Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I am officially a citizen of Control/Fun Country. That's why Jacob makes so much sense to me!
Whirlwind life, whirlwind moments. I have been in such a holding pattern- waiting on word to go to Haiti, waiting on legal issues to be finalized with our awesome old landlord (total sarcasm), waiting on that perfect marriage I KNOW should be within my reach- and all the while wondering why waiting drives me crazy when Steve takes everything in stride. Well, guess what country he is a citizen of? Yep- the world of Fun/Peace.
What on earth is Renee talking about? Let me explain. We were introduced this weekend to a fantastic seminar called "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage" by Mark Gungor. I will tell you all about that in another post once I finish the book, but during this seminar they told us about something called a "Flag Page". Skeptic that I am, I thought- here's another personality test, blah blah blah. Book lover that I am, I bought the book "Discovering Your Heart with the Flag Page" by Mark Gungor...just for curiosity. I couldn't be more pleased. This is not your run of the mill personality test. The goal of the "Flag Page" is to help you realize WHY you do the things you do, what positive traits motivate you. Sound cheesy? Fine, be a skeptic, but go to www.flagpagetest.com and do it anyways. I guarantee you, you won't regret it. (And if you do, I will pay you back the $12.50- it's THAT worth it!)
All in all, the page was great, and the book was a helpful addition. I wouldn't say you need the book to get the basics, Mark actually helps you through the website virtually, so you can hear him talking and telling you what to do step by step. (Or if you are from control country like me, you will immediately click "Hide Mark" and read it for yourself) The idea is a little too big for one blog post, but in essence the page tries to help you identify which "country" your heart most resonates with, and then which "adopted country" you can comfortably perform in- feeling good about the cultures, languages and behaviors of those places. The four countries are Control, Peace, Perfect and Fun...and you can just IMAGINE already where you and your family members might fit in! It will also give you an analysis of your strengths in five different "Talents" as you select words that put a smile on your face. It is really fun, really educational and really amazing to see how you, your spouse and even your kids tick. Just by seeing that Jazz is from Fun/Peace Country helped me relate to her better on Sunday and be more patient with the things that I use to think she did just to make me mad. Now I realize, it's just because we don't speak the same language all the time. (Of course, Control Country folks freely admit their language and culture is the best, but I am working on that! :)
Gave me lots to think about, lots to work on...but helped me appreciate who I am just the way God made me, and I don't feel like there is something essentially wrong with me because I see the world in black and white. I think I will have a little easier time tolerating those who are from other "countries" now too, understanding that they have God-given motivations that make them the wonderful way they are too. Try it, friends. You will LOVE it.
As I read about Jacob today it reminded me again how much Control Country is my home. I would have done exactly what he did. He was traveling back to Canaan after years away, and was about to meet up with his brother, Esau. (Genesis 32-33) Now- if you don't know, Esau had a bone to pick with Jacob. Jacob had stolen his birthright and his blessing, and back then- that was a big deal. So as Jacob gets ready for Esau to slaughter him and his children (Esau promised once his father was dead he would kill Jacob), he pleaded with God for His protection and mercy. I totally get that. "Um, God. I am worthless and screwed up big. But please protect me and keep the promise you made to take care of me always because I am your child and you are gracious and merciful. Please...please." Well, Jacob prayed and asked for God's intervention...and then he made a plan. Yep. Control Country folks always have a back up plan. "Don't wait for God to act, Jakey boy. Butter your brother up." So Jacob sends FIVE HUNDRED of his best livestock in herds ahead of him, and each time his brother meets up with a herd of animals the servants say "These are for you, Esau- because Jacob thinks you are the BOMB." Nice, right? Well, the story works out just dandy, but as I read it I felt kind of sorry for Jacob (and for me because I would have done the same thing!). Instead of waiting to see an awesome miracle by the hand of God, he took matters into his own hands. And now God doesn't get all the glory. We can't know 100 % if Esau's forgiveness and change of heart was because of God's intervention or Jacob's master planning. I know, I know, God's plan always prevails, but you get my drift, right? How cool would it have been if Jacob had waited to see how God would save him, Esau came cruising up with his "hundreds of men", and an angel of the Lord appeared before the two brothers and said "Kiss and make up or I will lop off your heads!" Now THAT would have been an awesome story. :)
God, help me to relax a little from Control Country and sit back and watch you work. I love it when You get your hands dirty in our lives...it's a beautiful thing.