Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rambling thoughts

Before reading this, please go to my profile and click on the other blog, Rantings of a Joyous Old Lady. This is an old post before I knew how to navigate the site.
Rambling Thoughts Current mood: contemplative Category: happy Religion and Philosophy

Has there ever been a scripture verse that just gets stuck in your head? In the little motion picture theater of my mind, there is this old man in mid-eastern dress. He is holding a staff and talking to someone (a person or a group?) and wildly gesturing while nearly shouting, "I have been exalted", as his right hand points to the heavens, "and I have been abased," as he shoots his finger towards the ground "yet I have learned to be content with where I am and what I have."
Well, I have heard or seen it somewhere, but in the actual scripture the correct passage reads:
Philippians 4:12

King James Version (KJV)I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.Philippians 4:11

Well, hmmm, now that I know what it says, what does it mean? I believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to us through scripture in very specific ways. A verse that means one thing to me, will have an entirely different meaning to someone else. Does that mean that the Bible is up for what ever we interpret it to mean? No. That very thought would have been called Heresy in the Dark Ages. Very good people and very bad people were hung or burnt at the stake for giving the Word of God various interpretations. (Whoa - before I slide into Biblical Interpretation and the Inquisition or the History of the Bible! I will save all that for another day! Sorry about that.)
When we prayerfully read God’s Holy Bible, asking for guidance, we see a meaning that is ment just for us. The meaning will be as it was written, but the application for our own life will be specific to our need and prayers.

The ’theater in my mind’ that I mentioned today is something that I see and hear at very specific times’
1 - I have gotten a little too big for my breeches,
2 - I have forgotten from whence I cometh,
3 - I have forgotten that no matter how terrific I think I am, I only have what I have (my job, my health, my life for goodness sakes!) because God has allowed me to have those things.
When I forget those things, He gently reminds me.

I have been exalted. I have been the person you want to be. I have been the ’pretty girl’. I have been ’you are so smart!’ I have been, ’Man, you are so lucky.’ I have been the one whose life you coveted, but I also have been abased.

I have been ’Oh my God, that poor woman’. I have been ’she needs to sober up!’ I have been ’she needs to dump that jerk’. I have been "Has she lost her mind?’
I have learned that in the best of my life and in the worst of my life, there has been only one constant. I have never forgotten my God, and He has never forgotten me. We’ve fought and I really mean battled, until the day that we found common ground.

I stood before God as a mother who had lost a daughter, and God met me as a father who had lost a son. In that moment, I found "the peace of God that passes all understanding".
In that peace, I learned that there will always be bad days, and there will always be great days. When I remember that no matter what, someone other than me is in charge, then all the days level out to a good life.

So yes, I have been abased, and I have been exalted, but I have learned to be content with what I have as I rejoice in the love of my creator, my father, my friend, my Lord.