Swallowing camels.

Hello, My name is Amy and I eat camels. 

When I was very young (and if I'm being honest, even as an adult) I would sing one of the most nonsensical rhymes of all time. 

Sometimes in life you just have to  laugh at the constant irony life throws our way. Each and every week I write for this blog. And each and every week I think, "I don't know what I'm going to write next week." And then, like clock work my week is filled with obstacles that almost always pertain to the following Sunday's message in one way or another. Just like magic (Except, it's not magic. It's God working in my life). I end up with the voice for our blog. 

Lately, I've been emotionally dealing with some people in my life. They don't know they are on my mind. Yet, I've been trying to figure out how to deal with situations all on my own. Just like you, I try to deal with things on my own. I try to figure out problems, how to deal with difficult people, figure out if I'm justified in my feelings. Is this what is intended for us? Are we supposed to figure these things out on our own? 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
— Proverbs 3:5


And still yet, like a creature of habit, I push full force ahead in playing my mental game of pop up Perfection. (Any one else remember that game from the '90's? You either lose the game or lose your mind playing it). Always trying to fit the wiggly doo-dads into their proper place before the timer goes off and then have to repeat the same process again. 

Lately, I've swallowed the fly, spider, the cat....All the way to the horse before soaking in the intentional lesson planned for me. Not to outdo the crazy ol' lady, I even swallow the camel. 

“Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”
— (Matthew 23:24)

Before drinking wine or water the Pharisees and Scribes would use cheese cloth to strain their drinks beforehand to ensure no unclean matter, such as a gnat, would enter into their bodies. Focusing so intensely on something such as this, Jesus reminded them that in their spiritual lives they are going to this length on not swallowing a gnat, yet they are swallowing a camel - they would go to such broad measures to keep impurities from entering their bodies, but offered no resistance to impurities that formed their spiritual being.

It's kind of like the saying, "You can't see the forest for all the trees." There is a bigger picture than what we are focusing on. We are so intent on fixing particular situations when we should be focusing on the BIG PICTURE. I've been allowing my mind to get tangled into how others are treating me and my family, how we've been hurt, how we've been torn apart....notice a pattern? me, me, me, me....

I saw something on social media recently that said something about making a list of people you are able to change on one side of a sheet of paper (me) and on the other side, a list who you are not able to forcibly change (everyone else). 

Yes, I could cause a scene, throw tantrums, write nasty things on the walls of social media. I could also choose to take a higher road. A road that will lead me to where I want to be. I need to not focus on things happening around me. Instead, focus on what I can learn from lessons in my life and ensure I never make people feel the way I've felt lately. I don't want to swallow camels. Instead of "fixing" the problem, I can fix my walk through my Christian life. I know there are so many parts of me that need work - just as others may be working on themselves. Instead of settling my mind on what others are doing or should be doing, I will settle my mind on what I can do for myself, my family, and others. I can't promote loving one another (straining the gnat) and harboring negative feelings towards someone (swallowing the camel) at the same time. 

So, if I incidentally swallow a fly, I am going to learn to close my mouth -lesson learned- before I get anywhere near that camel.