Tuesday, December 14, 2010

LIVING ON THE MOUNTAIN ~ INTRODUCTION

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:9

INTRODUCTION
Living on the Mountain is all about rising above the chaos down here on Planet Earth. I decided to begin this journey into Matthew 5:9 for a column in successandfailure.net . Please visit this wonderfully inspiring website for other articles. Articles under "Bible Study" are quite helpful for daily life. The 500-word articles from this blog will be posted under "Insights for Today".

My online selling adventure began two weeks ago on eBay. So much to learn as a brand-new eBayer! I was excited to be selling many books - 12 in the first week. Yahoo! Score one for my team... Then the peace love and joy all around ended. An unhappy person lodged a dispute against me on only my 7th day of positive cash accumulation in my Pay Pal eBay account.

If you are familiar with eBay, you know there are so many feedback options, ship now, pay later, link to Pay Pal and of course the many 'Messages' in your eBay "Outlook" account. I was so busy with learning the system that I sent my husband off with the already disgrunted person's paid order.

My wonderfully good-intentioned husband forgot to drop off that package at the UPS Store. This person's order was abandoned in the trunk of the car. When I realized the order was still there, I hounded my husband for three straight days before it landed at the UPS Store. Needless to say, per eBay I was officially two days late in fulfilling my seller obligations. I emailed my customer and explained, "I am so very new to Ebay and please forgive me for this order being slightly delayed".

This customer gave no grace. Zero. Zilch. Nada. 

After I finally figured out how to close the case (I finally had a tracking number in process to provide), I prayed he/she would give me good feedback. I would forge ahead to get my blue star. Not that this negativity was a big deal. Repercussions? Possibly my ranking would suffer but eBay selling was not my primary income. I did not plan on paying my light bill with this sale. Thankfully.

Round Two
Thud - my heart hit the floor. My disgruntled, impatient buyer again. I rolled my eyes as  a new case against me flashed in my eBay 'Messages' Outlook. Yikes. This customer now decided there were missing parts and that I had promised him/her something other than what I had listed. Huh?

So much time had been spent learning how to resolve and defend my eBay seller ethics. I realized then that my notes on this column lay untouched on my desk. I didn't blog for three straight days as I complained and questioned how people could be so cruel. I had glowing marks until this cranky customer ruined my good track record. I had such good intentions and had given such a good deal. I was simply done trying to work things out with this person.

Peace? No. I was not peaceful, peaceable or interested in being a peacemaker. I wanted to tell him/her to depart my life forever and that he/she did not even deserve the deal I provided. To take it a step further, I wanted to respond, "YOU are a poison plant that I would like to spray with toxic weed killer!!"(smiling)

I did honestly want to respond with this comment. Sorry Mom. Okay, Roundup. It's safe for animals.

Then the Lord reminded me, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." Yes Lord, I remember I was supposed to focus on Matthew 5:9 this week.

And so, I disputed the claim with the truth, prayed for this person, cranked up iTunes and got busy on my keyboard. Of all days, today was THE day to launch this column on peacemakers!!! I did not respond to my customer but instead decided to be silent.

And so this blog series begins with a passionate plea to be given the words to explain the peace as outlined in the Truth of the Gospel of Matthew. You will understand meekness is not weakness, never confuse humility with cowardice - and agree we can only live in peace when looking to The Prince of Peace. As a result of pondering these entries I pray you will respond to God's radical calling. I pray the fact that Jesus came not to bring peace but a sword Matthew 10:34 causes you pause. To reflect, to question, to wear out your Bible. Don't be surprised if you are challenged and yes, a bit irritated as you make your way out of the valley to the mountaintop.

After all, the goal is for all of us to come to the realization that Living on the Mountain isn't impossible when we live in holiness actively pursuing peace in its fullness. Peace in the midst of chaos? Yes! God's perfect peace.

Shalom!

P.S. I promise to continue to pray for my disgruntled eBay customer. Even if he/she causes me to lose each and every Pay Pal privilege I will praise God for this person. Grace - learned from the Prince of Peace. 'Cause everyone knows there's not much of a view from the valley (Philippians 4:7)!
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