Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The stapler, the stare, and "softening things"

From prayer that asks that I may be
Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee,
From fearing when I should aspire,
From faltering when I should climb higher
From silken self, O Captain, free
Thy soldier who would follow Thee.

From subtle love of softening things,
From easy choices, weakenings,
(Not thus are spirits fortified,
Not this way went the Crucified)

From all that dims Thy Calvary
O Lamb of God, deliver me.

Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire;
Let me not sink to be a clod;
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.

The Stapler
From subtle love of softening things,From easy choices, weakenings,(Not thus are spirits fortified,Not this way went the Crucified)

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, our office has temporarily squeezed into the small place we had in Baton Rouge, about an hour or so away from New Orleans.

Approximately 40 of us have come to work in a place that was only set up for about 4 or 5 people, with desks for a few more and supplies to last said people about a month. We basically had to start from scratch, acquiring work stations, computers and every kind of supply.

We still don’t have everything we would have had to work with and most of us don’t expect to…that is only two people expect things to be just as they were at home. The one I am going to mention in this post is an older engineer who has spent his days complaining about the “appalling” working conditions (as if it were done on purpose, we had options and he were the only one suffering under these circumstances), defending the little space and property he has (much more than most), and trying to commandeer other resources (be it staplers or people). The stapler is what I am leading up to here.

I had a stapler on my desk. I saw one sitting unused on a file cabinet for a few days and decided to move it back to my area. I shared willingly and though I didn’t demand it, it stayed on my desk when it wasn’t being used by someone else. The engineer I’ve been speaking of was the primary person (besides myself) to use the stapler. One day, he decided it would be better (for everyone he said) if the stapler stayed on his table (behind me and everyone else using it), so he took it. I didn’t say anything, though it struck me as a pretty presumptuous and selfish thing to do.

A few minutes later, one of the younger engineers from my row got up and went over to talk to the drafter directly behind me (and next to the commandeering engineer). As they talked, he quietly reached over, took the stapler and placed it back on my desk. He didn’t say anything to either me or the other engineer or even make eye contact. He just righted what I guess he considered a wrong and went about his business.

My little heart was all a flutter.

I literally had to go to the restroom to talk myself down.

The Stare
From subtle love of softening things,From easy choices, weakenings,(Not thus are spirits fortified,Not this way went the Crucified)

I’d noticed it before…another co-worker taking “peeks” over at me or watching me as he talked to someone else. But because we worked on separate floors before, it wasn’t anything more than an observation…a quirk on his part. Now that we are all crammed into one big room and I see him more often, it has become something that is more of an issue…more of a distraction. Something I even find myself liking.

Softening Things
From subtle love of softening things,From easy choices, weakenings,(Not thus are spirits fortified,Not this way went the Crucified)

I finally took the plunge and bought a computer of my own. I haven’t had one since my desktop broke about 3 years ago. I love it and since I got it, I have spent a lot of time ripping cd’s, setting up programs, searching the web for other fun things to use. This week I have stayed up late and spent time in the morning on it and had to hurry through my time in the word.

This morning I was thinking on these things as I was getting ready for work. I thought about how tempted my heart was to enjoy and seek after the attention of these men…men who are by all accounts not godly, though they do attend church, and how easy it was for me to wile away time on other things when I should have been rushing through them to have more time with the Lord. As I pondered, it hit me…to go after these things is to say that what the Lord has set as priorities, has said is good and worthy isn’t…in fact, it is to go against everything I say I believe…everything I was created for.

Yes it really is that serious. I think anytime anything is more precious to us than the Lord (and it would have to be to make us even tempted to disobey or compromise), it is very serious to Him. It challenges His Lordship and our God is, after all, a jealous God.

I then thought of a song by Watermark that has ministered to me a lot over the past few months…

I was created to love you
I was created to need you
I was created to know you
And I am a miracle, cuz heaven is a part of me
You are the air that I’m breathin’ (All Things New)

I was created to love, need, know, please and bring glory to God. These softening things that have so captured my heart and mind are sought only to bring glory to me…to please me…to satisfy me.

Forgive me, Lord…

From all that dims Thy Calvary
O Lamb of God, deliver me.

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