September 10, 2011

Wow, what a month. My brother arrived, and life suddenly took on a whirlwind rush. Bedtime came after 11 p.m. almost every night, and then I got up early every morning to feed William breakfast. During all this, I started writing on another website for a client, and William started cutting his last four teeth--morphing from a happy, lovable little Jekyll to a monstrous, destructive Hyde. Good times, good times.

At least I have some comfort. I started reading a terrific book called The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. It's a book that investigates the validity of the biblical New Testament through interviews with top New Testament scholars and other experts. Some of the insights are simply profound and have encouraged my faith in a big way. I think all Christians and skeptics should read it.

I also have more inner peace than usual. Not long ago, I wrote a devotional that spoke of the Bible's description of the secular world. The Bible points out five basic characteristics of the world: (1) lust and pride, (2) immorality, (3) materialism, (4) division, envy and strife, and (5) a lack of compassion. That got me thinking about lust. Lust has been one of my biggest problems for years. Whenever I wanted to escape reality, I'd just fantasize about having an encounter with someone--who was not usually my husband. I felt guilty about it, but it was easy for a long time to just write it off as harmless imagination.

But it wasn't harmless. It was dishonoring my marriage. It was tempting me to cheat on my husband. It was making me feel anxious and on edge. However, after I wrote that devotional, something clicked inside of me. I suddenly didn't want to fantasize about other people anymore. Whenever my thoughts began to stray in the wrong direction, I stopped them. My love for my husband began to deepen further, and my anxiety vanished. I decided that my desire should be for my husband only. After all, isn't that what is marriage about?

There are other things I'm meditating on as well. Materialism. Lack of compassion. Is that really me? I spend a lot of time thinking about things I want or might eventually have when I already have so much and give very little of it away.

The Bible says, "Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Not transformed by a simple repeat-after-me prayer. Not transformed by a song and dance. Not transformed by wearing the "right" clothes, saying the "right" things or shouting "Amen!" every other breath. Transformed by thinking differently about the world. Wow. How often does that come up in church?