Left in the Cold

weather, cold,My hands retreated inside my jacket sleeves. I flexed my fingers in an attempt to warm them up. My ears stung as another blast of arctic wind buffeted my body. I definitely wasn’t dressed properly for this morning’s walk.

I should know by now that sunshine doesn’t necessarily mean warmth. When I first stepped outside, the coolness surprised me. My body told me to go back for a hat and gloves. My mind said it wasn’t that bad and I’d been warm enough once I started walking. I listened to my body and set off at a brisk pace.

The first twenty minutes weren’t too bad. But now, I was more than two kilometers from home and paying the price for my lack of preparation.

Have you ever underestimated the time something would take or the resources needed and ended up not properly prepared? It’s happened to me more times than I can count.

I may not repeat the same mistake but seem to discover plenty of new ones on a similar theme.

Upon further examination, the problem might not be lack of preparation but an abundance of pride. There is usually some type of warning that I fail to heed, thinking I can handle the situation in my own way. Unfortunately, in these instances, the outcome is not what I had hoped for.

When I admit I don’t have all the answers and use common sense (like dressing for the weather), there is less chance I’ll be left out in the cold.

I Can Do It Myself

God, inspiration, unique gifts, working togetherWhile chatting with the mother of a toddler I mentioned what a good helper her little one was. She smiled as she agreed and then added that her daughter was becoming very independent. It seemed her favourite phrase was, “I do it myself.”

I said, “I still sometimes want to do things on my own when I should be asking for help.”

This isn’t something I readily admit, even to myself. When I compare my stubborn streak to that of a small child it’s time to take a closer look at my motives.

Children are seeking independence and a sense of accomplishment when they insist on doing something on their own. They also give in and accept help when they need it.

I can’t speak for others, but for me I know that pride gets in the way. If I admit to needing help does that mean I’m not smart enough or strong enough to handle this on my own? Will others judge me and see me as weak or incompetent?

In reality, I am the one judging myself. I need to stop and realize that I’m not meant to be a one woman show. God created each one of us with unique gifts. I may be good at one thing, while you excel at another. Together we are much stronger.

For this reason, I’m setting myself up for defeat and disappointment when I think I can do everything on my own. Instead I need to combine my strengths and abilities with those of others. When I pray for wisdom, God will lead me to those he wants me to partner with. The real strength comes from following his guidance and not thinking I need to do everything by myself.

Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. (1 Corinthians 12:14,15 NIV)

National Pride

Canadian, flag, celebrationMy husband and I attended the Canada Day parade in our city. The crowd of spectators was composed of people of all ages who had come out to celebrate the birthday of our country. Flags were waved and many wore red as a sign national pride. All were in a very festive mood. It was clear that those gathered were proud to be Canadians and to live in what we consider to be one of the best countries in the world.

Since it was a holiday, people were free to take part in the many activities happening around the city. The finale to the day was a spectacular fireworks display at dusk. It was a fitting end to a day of celebration. Such displays of pride in our country took place all across this vast nation.

We are not the only country to feel this way. Many countries have days set aside as national holidays, to celebrate the uniqueness of their homeland. Each has people proud to be citizens of that country.

No matter what country we live in, we are citizens of heaven. One day we will all be reunited in heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the best cause for celebration.

But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. Philippians 3:30 NLT