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Posts Tagged ‘image of god’

characterBasic definition of character: “the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing”. But there are others and among those definitions is “an account of qualities or peculiarities of a person–“. In this election year and climate, character has been a constant topic of conversation, from good to bad, true or false, kind to selfish, dependable to undependable and so forth. We are all, looking outward, asking, “do we see fruit in the lives of the candidates that reflects their true nature, or their character?” But perhaps, it’s time to ask these same questions of ourselves. 

I have always maintained, put a microscope on someone and you’ll always find something, some tarnish or blotch, some surprise or another. Can I tolerate the same? Not hardly. So, who am I kidding? This public evaluation will probably be somewhat cursory at best.

So what is the question? How do I stack up to the “image” or character of God (as in Genesis 1:26, made in God’s image)? The list I was given only had 24, alphabetically, we only go through the letter “F.” I found another website that lists 49 character traits. My guess is that the list could go on and on and on.

Let me pick three then, that I can somewhat safely say I have demonstrated: endurance, initiative, and thoroughness. Notice: I had to go all over the alphabet list. Here’s what happens when I try to identify a positive character trait, I name one and the first thing that comes to mind is the time I didn’t reflect that very well. And then another and another. So, scratch that one. Oh, well, just look at the overall feature, my mind says, but still I can’t get past it, the murmur of “liar, liar.”

image-of-godI can claim these three just because they speak to the last two years of my life, reinventing myself as a widow, enduring the loss and the sorrow, initiating new routines and lifestyle (even selling and buying a house), and then tackling all the little jobs that are now all mine, working to make those efforts the best they can be. But have I embraced the Presence of God in the midst of these traits as I walked them out? Not as much as I should have. Much of these are part of my nature (my family background and the influence of my mother). I know that. And yet, I also know, then the gas ran out in my energy, God was there, filling up my tank. Things might have been easier had I used God’s gas all along. Hindsight reveals much.

But out of this list, what do I really need to develop? With a conscious choice, what can I put in front of myself, like a post-it, if necessary, and say to myself: go here first.

pooh-contentmentContentment. This is not about never trying or working toward a goal, but it is saying yes to now, today, this moment, this life.
Gratefulness. And so, along with contentment must come gratitude, for what has been given and what will be given.
Patience. With some hesitation I bring this forth. Everyone says, never ask for patience, for the circumstances that demand patience will come in a flood. But, honestly, hasn’t that already happened? And isn’t patience the sister of contentment and gratefulness? I think so.

Where do I see these traits practiced? Here’s the worst confession of all. I’m not sure I know people well enough to know if they are operating in these qualities day to day. I know the courage of several acquaintances who went through challenging cancer treatments, I saw in them these qualities wrapped inside the fight for life. What charges me up is their ability to be bold and yet patient at the same time, to be confident and yet grateful, to be determined and yet content with truth.

CGP are not passive at all. That’s the clue I have about them. They are conscious. They are a choice. They are a team. And I choose to be in. Some call this mindfulness and to some degree, awareness as well. Stay awake!

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What do you see?
Woman or a face?

I get a little tired of people treating Eve as though she had a “blonde moment” and impetuously grabbed the fruit from serpent (who was probably a beautiful creature and not some slimy looking snaky thing – I mean really, who would trust a talking snake?). And why is symbolized by an apple? She ate “some of it” … she ate the “fruit thereof,”; it could have been cherries or nuts for all we know.

Genesis 3:6-7a
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened . . .

But here’s my point. The interaction between serpent and Eve could have been over time. She may have even pondered what it would mean to “know good and evil” since all they knew up until then was good. They were, after all, made in the image of God who is all good. So, the draw here was the wisdom, I think, not the temptation to disobey. Personally, I’m a big fan of wisdom. We are even encouraged throughout scripture to desire wisdom and to ask for it. And for me, here’s the real loss. If Eve would have asked the Creator for wisdom to solve this conundrum, she would have received all that she needed.

There is some part of human that is still unsure of our place in the universe. Are we truly beloved of the Creator? I’ve made so many mistakes: is it too late for me. No, no one is unreachable. Even eating the fruit of the tree doesn’t kill, but there are consequences.

Adam and Eve experienced consequences. And so do we, every day.

When they ate of the fruit of the tree (whatever it was that the tree produced freely in the garden), they saw everything differently. Before, they were looking with God’s eyes; perhaps they looked within more readily and saw the beauty of all living things; perhaps they were able to communicate freely with God’s creation. But, upon seeking beyond the boundaries of God’s gifts for that time in their lives (who is to say they wouldn’t have received more and more later?), they saw something they had never seen before: Not God.

Now, as a follower of Christ, I am trying to teach myself how to see the old way, with the eyes of God, to bypass the “not God” parts of humans and focus on spirit within.

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