Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Obsequious

I don't have enough to say about the people I've met whose names (or nicknames) begin with the letter O. Not enough to write a whole post on any of them, I should say. My memories of a woman named Ona can be summed up in the word "disciplined" while memories of someone else's Dutch grandparents ("Oma" and "Opa") could be summed up with "faithfulness."

Therefore I will omit a tribute today.

What I really need to do is to omit blogging from my daily life for a while. In fact, I am pretty sure I will be doing a reverse sort of challenge in May. For April the challenge is to blog every day except Sunday (with the exception of April 1 which happened to be the kickoff Sunday). Essentially that's four days off of blogging in April.

In May, I'll try the opposite--ONLY blogging four days. While writing these legacy posts is a wonderful exercise for expressing my heart to the world (and to the individuals I've honored), I must confess it's not easy to keep up this pace. Outrageous. Obsequious. Ostentacious. (I don't recall the meaning of obsequious, but it's fun to say.)

I'm overwhelmed and overcome sometimes by the grace of God in my life through the influence of dozens and dozens of people. I've also been off-the-charts curious (call it overactively intropsective) about what legacy I am leaving. The conclusions are obviously negative to me.

"She was ordinarily online."
"Her obliques were obsolete."
"She was overchatty and overweight."
"She was overtly obsessed with grammar, spelling, and punctuation. OCD."Bold"She opted out of organizing and cleaning too often."
"She had a lot of personal power outages."

Lately I've been oscillating between condemnation and conviction.

Condemnation says, "You're old, obese, and obstinate. What good are you? Might as well give up on impacting anyone for good. No one really cares that much anyway. You'll be forgotten soon enough. Gain weight, lose weight, what does it matter? Serve people and they might or might not say thanks. Is it worth the effort to serve ungrateful people? Might as well do what YOU enjoy. You only go around once. Eat, drink, and be merry!"

Conviction says:

1. "Teach us to number our days, that we may may gain a heart of wisdom."
2. "Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; now glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are His.
3. "Serve one another and do not grow weary in doing good."
4. "For the Son of God came not to be served, but to serve."
5. "I have loved you with an everlasting love."
6. "Freely you have been given; freely give."
7. "To whom much is given, much is required."
8. "My grace is sufficient for you."
9. "If you chase after worthless idols, you forfeit the grace that could be yours."
10. "Offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, for this is your reasonable service." (I tend to think that my duties are just unreasonable. Au contraire. (Oh, contrare.)
11. "To obey is better than sacrifice."

Pardon my omission of biblical references. The eleven quotes above are taken from scripture--God's holy oracle-- and are memorized, sans reference.

I intend to finish up my April A to Z challenge because there's half-an-alphabet's worth of people that I want to say a few (or more) words about. Then I plan to operate in other ways--more organization in the home, to be sure, but what's the highest priority? Returning to my First Love, God ,the Alpha and Omega. I've neglected time with Him. I used to so enjoy having coffee and scripture reading first thing in the morning. It was like taking a long, hot bath in grace. It's been months since I experienced that. (And going months without a bath? OY! There is a "distinkt" odor about even a servant who doesn't bathe regularly!)

Also, I want to be "visiting orphans and widows in their distress." How? By writing letters to our sponsor children, having coffee with a widowed friend of mine and glean wisdom on good marriage from her, encouraging my friend Bonnie in Africa (see link in my sidebar) as she ministers to orphans, praying more actively for our pastor and his wife who are in the process of adopting four orphaned brothers from Brazil). Orphans abandoned by father, mother, or both, because of drugs, disease, dysfunction, divorce, or death. (Obnoxious alliteration? My ap-ologies.) As the pastor pointed out, there are over 150 million orphans worldwide. Reread that sentence 150,000,000 times and see if you aren't moved. We have the privilege and onus of caring for them somehow, some way.

Oh, the overabundance that is life! Opportunities overflow. And so, fellow bloggers whom I delight in "seeing" and "hearing" daily, I am setting a different course in the upcoming month. It won't be easy. We all know that the "spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." By omitting blogging except for four days in May (on which days I might go on wild outbursts posting things I've pent up inside), I hope to leave a legacy of obedience motivated by love for the One who loves me with an everlasting love, who doesn't love me less if I never raise another finger, or doesn't love me more if I obey him with everything that is in me. If there's one thing I've learned from writing these legacies, it's this: a legacy is formed by whatever a person does over and over. I really need God's help to obey Him over and over, so that I don't forfeit the grace that could be mine.

PS. I went back and looked up the word "obsequious." It means "eager to please or obey." God has a sense of humor, doesn't He?


Joyce said...

Do you remember in elementary school we used to get S for Satisfactory, U for Unsatisfactory, and O for Outstanding?

I give this post an O!

Susan Kane said...

What an abundance of "O"s! Loved all of them, especially about the ones that drag us down. Loved the scriptures; I will copy and paste them for my personal files. Like you, references have gone by the wayside!

Zoanna said...

Thanks, Joyce and Susan.

Susan, have I gone by the wayside???

Laura S. said...

Hello, Zoanna! Whew, you sure found a great way to insert a lot of O words in this post. Impressive!

Have a lovely week and happy A to Z!!

Laurie said...

Can I be very honest?
After reading this, I first thought of a Led Zepplin song with a lot of "Ohs" in the lyrics…

...but then I was reminded of these verses from the Living Word:

"O sing to the LORD a new song, 
For He has done wonderful things, 
His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. Psalm 98:1

"Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
  and let us exalt his name together!
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
     Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
  for those who fear him have no lack!
Psalm 34:3, 8 & 9

And a song about Our God, Our hope, Our shelter and Our eternal home!:

“Our God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Our shelter from the stormy blast,

And our eternal home.”

(Sorry about the long comment, Zoanna! I pray that you would be led and strengthened by the Lord Who knows and loves you most intimately and everlastingly!) Onward and Upward!)