Simple Thoughts, Not so Simple Season
It is an amazing thing to witness change. From one’s own being to a child growing and developing to all of societal changes throughout the years. Those are a mere few examples. Some people change due to experiences they had. Whether it be a life and death experience or due to health, their entire world had been readjusted to suit their situations. Perhaps a job was lost and a family, who appeared to have everything, became humbled as they entered into a homeless shelter seeking aid. Change comes in many forms. Many many forms.
Upon contemplation, we can search through our own memory banks and look at our own lives. What were we like as children? Were we obnoxious as a youth and very calm as an adult? Were we rebels or were we straight A students who then became lazy bums? Or were we lazy students who became very successful? Whatever the results, we all change for one reason or another.
During our walk, we, as a family, have endured many changes. From a pretty spoiled lifestyle to a simple one. From big fancy meals to simple basics. A fancy home to a modest home.
Most would say finances did that. Well, in part, it has been due to finances. However, the reality of it is that we chose to change! For as we witness the changes throughout the world and the mentality of many whom surround us, we have decided to simplify to the absolute necessity. No longer just purchasing our wants and desires, but instead our needs. Oh my, can I tell you what a money saver that is alone? Well, let me tell you anyways! It IS!
As I contemplate how all of our lives have dramatically changed within the past 12-15 years, this family is far better off for it all.
When YHWH entered fully into our lives and we each accepted Him individually, then as a whole, it seemed the changes weren’t fully noticed in the first years. As each year progressed, it seemed the ways of the world were falling off us piece by piece. Yet, the more YHWH impressed upon our hearts His ways and not ours, it appeared as though in a blink of an eye, we no longer yearned for our old ways. Our old paths were weeded over and buried. I can look over to my husband and giggle in remembrance. “Honey, I remember when…..and look at us now!” My lavish shoe collection (each had to be embroidered with beading and artwork some of which I did myself) my elaborate wardrobe of wild to professional clothing. My colored hair which dared not lose one hair out of its place. Perfectly manicured nails. Oh the list of a woman can be endless. My husband’s company which he lived for, the hours spent to make it into perfection. Even he used to care for each strand of hair. Oh how we can mold ourselves. I giggle as we look at each other in all our imperfections and take note that our hair is the least of our concerns now.
And ye have done worse than your fathers;
for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart,
that they may not hearken unto me:
They know not, neither will they understand;
they walk on in darkness:
all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
This was certainly me. For many periods of my lifetime, I did walk in darkness. I allowed society to tell me what to wear, how to speak, how to behave, what to want, what to eat, when to wake and when to sleep. When to worship, to celebrate holidays and not ever ever look at the past or my ancestors to reveal the truth of history or the beauty our ancestors beheld.
Oh yes…I had fallen unknowingly. For years I believed I was a rebel. I believed I was a non conformist. My fashion was wild, my hair was even wilder. I was anti society, yet within that, I had only gone into another pen joining another herd being influenced on how to live.
My son, walk not thou in the way with them;
refrain thy foot from their path:
I thought I was adhering to the above Proverbs. I truly did. Only to learn, I was still very much a part of this world. The created world by false creators.
I can continue to ponder and look at this season we are in. The holiday season of loving and gift giving. A time to share with those less fortunate than us. A time of getting together with loved ones and giving gifts. Share the love. It sounds so beautiful, doesn’t it? I thought so too. So the question is…what, besides scripture and the laws of YHWH made me stop being a part of this season? It was YHWH showing me several years ago, the meaning of unconditional love. Yes…unconditional love. I was shown so simply. He showed me that love is
Open rebuke is better than secret love.
Meaning, if something is wrong and you know it is wrong, if you do not correct it allowing it to grow, there is no love. Where is love within a lie? Unconditional love can appear to wound to the core. What it does, however, is reveal a truth for growth. Think of a parent giving tough love to a child. Shutting them out because they are wronging their family. The parent does not want the child to hurt. They do it so the child will learn a lesson with the hopes the child will become a better person for it.
Was then that which is good made death unto me?
By no means. But sin, that it might appear sin,
working death in me by that which is good;
that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
I will use the above passage for an analogy of Christmas time, to put it into an interesting perspective.
Was then that which is good made death unto me? Was then (holiday times made good) made death unto me? Celebrating traditions of man vs. listening to YHWH made death unto me. By no means. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good. Doing what is sinful,(Transgressing the law) but appears not sinful but loving and good, works death in me. (Ex. including lying about liking something to be polite) That sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. To follow blindly traditions created by man becomes exceedingly sinful through examples such as:
•Look at the good I did
•I want this for Christmas, if I don’t get it, I will sulk or throw a tantrum. Children and adults alike
•making lists of wants for Christmas to share with your loved ones
•I can get the best gift for friends/family making others feel inferior if they can’t afford such nice gifts to give
•I want everyone at my house, I do the best decorations, parties etc.
•She/He got this and I didn’t. I wish I had that. (causing an inward sadness)
•huge feasts while there are millions digging through garbage for scraps to survive
Almost looks like the list of 7 deadly sins, doesn’t it?
Each year as I weaned myself off traditions, my eyes opened to all the deceit surrounding them. Not only lies given in history, but told to our children (Santa is real and if you are bad, you will get coal in your stocking. Santa has a list of naughty and nice children, are you nice?)
I would ask each reader to research Yule as well as Saturnalia & the birth of the sun god Mithra on December 25th. Ask yourself this. Where did these holiday traditions come from? Why were they first celebrated and why do they continue. And most of all ask yourself was consumerism around in the earlier centuries as it is today? Who profits from all these holidays? It appears the families are…
but are they?
Our household has changed. It has changed drastically from what it once was many moons ago. It has been an incredible blessing to walk simply. To walk obediently (Though, I admit, I am still working on the fully obedient part!!!) and listen to the Word instead of man and tradition. For there was a time when both Minister QuietBuck and I did not celebrate holidays. When we were young and cared not to partake in them. What I took as just not being a part of, changed once I had children and I fell back into holidays. In utter ignorance, I indulged. So what convinced me to go back to the days of my youth? It was educating myself and comparing it with scripture. For YHWH does not change, yet we, as mere humans LOVE change!
Hear ye the word which YHWH speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
Thus saith YHWH,
Learn not the way of the heathen,
and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven;
for the heathen are dismayed at them.
For the customs of the people are vain:
for one cutteth a tree out of the forest,
the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
They deck it with silver and with gold;
they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not:
they must needs be borne, because they cannot go.
Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil,
neither also is it in them to do good.
Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O YHWH;
thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
Cease, my son, to hear the instruction
that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
These are my simple thoughts upon this time. I have always been one who wants to know why things are done the way they are. The thorn in my teacher’s side, so to speak. I never accepted things at face value. Now, I understand why.
And lastly, since it is the season of giving, why do we limit it to a season? In our house the season of giving is not limited to a few days out of the year. Nor is it about buying buying buying to give. No, every day is considered the season of giving in our home. Will it be in yours?