Friday, May 30, 2008

Vav Adversative

Reading broadens our vocabulary. As of late I am into a book on lamenting. I have learned a new term from the Hebrew language called a vav adversative. My computer keyboard keeps me from typing it correctly. The best description I can give for the term is that it contains an exclamation point ! with a tilde ~ on the top left side. This character looks like a flagpole with the flag flying in the opposite direction. If I were to draw a flag I would make a pole with the fabric flying from left to right. This Hebrew character looks like the wind is blowing the fabric from right to left. Sometimes the vav adversative is used in Scripture to represent antithetical or adverse ideas. An idea is presented, then followed by the word "but" and everything changes. The wind blows in a different direction without warning and the scenery changes.
My life is like that. Everything seems to be going in my favor and then a mighty wind comes up from nowhere. I get knocked off my feet, broadsided, or I lose my balance. One day I am whistling down the hallway and the next I am in excruciating pain, mourning, lamenting. The dam bursts and my tears flow freely and often.
We've all been there at some point -- a death, divorce, job loss, run away child, a miscarriage... How great is the day when the wind eventually shifts and the flag flies again in the way we enjoy it. We can't keep our flag at half mast forever. We learn to set our sails in the direction the wind is blowing. We may have to go with an uncomfortable flow until a change comes or the tide does.
Life can throw us plenty of "vav adversatives". What we do with them determines our outlook, our mood, and whether we sink or swim. Today I am going to swim!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Just Right

My mother used to tell me bedtime stories as a child. Goldilocks was always a favorite. She was a gutsy little girl who should never have trespassed into the home of the three bears. I envisioned her slipping through the doors and being frightened for her safety. While fear would have been a more predominant feeling for me, hunger was the overriding feature for little Goldi. Her eyes rested on the bowls of soup and she dove right into the first bowl-- too hot; the second bowl--too cold; and alas the third being just right. My words and speech seem to fit into those same three categories and numerous times in precisely the same order. Burning, chilling, or pleasant to the listener.
The chairs came next. After filling her belly, the child decided to rest a bit. If television or Gameboys had been available Miss Locks would have helped herself to those as well. I am sure of that. Of course the size of the chair was all important. Do we think she was a bit spoiled? The first and second chairs were too big while the third proved to be just right. I have placed myself in jobs that were much bigger than I had skills for. These jobs left me in need of a time out just as our featured character, Goldilocks.
Perhaps boredom or the need for an afternoon siesta led the child into the bedroom. Trying out the beds, she found the first too hard, the second too soft and the third just right. Many a night I have crawled into bed when insomnia took over. The hard situations of life have left my mind racing even though my body was fatigued. There have been nights when the soft pleasures of the day have kept me awake while I rehearsed, re-inacted and relished a most wonderful event I have experienced. Fortunate is the night finding me in a restful sleep. These nights only come when I give everything over to God. When I surrender all of my words, my jobs, and even the pleasant experiences of life, will everything be just right.
Goldilocks jeopardized her life by going somewhere she was never meant to go. In the end she fled for her life when the bears awoke her.
This story is just child's play however I believe we can relate to each scene. If we stop and think of similar situations in our own lives we may learn some great lessons. Where we go, what we do, think, and say all have repercussions.