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Out From the Fog




It's something a.m. and I'm awake (again). No surprise there, since it seems like I slept the last two days away. The fourth quarter of retail has taken it's toll on my body, leaving me run down and trying to recover from some kind of sinus junk. The drugs are finally wearing off, and now I feel somewhat nocturnal. Certainly I could do something productive, couldn't I? Try some brainstorming....uh....still a few cobwebs.


Lack of focus can be frustrating, especially when trying to do something creative. The day to day stuff of life demands so much, and at the end of the day it seems all I hear are the reverberations of the world's endless chatter. I have to purposely choose to center myself, which does not mean I make myself the center of the universe. Rather, it means I align myself with the One who created the universe.


Later this morning I learned a new phrase: "tikkun olam." I'm not sure which language this is, but apparently Fred Rogers explained this to mean "repairers of creation." With all the destruction and terror going on in the world, our planet sure could use some repair, and I don't just mean physically. It includes our very minds and hearts. We need repair, and we also need to be repairers. The speaker pointed out the remedy that begins to point us to repair is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."


The goal is not just to be a keeper of the law, but when I focus on loving God my soul begins to undergo a supernatural reparation. Then when I get properly repaired and centered, the work I have takes on real meaning and real fulfillment, as stated in Colossians 3:23-24: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward." I have finally noticed that it doesn't say, "When you finally get to do what you like to do, work at it with all your heart." It says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord,..." If I got to do what I like to do all the time, it would be no problem working at it with all my heart. The challenge is to have my focus on the Lord as my boss, even when I'm working for flawed people telling me what to do (I'm quite flawed myself, by the way). What's more, when I get to paint, it will also take on real meaning because the Lord gives focus and clarity. Even in this I work at it with all my heart as working for the Lord, and the fog lifts.

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