Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Salad Dressing to Each Other’s Lettuce

As a friend of mine once said “lettuce provides the excuse to add delectable toppings.”  I love salads but in all honesty it is usually not the lettuce, let me re-phrase that, it is never the lettuce that is the main attraction.  Certainly one ingredient that makes a huge difference is the salad dressing.

One of the more popular combinations is oil and vinegar, often with herbs and other flavors mixed in.  For those of you who cook you know that oil and vinegar do not mix well, yet are an essential base ingredient for many dressings.  It is when you shake them up and the two liquids become one, that they produce a satisfying topping.

So it is with husbands and wives.  Gender differences, life experiences, and personality differences alone create an oil and vinegar situation.  Both oil and vinegar have uses in and of themselves, they don’t particularly need each other.  But when they become emulsified they create a unique blend that adds much flavor to an otherwise bland collection of greenery.  Not to insinuate that either you or your spouse are bland but if you are able to bring your unique God given gifts, talents, perspectives and personality together you produce a blending that can bring God considerable joy.

By the time I see couples in counseling they have been so negatively focused on their respective differences that they can’t begin to consider what they could accomplish if they would only combine their strengths.

I tend to be task oriented.  I love check lists and I like crossing things off of the list even more.  I tend to address the superficial, low hanging, easily identified fruit.  I like to think I multi-task well, though I must admit that when in the kitchen that is not always a wise trait to employ.  However, I couldn’t organize a desk drawer if you gave me a week.  I don’t cook without a recipe.  I do not like spending time on detail.  I get impatient with things, particularly those of the electronic variety.  My wife on the other hand is a fantastic organizer.  She, in my opinion, often overlooks the low hanging fruit but when she digs into a project she strips it to the bare bones and re-builds it from the ground up.  She is incredibly clever, she can figure out anything.  She reads books on topics that I can’t even pronounce.  She is fabulous at putting together great tasting concoctions without a recipe.  I don’t call a repairman I call Kathleen.  If she can’t handle the problem, then I call a repair person.

We truly complement one another and we believe that is one reason that God brought us together.  Can you make a similar list of how you and your spouse could or do complement one another?

Monday, 3 February 2014

Just Ask

Think of it this way: if your son asked you for bread, would you give him a stone? Of course not—you would give him a loaf of bread. 10 If your son asked for a fish, would you give him a snake? No, to be sure, you would give him a fish—the best fish you could find. 11 So if you, who are sinful, know how to give your children good gifts, how much more so does your Father in heaven, who is perfect, know how to give great gifts to His children!  Matthew 7:9-11

The following story might annoy some of you, particularly those of you who believe that the God of the universe shouldn’t be bothered with petty, trivial requests.  So, I’ll ask you to forgive me in advance but there is a point to my story even if it offends you.

About two years ago I had to drive into the center of the very small town that I live in to pick up a book from the Christian book store.  The metered parking spaces are at a premium and there is very little side street or public parking available.  So I decided to ask God for a parking place in front of the store with money on the meter.  Hey if you are going to trouble the King of Kings, make it a big ask.  So as I approached the store there it was, a parking place not fifty feet from the store with 30 minutes on the meter.  I got out of my car, smiled and said “thank you Lord”.  As I walked to the store my eye caught sight of an open space, directly in front of the store with 60 minutes on the meter.  I broke out in a laugh.  I was so thrilled to settle for what turned out to be  second best that I didn’t even consider passing it up.  My guess is that the Lord had a huge grin on His face and probably whispered “if you only had the faith the size of a mustard seed…”

I am convinced that the God who has named all the stars in the galaxy wants a personal relationship with you and me more than almost anything.  He wants us to trust him implicitly.  I believe that what is important to me is important to him just because it is important to me.

I am quite aware that asking God for something as self-centered as a parking place seems audacious.  I did preface my prayer with “Father I realize my prayer is trivial and inconsequential but it is with childlike faith that I am bringing you this request and I can certainly understand why it is a waste of your time.”  I think His answer was “my child you never waste my time.”