Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hello's and Goodbye's

There are funny little "catches" with growing up. We transition from rarely having to say goodbye to often having to say it a lot more than we would like to. When we are little, we live with our parents and (for the lucky ones like me) our sibling(s) .. I added the s but I only have one). We go to school with the same people everyday and only say goodbye at the end of the day to be a bright hello the next morning. You have a built in friend set from ages 5 through 13. You go from being the top of the totem pole as an 8th grader to the lowly freshman. There's four more years, new friends, and then more good-bye's at graduation as you depart to different colleges in different states. You say good-bye to family, but only until winter and summer breaks. Another four years pass by at college where you have made some of the best friends and the best memories only to say good-bye at the beginning of May as they all start their new lives as adults with ambitions, careers, and bright futures ahead. If you move back home for a little you say hello to your families only to say goodbye again once the farming employer picks you as the beautiful, new talent (flower) to add to the company (maybe one of your dreams, maybe the stepping stone to get there).

We learn to say goodbye a lot in life as we grow older, move, and transition into new life phases. I have been in a long distance relationship for the past year now and have been lucky enough to see my fiance every 2 to 3 weeks (another reason to praise God for the blessings He has given us in our life that we can afford the time and the travel). As lucky as I am, saying goodbye gets more and more difficult every time and maybe that's a good thing. Every day that I have had Brent in my life has been the most wonderful blessing, and the hard goodbyes and the increasingly harder goodbyes show just how much he means to me. The goodbyes also make the hello's that much sweeter. They make the time together seem so precious, and every single weekend of travel in the past year has brought so many memories that fill me with joy whenever I think about them. Goodbye is hard. Hello is sweet. Love is beautiful.

So how do we love? Why is our love not always perfect? Why are there times when I am selfish rather than loving? The only answer I know of is that I am human and I make mistakes and I (so selfishly) think of myself many times before others. So how can I change? Prayer. God's grace. His mercy. His love. His understanding. Guidance from the Holy Spirit. How can I be guided without being deceived? How do I know when I'm being deceived? Do I need to trust more or to discern more? Who can I trust when a discussion about God is concerned? Everyone has their opinions and their beliefs, but there is one truth not many.

I've been thinking a lot about authority lately especially in regards to Church matters. There are two directions I have seen when it comes to authority. There is either a structured authority with a set of doctrine that is the belief of that Church and the structure on which that Church teaches and stands or there is doctrine that a single community follows and it differs from church to church or leader to leader and even people within the community can interpret and discern scripture differently with their own worldviews mixed in.
I don't believe Christianity to be pick and choose so why are we free to interpret the way we want when my interpretation could be different than yours? Why do people have issues of authority when it comes to church matters but don't question it whatsoever in every other (much less important than matters of the soul) area of their lives?

I have a job as a mechanical engineer where I have to work within company policies and procedures in order to protect intellectual property, ensure customer satisfaction, and make sure that the design matches up with the paperwork. I report to my boss who reports to his boss who reports to his boss and so on until a group of people report to a CEO. If as an employee I did not perform my job within company policy then I am not fully doing my job and could potentially lose that job. Aside from the fact that it would be disregarding my responsibility, it would be taking the job "interpretation" into my own hands. There is a reason for policies within a company. There are military standards and tolerance specifications that we need to follow. It's important information and it was created by people with more experience and who are much more intelligent than I am. I'm trusting these people and their policies when I do my job. If I disregard them, then it could affect design or even my performance as an employee. I don't have much experience as a mechanical engineer with less than a year out of college so I am trusting people who do have the experience and knowledge. I am trusting that my company is going to provide me with the information I need to perform my job without having to create new or conflicting standards as I work.

We live in America. Well I live in America. U.S. of A. We have a President, albeit, I won't speak on what I think of his authority. However, all Americans (including you Mr. President!) have a set of laws to follow. We have a Constitution that directs us all to our rights in this country. We look to our government (maybe this was a bad example) and we trust them to make correct, authoritative decisions.

I am going to rant now so stay with me if you want or skip ahead. There are a lot of things our country today has taken very far out of context and very far away from the constitution and the moral law. One. Abortion. That is preposterous that anyone could even believe that it is anything but murder. An abortion is murder. It doesn't matter how planned parenthood or our government spin it. It doesn't matter how many "feminists" (trust me you aren't a feminist if you are fighting against your fertility) believe in a woman's right to choose. It is a murder and we do have a right to choose. We have a right to choose... this might be a little shocking... to not have sex if you are not ready for a baby (I won't go into the whole marriage thing but that remains too, uncontracepted sex within marriage is the only real sex and the way God designed it). Abortion makes me angry and we have no right to dictate whether another human being lives or dies. Life is sacred and blessed and should be protected. A baby. A human baby has a heartbeat at 3 weeks old and can feel pain at 8 weeks old. If  your heart is beating you are alive. I don't understand how anyone can disregard this? How can that be ignored? Fear should not determine our actions. Love should.

I'll share a comic about abortion. It makes me sad more than anything. We are so quick to tell others when something is unhealthy for them, but when it comes to "sensitive" topics like abortion our nation is so accepting. My company banned smoking on campus because it is unhealthy for us (I don't smoke this is just an example). How much worse for us as women, as human beings, is an abortion that affects us both spiritually and physically?

I've never had one and I never will. I just can't imagine rejecting such a wonderful gift growing inside you. A human being is a precious gift from God. I understand not being ready, but we need to understand that no matter what a business (that's what the abortion industry is... a business selling their product and sadly successfully selling it) tells us as part of their marketing strategy doesn't make it true. Just because McDonald's makes and advertises a "healthy" salad doesn't mean I'm going start a McDonald's diet because I know most of what I'm getting there is unhealthy. They aren't marketing the grease and the calories in our supposedly health conscious America. We need to discern. We need to know what is fact and what is a facade. Trust is important and so is discernment. God gave us a brain for a reason and we should know how to use it.

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