Friday, January 6, 2012

The Butterfly Effect

This week has been nuts.  In an effort to be consistent (as per my stated 2012 un-resolution theme), I've been working on my book.  I've been trying to end every day with time focused on Dave and the girls.  I'm working to get a response from  Mattel on a Barbie (and Ken) doll to give to kids with cancer. I've also been trying to focus on making sure I get prayer time in every day and God has answered quite a few I've been praying for a long time - in a big way.  It's exciting!

But it's only 6 days into the year and I'm already tired!

Don't get me wrong - I'm not throwing in the towel (check with me February 1st to see if I'm still saying that).  Certainly though, the reality of the work required to meet goals is sinking in.  I'm thinking this is like the first run back after a long break.  Or the first time I went to my weights class a year ago.  My mind, body and spirit have to be conditioned to be so focused on a goal.  I'm in the endurance-building process, which is the toughest, most painful part.  But I hope it will, like my running, get better and easier. 

Or at least more enjoyable.

Here's what I'm thinking right now.  If I stay this focused all year - it might become a habit.  And I guess that is the point of reviewing a year or a season of life - to look at the habits you've adopted and decide if you are going to keep them.  And those habits, over the course of a year, 5 years, a decade or a lifetime, leave marks.  They set ripples through the fabric of the space/time continuum.  They affect other people here and now and into eternity.

The Butterfly Effect.

One of the major reasons I keep thinking about this is because some of the habits I've developed, or seen cultivated in those around me, make me wonder what I'm actually going to leave behind.  (I guess that is what happens when you start writing a book, you get really observant of your internal and external world.)  I happen to think that the environment my kids grow up in has much more of an impact on them than what Dave and I are planning on squirreling away in a bank account.  My daily actions - do they actually meet up with my beliefs or am I'm sending mixed messages to Dave, the girls and the people around me?

Truthfully, it's hard to be consistent inside my nuclear family - they know me too well.  It's easier to be nice to the people that don't live inside these walls, because I only see them for a small amount of time.  It's that awareness that bubble up these questions:

What am I trying to say with my life?

What does what I say really mean?

What do my actions speak to those around me - especially those I am close to?

Do I really believe that the people in my life (God included) love me?

Am I the person I want to be? 

It all comes down to a willingness to sin and the willingness to pray that has me thrown for a loop.  These questions deal with the connection between the two.  I know I still sin but am I'm honest enough to admit that I need to pray about all of these thoughts? 

It's the force - you can use it for good or for evil.

Any amount of introspection can spark these spiritual conundrums.  You know it - regardless of how serious the sin - or infraction against God, yourself or others - it creates waves.  It has consequences.  All sin maybe the same in God's eyes, but I think it's true to say that not all sin has the same level of consequences.  All prayer creates waves too.  And not all prayer has the same level of consequence - I have experienced that some prayers certainly up the ante in your spiritual life.

So as I explore this whole idea of what consistency means for me in 2012 - and strive to answer these questions - it only gets deeper.  It gets more real.  And it is going to require some discipline to keep up.  There is sin in my life that will mark the ones I love for eternity.  But so do my prayers.

I just hope in the end, my prayers for them win out.

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