Monday, March 28, 2011

The Ultimate Search

So... I went shopping last Friday.  My daughter is getting married in August and I'm looking for the ultimate shoes to wear to this auspicious event.  I'm on a search to find a shoe that is high-heeled AND very comfortable.  Well, we all know there is a price to pay for looking stylish in heels:  PAIN; but it's early in the season and if I try on about 40-50 different pairs, surely I'll find something that won't leave me cranky and limping at the end of the evening.  On Friday, I was shopping in Von Maur, testing  shoes with the pinch test to see how cushy the soles were and searching for the ultimate in comfort, style and color.  (Frankly, there is no reason to even try the shoes on if they don't pass the pinch test.)

A nice looking woman came up to me and complimented my jacket.  I said thank you and continued with my pinch testing.  Another woman came up to me and said the same thing.  I again thanked her and continued my way.  2 more times this happened!  This was very odd...   I was wearing a 3/4 length green raincoat - not some exotic mink fur coat or something odd or outlandish (I do have some of those.)   This jacket is a blend-into-the-crowd look, a tad bit snappy but mostly just functional.  Then another lady came up to me rather breathlessly and sputtered, "I've been chasing you around to ask you a question!  Where did you get your coat?  I'd like to get one!"  I was nearly speechless!  I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind, "It came from my dead mother-in-law's closet."  This was true.  It did!  My mother-in-law picked this jacket out on one of her last shopping sprees and my wonderful husband paid for it.  Since she was unable to use it and since my husband paid for it, I took it from her closet (after she died) because I left mine somewhere.  I was wearing it that day.  This was the absolute truth.

As usual, I've been thinking about this whole episode and have some observations:  Aren't we all shopping for Something?  Aren't we all searching for the Ultimate and don't we all know it when we see it on someone else?  I'm convinced the Ultimate is Jesus...  I'm convinced He is Ultimate Joy and Neverending Peace and Pure Satisfaction...  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life...  He never wears out...  He makes us look good...  He always fits...

And speaking of looking good, I'm left to ask one more question:  What can I do to draw searching people to ask, "I've been chasing you around to ask you a question.  Where did you find Jesus?  I'd like to get to know Him!"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

That's my Boy!

So...  Another interesting thing has happened around here!  John and I returned from an evening social frolic and was greeted at the door by our son looking fairly sheepish.  Our son, Jack has been gone on a 6 month YWAM (Youth With a Mission) trip.  He has been in Mexico evangelising on the street with a group of 15 like-minded young people.   He has an exceptionally strong faith and is totally committed to God... and he is 18... and therefore makes 18-year-old decisions on a daily basis.  Jack is now home and on this particular evening he experienced a 'teaching moment'; he got stopped for LOUD MUSIC.  And he received a ticket.  And a rather large fine.  So when we got home that evening, he quickly told us and dreaded our reaction.

Jack drives a small white convertible cabrio VW.  It's pretty old but in good condition.  My husband really enjoys messing with cars and augmenting them with extras and of course had a joy ride with Jack's car's sound system.  The cabrio already had  6 speakers when we bought it but that was not enough; 3 more speakers were needed with names like sub woofers and tweeters.  And then, of course, if you are going to get the maximum effect from all these woofers and tweeters, the volume has to be turned up... a lot...  This creates a shaking of our house when Jack arrives home.  No one needs to see him to know he's home, we can feel his presence.  Evidently, Jack drove past a cop car that also felt his presence and lights!... action!... ticket!... for loud music... that is, loud Christian music.

What was our reaction?  John and I acted stern, but on the inside we were doing that swagger thing and high-fiving, "That's my boy!"  I understand that loud music is hard on the ears; that it's distracting; that it prevents hearing car horns and other such noises.  But it was LOUD CHRISTIAN MUSIC!  He was worshiping!  Praising God!  He was having a 'joyful noise' moment!   It was really hard to come down on him when I've been known to turn up the decibels myself - that's the way I like it.  And actually, it was John's idea to install the woofers and tweeters that shake the universe.  Yes, it was his ticket, but it was ours, too.

I paid the $127.50 fine (this time, only) and multiple warnings have been established about other tickets.  Turn down the volume when driving, be responsible... but don't you dare turn down the volume of your heart!  Kick up the passion and joy!  Worship at all times and in all places!  The volume of the heart needs to stay loud and earth-shaking so others can feel it, experience it and see the effects of 'make a joyful noise unto the Lord.'