Monday, February 11, 2008

Spiritual Wedgies

I promised you the last time I wrote, I would become more faithful in my encouragement to you. I would write more of these little snippets in this blogosphere because I believe this indeed, is one of my purposes in life.

I want you to know, I did not forget you. I want you to know, weeks ago I set to writing this message - "Spiritual Wedgies." I wrote it, clicked "save," walked out of the room to refill my coffee, and when I returned, my computer had entered into one of those "automatic download/restart modes." When I turned my computer back on and logged back into this blog's management site - there was nothing. NOTHING. I received a Spiritual Wedgie while writing a blog about Spiritual Wedgies. Coincidence? I think not.

So, being absolutely spent for the moment, I let it go. I decided I would return to it eventually amidst my other writing projects. And I did. I came back to write it again. Guess what happened? My newly revived laptop - with its brand new hard drive - developed a faulty power cord. If I so much breathed the wrong way - Power Out. Game Over. No Battery back up. No hibernation mode. Dead. There was virtually nothing I could do about it except buy another power cord.

I shopped around. Best Buy - do they really live up to their name? Staples - puleeze - theirs was $83 bucks and they couldn't guarantee me that it was compatible with my model. Wal-Mart - good old Wally World - they had the best price, the universal adapters and all, BUT, I would have to wait two weeks because they were out of stock.

So I waited. I hate waiting. Did I tell you the subject of the book I am writing is WAITING? Yeah, God's working that one out! Anyway... so in my waiting period, I decide to go back to my faithful dinosaur PC which sits in the corner of my Dining Room. Now, before I got my laptop up and running, I had been working on my dinosaur with absolutely no problems at all. What happens when I try to start managing different writing projects there? I run out of internal memory. No matter how many files I deleted, the thing just chugged and chugged and hiccupped and chugged until I physically felt I was going to scream.

And that, my friends, is an example of a Spiritual Wedgie.

They come like a thief in the night. They are irritating. They are ruthless. They can make the greatest of spiritual highs fall down into the lowest of lows. They bite at you, with each nibble, filling you up with all of the irritable ugliness of the person you used to be and were afraid to become again. What are they? They are Spiritual Wedgies and they've come to steal your joy.

Forgive my humor as I talk about a subject that is serious. Sometimes, there is no other way to make plain what spiritually happens to us except to use the very commonplace, something to which we all can relate.

We all have a place on our bodies where our two legs join together at a place which is known as our hindquarters. I now feel like I'm referring to horses, but anyway.... We all wear clothing - be it pants, underwear, skirts, even hose, ladies, and we ALL inevitably have had a time in our life where the fabric on our bodies gets bunched up into that little space between our, ahem, hindquarters, and things start to get uncomfortable. That's the very unofficial definition of something sixth-graders still giggle about - A Wedgie. It is a little wedge of fabric, if you will, that gets into the wrong place at the - wait, is there ever a right time? - and it irritates us until we have no choice but to find relief.

Have you ever been in a conversation where you are looking someone right in the eye while they are talking? They are talking, talking, talking, talking, but you're not hearing a word they're saying. The only thing on your mind is, "I have to pick this wedgie."

Sometimes, we can do it with the greatest of ease. We grab a hold of our pant legs as we stand up - voila - no one saw anything. But there are those which, no matter how much you slide, bend, scoot or dig, they're not coming out. You must excuse yourself to the bathroom for true Wedgie Extraction.

Sometimes we don't even realize they are the cause of our irritability. Ladies did you ever go an entire day feeling irritable and as soon as you took off your shoes, you felt better? It's as if the shoes themselves are pinching your happiness nerve and not letting endorphins get to your brain. You don't know why you are so miserable. But then the shoes come off and "ahhhh...," you feel better. You think, "Oh my gosh, my shoes were bugging me all day and I didn't even realize it." That's how wedgies work and Spiritual Wedgies work even harder. The only difference is Spiritual Wedgies usually last longer than a day and affect all those around you and leave a disaster in their wake.

I started this post on February 11th. Today is March 29th. For nearly six weeks, I have been attempting to get this message to you. All the while, the Wedgies have persisted. Two weeks ago, I reached a chapter in my book that was based on Psalms 27:14, “ Wait on the Lord: be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” I knew exactly what it meant but I was having the greatest struggle putting it into words. Then this past week came into existence.

Monday was like any other Monday. I was exhausted from an overly zealous Easter weekend with my four children, but it was Monday - my lack of excitement was to be expected. Some issues had arisen with our Theatre Company, which I decided to deal with later and I trudged on.

Tuesday, I woke up in extreme pain. It seems I had “slept wrong” and I could not move my right leg. I couldn’t even lift it to pull my pants on as I was getting dressed. I had important meetings at work in preparation for a big event that was held today. I could not call in sick. I had no choice but to grab my cane and almost literally, drag myself to work.

Wednesday, I visited the chiropractor and was feeling a little better physically, but in various situations in my workplace, things were not going well. Deadlines were being missed. Stress was mounting. The issues with the Theatre Company were still not resolved.

