Unsolicited Peace

20 01 2009

I have been blessed with peace in my life recently, but not the peace I wanted.  It’s a peace I’ve been blessed with before, however it is somewhat precarious because I sometimes find myself forgetting, ignoring, or fighting with it.  To better understand, here’s a short history of my (short) adult life:

2002 – Got laid off, got married, moved to Seattle, started junior year of college, got job flipping burgers
2003 – Tons of schoolwork, lots of burgers flipped, we got pregnant
2004 – Graduated college, moved to Kent, Daniel born, got job at a bank call center
2005 – Raising Daniel, changed departments at work, we got pregnant
2006 – Moved to Fife, Jonathan born
2007 – Raising boys, work moved to Tacoma, we moved to Tacoma, labored on fixing up new house
2008 – We got pregnant, wrangling boys, Megan born

It would be an understatement to say we’ve been busy the last seven years.  So when 2009 came around, Michelle and I were excited at the prospect of a down year.  My tenure at work earned me a boost in vacation days, and we were finally going to have a year where we weren’t anticipating moving or having a baby!  The Allen Family ship was sailing out of chaotic waters towards peace on the horizon.

Then there was an emergency meeting at work.

I was joking with my manager going into the meeting: “hey, are you giving references? yuk, yuk, yuk!”  The message at the meeting was, in a nutshell, “You guys are awesome, times are bad, we’re closing this call center… Sorry”  I turned to my manager, “no seriously, are you giving references?”

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Psalm 32 part 6 – The Joy of Humiliation

2 10 2008

I am working through Psalm 32 in an attempt to share it’s depth with you as well as help my endeavor to commit it to memory.  Read my thoughts on the previous stanza here.

Psalm 32:10-11

Many are the sorrows of the wicked
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.

This is a very humiliating psalm.  If you read it over and over and meditate on how it applies to your own life, you realize a couple things about the way things are:

– You sin
– You sin a lot
– God had to do some incredible and painful things to fix what we messed up
– God is perfect, holy, gracious and merciful
– When juxtaposed to God’s attributes, we are flawed, impure, malevolent, and spiteful

In the contemporary world, such humiliation leads to sadness, despair, or depression.  See “humiliate” on dictionary.com.  But strangely enough, in God’s worldview, humiliation on our part brings joy!  How does this work?

Have you ever tried to make a tool do something it was never intended to do?  I’ve been a homeowner for a little over a year and had many situations like this.  I needed to carve away some of the trim in some places along our floor and went down to Lowes to get a chisel and mallet.  I spent a lot of time pounding, mangling, and pretty much mutilating my trim and become quite frustrated.  I couldn’t understand why this would be so difficult.  A couple months later, I needed to another project that required a chisel and while in Lowes again, I noticed that there apparently are MASONRY chisels and WOOD chisels. Read the rest of this entry »