Thursday, November 17, 2005

My life verse

A life verse is like an ongoing theme for your life. Your motto. It's a verse or a chapter from the Bible that's custom fit for you. You don't really need one but it's nice to have one if you want one. It's a satisfying process to search, reflect, contemplate and take that which is inside thy self and turn it outside thy self. Oops, I didn't mean to go King James on you!

I'd been reading my Bible as Kara suggested. Immersed myself in the Word but I was coming up with zip. But I'd also been reading the Mitford Series. They're "wholesome" books with a Christian theme and the author, Jan Karon, has much knowledge of the bible which she deftly weaves throughout the stories. Since reading her books my conversations have been peppered with colorful phrases like "I'll be et for a tater" and "Boy howdy" and "Yer gonna make my glass eye cry." Fun! And I did not overlook the fact that the character Olivia has her own life verse and she mentions it and leans on it often.

In the fifth book of the series on page 194 in the chapter entitled Worms to Butterflies, the erstwhile secretary tells Father Timothy that she'll do a deep web search for him and says "I'll get right on it." And she adds "And I'll pray. Sometimes I pray while I surf."

And it hit me! I pray a lot. Each morning when I wake I ask the Lord how he'll use me today. I pray when I do dishes. I pray each day, every night. I even took a test at my last church and I scored so high on intercessory prayer that the assistant pastor said, "I really shouldn't do this yet, but would you pray for me and be on my prayer team? I said I'd pray on it and let him know. Not really! That was a fake-a-rooney! I told him yes immediately. I was happy to do so. To this day I still pray for him.

Then the synapses started really firin' in my brain. The first verse I ever memorized was 1Thessalonians 5:17. Bam! I smiled to myself. I knew I was onto something, but I didn't want to get too overly excited immediately in case I might be wrong. So I just lie in bed smiling in the dark like an idiot because I couldn't help myself.

The question was, how do I know for certain if it's the right one? I mean, the Bible is a pretty big collection of books. Sixty-six of 'em you know. It's not like God's going to do the pop-in and say, "Yes Liliana, you chose correctly. You are done." And, truth be told, I had actually been hoping for something a leetle more esoteric. Something the average Joe wouldn't understand. (Yes I am full of myself.) So I cogitated some more and then it dawned on me that the numerals 5 and 17 were of great significance in my life.

Our eldest son is 27. He went to a religious private school for three years in elementary and I dutifully went to church with him once a year for the Christmas show. Thought I was a good mom. We moved and from sixth grade through high school I encouraged him to join the youth group and he did, every year. Through all those years, I remember attending church with him one time. The church was within easy walking distance. I drove by it but I never saw it. (Which really in itself depicts my spiritual self at the time. I was very busy.) But I thought I was a good mom. I made my kid be in the church youth group. Check off the box, cross it off the list, I'm done.

Nineteen years later, along comes surprise vasectomy baby and it occurred to me I ought to visit God's house and give Him an official thank you for a healthy baby and a good life. Boy howdy, it was not easy. To this day I run from hugs and cringe at handshakes. But I was compelled. The spirit of the Lord was whispering in my ear. And on the day I was there they played a video on a humongous screen that felt like it filled the whole church. The topic was how parents are responsible for nurturing and fostering the spiritual growth of their own offspring. It was about how we shouldn't just drop off our kids in Sunday School or youth group and leave their spiritual growth up to someone else. I got all tight and choked up, trying to keep my composure while I held in hot tears that stung my eyes. I could see the truth in it. I knew that video was for me. I finally realized that my husband and I who conferred life upon this new, little person were responsible for ensuring that he knows Jesus, that he develops a personal relationship with Him, and ultimately that he knows he's part of the Great Commission. I was transformed that day. Hey, this stuff is not for the faint of heart!

Our second baby's birth date is 5/17. So here's my verse.

1 Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 17.

Look it up!

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