Monday, March 9, 2009

Nothin' But Blue

I had a 30-35 miler on the schedule yesterday but I had doubts it would get done with my late start. Forecast was predicting snow and I had heard downtown Portland had already seen some. As I contemplated, I saw the shortest snowfall I have ever seen and figured maybe that was it and I should get going while the going was good. As I was getting my tires pumped up to max PSI, the neighbor commented on if I was going to put chains on my bike wheels and just then it started to hail, bringing back memories of one of the most painful rides of last season when hail battered us from all angles. I headed out and for the entire 2 hour ride, all I had was blue sky above me and sunshine! I would look to my left, to my right and all I could see were scary clouds, but always above me, a ray of sunshine :o)

About halfway through the ride I decided to head down a bit of a hill. I had seen a sign for a Garden Club by the river and thought it would be a good place to stop and have a gel and a drink of water and a good hill to climb back up. As I reached the bottom and started slurping down my gel, I heard a big dog charging at me but assumed that of course, it was behind a fence somewhere. To my surprise it charged right around the corner at me completely free of fence or leash. As I calmed my heart, I forcefully told him to go home as he continue to stare at me and bark. I could see his muscles tensed and I felt sure he was going to leap onto me. I yelled at him again and headed up that hill as fast as I could. As I reached the top and started speeding as far away from him as I could get, I realized I didn't have my gloves on and immediately decided to NOT go back for them...then I looked down and amazingly they were still laying on my aerobar arm rests right where I had left them :o)
Came home and showered and changed so Mai and I could take Ki to Powell Butte. We hit snow/hail and rain on the freeway, but stayed completely dry on our walk :o)

PDL Day 9: What Makes God Smile?
Some of the main points I took away from this chapter were: "...obeying God wholeheartedly. That means doing whatever God asks without reservation or hesitation. You don't procrastinate and say, "I'll pray about it." You do it without delay. Every parent knows that delayed obedience is really disobedience."

And this - which is ME and I'm sure probably most Christians: "Often we try to offer God partial obedience. We want to pick and choose the commands we obey. We make a list of the commands we like and obey those while ignoring the ones we think are unreasonable, difficult, expensive, or unpopular...Yet partial obedience is disobedience.

I also spent some time musing over page 75 when he quotes God's Word ~ God says, "You have no right to argue with your Creator. You are merely a clay pot shaped by a potter. The clay doesn't ask, Why did you make me this way?"

What God looks at is the attitude of your heart: Is pleasing him your deepest desire? I would have to say no. Satisfying my own urges and wants is definitely outweighing His right now. I say I want to please Him, but again and again, I follow my own desires...even when those desires are obviously detrimental to my life. Grrrrr.

PDL Day 10 The Heart of Worship. The heart of worship is surrender.
Did anyone else love this chapter like I did? LOVED IT! However, as soon as I loved it, I swear the devil started working on me...encouraging me to feel uncomfortable with what I was thinking, making me want to put the book down, doubting my beliefs, putting a thought in my brain to stop this 40 day journey right now. I felt totally attacked.

"God wants your life - all of it. Ninety-Five percent is not enough." Does that hit you guys in the gut as much as it does me? I know this. I know God wants 100% and yet I can never seem to let the reigns go. I have not been willing to give Him this, which I suppose is why I am always so dissatisfied. It seems like the easy choice, doesn't it? Give Him your all and all the barriers break away. Keep even just 5% and you never truly find what you are looking for. It is such a huge decision and yet the only one.

SIDE NOTE: Something that keeps coming back to me over and over again since an earlier mention in a chapter about Hell being a place for Fallen Angels. If Heaven is so incredible, so wonderful and amazing to be in God's continual presence, WHY are there fallen angels? Will there be opportunities in Heaven for us to fall as well? Any insight from anyone?

ok, back to regularly scheduled stuff: I liked C.S. Lewis' observation "The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become - because He made us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be...It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own."

Page 81 hit me hard with my current interest in facing up to the different facets of my personality: "You also know you're surrendered when you don't react to criticism and rush to defend yourself. Surrendered hearts show up best in relationships. You don't edge others out, you don't demand your rights, and you aren't self-serving when you're surrendered."

Page 82: "Everybody eventually surrenders to something or someone. If not to God, you will surrender to the opinions or expectations of others, to money, to resentment, to fear, or to your own pride, lusts, or ego. You were designed to worship God - and if you fail to worship him, you will create other things (idols) to give your life to. You are free to choose what you surrender to, but you are not free from the consequences of that choice. E. Stanley Jones said, "if you don't surrender to Christ, you surrender to chaos."

I will be reading this chapter over again and again.


Krissa said...

I am glad you had a good ride. Andy used to have some trouble with dogs too. That is really scary. I always worried about him riding. One day I slept in and he was out riding. I decided to go visit my mom and on my way, I saw my Andy riding his bike around a dangerous turn and it made me so nervous. I just worry people wont see him. You triathletes amaze me.

Anonymous said...

Dogs are my biggest fear when I'm riding. One time a dog was chasing me and I was so freaked out I started riding UP A HILL on the wrong side of the rode. I was so glad there wasn't a car coming!!!

I'm a little behind on the PDL study. I'm going to catch up this week. But I am so with you about giving 100% to God. It should be so easy if I could see the results, but I guess that is where trust comes in. I'm so afraid He might take away something that I THINK I can't live without, so I hold onto it, and I know that is wrong!

In fact something happened this weekend that really upset me at first, but then I started thinking that I think God had it happen that way for a reason. The other day I was on the chapter about everything being a test, since then I've really been thinking about EVERYTHING I say and do. It's all a test and I need to think about that in everything that I do.

Julie said...

Krissa ~
I'm really more worried about drivers not paying attention, but that dog scared the shat out of me ;o)

I liked how on Day 10 he said, "there is a moment of surrender, and there is the practice of surrender, which is moment-by-moment and lifelong. The problem with a living sacrifice is that it can crawl off the altar, so you may have to resurrender your life fifty times a day."

I fight this all the time. I'm like "Hey God...didn't I already surrender to you? Why aren't you doing the work in me that I feel should come with my surrender to you???" What I need to realize is that I'm not going to get off the hook like that. I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE who needs to surrender 50 times a day ...OR MORE!

Anonymous said...

Hey Julie (and everyone!!!) I'm still here just running a little behind. I promise to be all caught up by the weekend. keep checking back as I'll be adding my words as I can!!!!