Thursday, it seemed like nothing got done at work. All of our printed materials were supposed to be delivered. Our screen printed baseball hats were supposed to be delivered. As I left work for the day, knowing how much work awaited us on Friday, I just looked at my Supervisor and said, “It’s all going to be fine. God’s going to work it all out.” I left work that day knowing He would.

Thursday night, as I was preparing for the Theatre Company to meet with members from Harbor Light and Manna Unlimited Motivations to rehearse for the program we are performing at Revival Tabernacle on April 6th - “How May I Help You? A Celebration of Hope & Healing for Our Nation and Community,” my printer refused to print the scripts and my laptop kept powering down for no reason. I dragged my laptop and printer to the rehearsal. When the script started to print, I ran out of toner.

Finally, Friday morning, I arrive at work, fully expecting everything to be there, ready to be assembled into packets. Surely God had come through for us.

My Supervisor walks into my office and runs down a litany of bad news. Our printed materials have not even been printed. The hats are probably not going to get here, and the rest of what we needed to create, print and distribute was yet to be determined. Again, stress mounted. Slowly, our work started to come together. Then, GUESS WHAT HAPPENED? The printer/copier BROKE DOWN.

Those of you who know me would think by now that I would have turned into my alter-ego Katie Kaboom - you know the old Danielle who used to scream, get mad, thrust into action which consisted of slamming doors and pounding tables. But Katie didn’t show up. I calmly came up with a Plan B - run to Staples and make copies, but I first had to run home for a CD-R. When I stopped at home, I remembered I needed something else to be ready for me when I got back to the office, so I called. The printer had miraculously started printing, there was no need for me to go to Staples. By the time I got back to the office, everything was printed and the icing on the cake - the baseball hats were delivered moments later. The printed materials had not only been printed, but they had been picked up in Williamsport and were on their way “home.“ Everything came together beautifully and God worked everything out.

In life, there will always be the unexpected events of flat tires, cars not starting, unexpected bills, direct deposits not being deposited directly, landlords who decide to sell the house you're renting, printers, computers and other gadgets not doing what they’re supposed to do to make life easy - you name it - there is plenty in this life that can be irritating. This - the stuff of which life is made - has a tendency to get under our skin, get us down in the dumps, makes us feel defeated. And when you let a wedgie like this ride, you can be in a bad mood for weeks until you suddenly stop and realize it's time for Wedgie Extraction.

God gave me a promise - several promises actually - but the one that will act as the trigger for the domino effect which puts the rest into action is the book I'm writing. I believe this promise. I hold onto this promise. This promise has been affirmed and confirmed in so many ways, I can't begin to tell you. Maybe someday I will.

All of this started with a dream about being pregnant, but in the dream, the child within me died. The following Sunday, Prophet Tim Hines was at church and said, "God conceived something in you a year ago and it died inside of you. Now is the time to PUSH!" Because of the significance of this pregnancy imagery, I've begun to realize that my Spiritual Wedgies are like contractions. I've learned something, though. I'm not focusing on the little ceramic bunny in the corner while I do my Lamaze, I've got my eyes on God. I'm RESTING in HIS PROMISE!

Something tells me there are some of you out there reading this right now that are going through something. And it's not just one thing, it's one thing after another, after another. It's driving you crazy. You can't get a break. Your mood is altered and your biting heads off left and right if someone so much as dares to ask you a question.

You, my friend, have a Spiritual Wedgie and yes, you're due for extraction.

Now, more than ever, renounce that devil whose taking joy in your anger. Don't let him ride! Don't let him steal your joy in the Lord. Don't you realize you're giving him what he wants! Renounce him by the blood of Christ - you're free! He can't take a hold of you and your situation because God already claimed you as His own.

Then breathe. Ask the Lord to open the eyes of your heart to see where the lesson needs to be learned - to see the next step that has to be taken. Not all of these attacks are from the devil. The Lord is trying to show you something, too.

Keep your eyes on God. Seek patience, faith, hope, joy and rest in His grace. It is there for you to have because He loves you - not because of anything you've done or because of anything you are, but because of who He is and what He's done.

I see now - Satan has been doing a little dance through the access to the technology in my life and my health. This just confirms the fact my book must somehow be a threat. He knows it is meant to save souls somewhere, so he's trying to stop it.

The ministry of the Pregnancy Care Center where I work is also a threat - we’re saving lives and changing lives of the men and women we meet. We have been blessed to introduce many of our clients to Christ. Certainly, the devil doesn’t want that!

Community Hope Help and Healing? Does the devil want this? Does the devil want us to commemorate the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and re-assess our commitment to social justice? Of course not! That means we as a church might re-ignite our call to reach out to all who are oppressed in the Name of Jesus and also take a stance against our own complacency!

Satan might as well bark up somebody else's tree! Through it all, I haven't given in to his lures and temptations. I have clung to God's promise to me. There were moments, sure, when I felt like screaming, but I fixed my eyes on God again and He helped me through the next big push.

In my waiting, God revealed to me (very vividly, may I add) how this next chapter will take shape. “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

Now I challenge you to stop letting those Spiritual Wedgies steal your joy in the Lord. Extract them!!! Rest in the knowledge of God and His grace and He, as always, will pull you through. Be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart.


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