Chasing Contentment

Tuesday, August 29

Learning Curve
I've been thinking a lot about learning these last few days. I'd forgotten how difficult it could be to sit in a classroom all day and have to absorb vast amounts of information. I know I have to be able to do this, (and generous people continue to assure me that it's possible) but it's difficult and frustrating at this point.

Matthew 22: 37 says, "And He said to him, 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'" (New American Standard)
That feels like a bit of pressure this week with my mind drained from learning. I think, in general, that most of my learning experiences are difficult and frustrating. I don't know if that says something about learning or about my nature.

I sat in the dark in Griff's room the night of Sept. 11, 2001 and cried. I grieved for those who lost loved ones, for those searching desperately. I grieved, too, for a world of innocence my son would never know. The world he would grow up in was a world that hadn't existed for me before that fateful morning. It was (and would continue to become) a world of distrust and fear.

There's been so much coverage these last few days of Katrina and the current status of the Gulf Coast region. I can just barely watch... it breaks my heart all over again... makes me cry.

For weeks last summer, I grieved for those in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. We were close enough in proxemity to New Orleans to know people suffering loss. And so, while we weren't touched physically, we were cut to the core emotionally at times.

From both experiences, I've learned that it doesn't really matter if a tragedy is of man's making or nature's. I don't believe God appoints people to jihads any more than I believe He sent a natural disaster to cleanse a sinful city and in turn destroyed the lives of so many of the city's poorest residents.

In the end, I think one of the greatest things I've learned is that people will show their true hearts in times of trouble. I have learned that acts that seemed small to me were felt in large ways in people in need. I learned that sometimes all people want is to be treated with some dignity. I learned - beyond a doubt - that faith and love are powerful forces. Maybe what I need to remind myself - what I need to relearn over and over - is that loving God involves faith and trust but that it also involves action. Loving God means that I need to love the people around me, whether those people appear to be in need or not, whether those people were chosen by me or not, whether they seem to appreciate my efforts or not.

Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." Matthew 22: 37-40 (The Message)

[  posted by Chel on Tuesday, August 29, 2006  ]


Thank you for this post Michelle. The anniversary of Katrina, and then Sept 11th being right around the gives pause to a hectic day for sure. I think a great many of us learned much during these tragedies.


By Anonymous Blair, at 7:29 PM  

Thank you -- and Amen to your last paragraph.

By Anonymous Barbara H., at 5:48 AM  

Thank you for this post. Being in the UK I have grieved from a distance, but grieved none the less. May the Lord always have the glory as He teaches us through lifes trials as well as its joys.

By Blogger Susanna, at 1:21 PM  

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