Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On doing hard things

Things that are difficult:

1. Being faithful with the little things. Like keeping the apartment swept clean and keeping up with exercise and staying faithful in the Word and prayer. Like getting to bed on time, and getting OUT of bed when the alarm goes off. Only getting the hot tea at Starbucks because it's the wisest use of my money.

2. Scheduling in the big stuff. Why is it that the small insignificant things that are selfish wastes of time seem to have no problem making their way into my day? Am I really that selfish?

3. Keeping up with relationships for the sake of the other person. It is easy to "work on" a relationship with people we enjoy being around. But what about the relationships that really require effort? Are they any less worthy of our time? What does this say about how I feel about my relationship with Christ, probably the most poignant and difficult-to-maintain relationship I will ever have?

4. Being holy. This one ought to be obvious. But so difficult.

Lord, make me ever mindful of my helplessness, and to deny any thought that any duty I faithfully maintain can recommend me more to you than any terrible deed can cast me off from you.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Change Upon Change
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Five months ago the stream did flow,
The lilies bloomed within the sedge,
And we were lingering to and fro,--
Where none will track thee in this snow,
Along the stream, beside the hedge.
Ah, Sweet, be free to love and go!
For if I do not hear thy foot,
The frozen river is as mute,
The flowers have dried down to the root;
And why, since these be changed since May,
Shouldst thou change less than they?

And slow, slow as the winter snow,
The tears have drifted to mine eyes;
And my poor cheeks, five months ago,
Set blushing at thy praises so,
Put paleness on for a disguise.
Ah, Sweet, be free to praise and go!
For if my face is turned too pale,
It was thine oath that first did fail,--
It was thy love proved false and frail!
And why, since these be changed enow,
Should I change less than thou?