if enough of us did that, we could change the world. 

Do you believe that?

I have not thorougly investigated each of these websites yet.  I have collected them from a few different places (to include The Irresistible Revolution) and am posting them here in hopes of providing myself and others a list resource for discerning where to spend the money God has entrusted to us. 

Cheap isn’t always better.  Think about it.

Human Rights Links
Global Exchange
Sweat Shop Watch
CorpWatch
Human Rights Watch
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
Amnesty International
Not for Sale Campaign (added 3/7/09)
Free2Work (added 3/7/09)

Fair Trade Links
Trade as One
Presbyterian Coffee Project
Equal Exchange
Sweat Free T-Shirts
A Greater Gift/Serrv
World of Good
Fairest Buy (added 3/7/09)

Environmentally Friendly Stuff
Reusable Bags
Electric Sstewardship (For PCUSA Churches)
Eco-Palms (Palm fronds for Palm Sunday)

Other
Just Living

**If you know of other websites that speak to these topics, please leave them in the comments.  And if you know that any of these organizations are questionable, please let me know.  Thanks.**

Obsessed

April 5, 2008

Okay…I don’t think there is any way around it.  We are obsessed with authority.  And when I say “we” I am referring to humanity.  I am reading for my exegesis paper which as I stated in an earlier post is on 1 Timothy 2:8-15.  Since a HUGE part of the debate about this passage is the use of the word authority, it is unbelieveably annoying, frustrating, maddening, frightening(!) how much the folks who say this passage says women can not teach use the word or idea of authority, authortative, position of authority, etc. when talking about the Bible, the apostle Paul, and the gift of preaching/teaching.  If the whole idea is to define or explain or exegete that very word/idea, how can you use it to define it?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?  I don’t like how we use this word.  We use it as if one who has authority has control of the rest.  Does a Pastor then have control of the congregation?  Does Paul have control of the early church?  Of Timothy?  Of Titus?  Does the Bible have control over anything?  Was it meant to control anything?  Who has control?  I daresay it is God.  The idea of control on any other level is an illusion.  This is not to say we don’t have a choice in things, we do indeed have a free will, but control?  If I choose to do something does that automatically mean it’s going to happen that way?  If I had control it would but since I don’t, it may or may not happen as I choose.  Control and power are God’s.  Free choice is mine.  Dare I claim something I have no place seeking?

I’m fired up. 

Let’s go preach the kingdom.