Saturday, December 3, 2011

Lost & Found

Remember the "Lost & Found" bin at school? You know, it was that big box, bin or table that collected all of the things people lost over the years, but never claimed. Some of those items were dirty and worn out so we were not surprised that they were "lost." However, did you ever see a shirt, jacket, pair of shoes or backpack that you wouldn't mind taking home with you? You were completely flabbergasted that the owner didn't miss it or didn't realize it was lost.

I don't know about y'all, but when I lose something, it stays on my mind preventing me from focusing on other important things like getting to work on time, calling so-and-so back or even going about my day-to-day routine. If I realize that something once in my ownership has been misplaced, then it becomes my ONLY priority. Yes, it depends on how much $ I paid for it or if I borrowed it from someone else, but nevertheless, I gotta find it...somehow...some way or lose my good sense LOL

Aside from the humor in being confused and irritated when you misplace something and cannot find it, there's a serious issue surrounding the "Lost & Found" sections of our lives. You see, it's easy to replace a pair of shoes, jewelry, even our favorite pair of house shoes. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to replace a memory, a relationship, a gift put in our possession only temporarily.

Think about those valuable items and relationships that have been in the "Lost & Found" bin for years. So much time has passed that no one even remembers that these items and persons have been lost. Be honest with yourself, ever felt like someone left you on the "Lost & Found" table?

If not, well good for you, but for some of us, we know how it feels to be lost and "unclaimed." We remember how hopeless we felt, the depression we fell into and the deep sadness our hearts endured while waiting on our friends and family to remember remember that we have lost our way and need to be FOUND.

Now before we start tearing up, let's rejoice that not all is lost. Yep, it's true that some friendships, marriages, partnerships and other relationships were broken, lost and never repaired but GOD!

You see, I'm a firm believe that at times, following God will cause some folks and things to fall off your radar and you'll look around, noticing that you have a few things in the "Lost & Found" bin. You don't plan to claim them because God took them from you for His purpose. Hallelujah God for inserting expiration dates on people, places and things that I deemed eternal pieces of me. For Your thoughts are not my thoughts and Your ways are not my ways, says the Lord (Isaiah 55:8). Thank you Lord for nudging me...sometimes snatching me up so that I understand how these "bad apples" truly will spoil the bunch.

On the flip side, we can rejoice that God never left us on the "Lost & Found" table. Un uh, nope, that's just NOT how He rolls. Everytime I even thought about running away from the Lord, he sent an angel to not only watch over me but also that RAM to bring me back to remembrance of Him. It's funny but quite amazing to fully understand that God considers you to be worth saving...worth sending a search party out for...he put the ultimate finder's fee on your head: LIFE!

You shouting yet? No? Too bad cause I'm happy all by myself, you hear me?! God doesn't give up on you just because time passed or the "crowd" voted you were not worth the time and effort to keep looking. Nope, my God promised that even if it takes years, decades, blood, sweat and tears He will never leave you nor forsake you! So that means that the cost to replace you in His heart does not exist. He can't just go out and find another you, there's only 1 spirit, 1 soul, 1 place created especially for you. So if God can't find you, His heart will never be mended...and that truth means more than me than anything else.

To know that although the lonely nights, dark paths, toils and snares come upon you like a thief in the night, God sees all and never left you. In fact, He was that stranger that gave you a place to stay...that shelter manager that gave you a warm bed in a foreign place...the source of the peace that calmed your nerves when you thought you were never gonna find your way. God is and will always be the lamp unto your feet and the light unto your path (Ps 119:105).

Doesn't it feel good to not be forgotten? God has not forgot!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Truth About “Busy” Work

Remember back in the day (pre-2008) when the term “busy work” came into play?

You know, like in school when the teacher would assign random handouts or homework assignments just to “keep us busy.” It was acceptable at the time, but as we got more grown and starting smelling ourselves we DEMANDED that every assignment given to us had a purpose and some measurement of credit behind it.

We was like “un uh, if it ain’t being graded, then I ain’t doing it.”

Well if you never uttered these words, I guess you can’t relate. However, for those of us who DO remember them days, let me suggest something to ya: Don’t be consumed by the act of being “busy.” A few years ago, a very wise man warned me of always being busy: Bound Under Satan’s Yoke! (Thanks Ron)

It caught my attention then, but man oh man have I seen the LIGHT now! When I think about how often my friends and family say, “Tam you stay busy” or “I guess you were too busy to call/text/e-mail me” I feel the guilt. Actually, I’m primarily annoyed because the phone and inbox works BOTH WAYS! Lol

But in all honesty, I look back over the past year for signs of progression and goals attained…yet not that much has been done that I can measure with a ruler or scale even. I’ve been “busy” all dang’on year but ain’t did nothing!

How did this happen?! I'll tell ya how: I got accustomed to being “busy” for the sheer sake of passing time. I’m not saying that I didn’t accomplish anything, that would be dumb to say LOL but considering all the time I spent running errands, checking off my daily to-do list and just being “busy” I don’t see many results other than being worn out, stressed and broke LOL

So I’m reminded of my younger self where I analyzed the smallest matters (pettiness) but I did it because I valued MY time. It’s time I stopped being BUSY/BOUND and started freeing up some idle time in my life. Time to rest, recuperate and rekindle the flame I had with God and the other loved ones that bit the dust over the past 8 years of my busy-ness.

Won’t you join me? Let’s stop accepting “busy” work: activities done JUST to appear that you are working on something or just to pass the time. Let’s be more INTENTIONAL with our actions.

This goes for ministry as well. How many ministries are we involved in or the leaders of that are just placeholders and time-consuming, "busy" work stations?

The people of God deserve purpose, not just a quota we decided to fill to make it appear that our church, our ministry, our "busy" selves are doing something.

Who's grading your paper?

I'm gonna share a lesson I learned the HARD WAY: not everyone's expectation of you is the same. Be sure that you know what your grading criteria is before you start ANY project, job, relationship or ministry. Why is it important? Because it will be used to measure your end result and if WE are living to be acceptable & pleasing in God's sight let's be real about it - S.M.A.R.T. goals won't work in heaven!

Remove the clutter so God can work!

After all, our time is precious.

Like KW said, “Ain’t no tuition for having no ambition and ain’t no loans for sitting yo…at home. So we forced to sell, rap and get a job. You gotta do something man yo…is grown!”