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This quote from the poet Rumi reminded me a lot of conversations Miss Ruth, Lori and I have had in the past.  Lori discusses limiting God.  My phrase is don’t try to put him in a box.

We are just as likely to put ourselves in a box especially when it comes to doing what God wants us to do.  Sure, some things sound easy.  Don’t steal.  But then again once you get all the details, even that one doesn’t seem so easy.  Covet your neighbors’ new deck?  Yep.  That counts as stealing.

Even the things that seem small are difficult.  What about the things that seem huge?  Noah was tasked with building an ark and gathering the animals.  Moses had to lead an entire people, enslaved people, out of Egypt and across the desert.

What tasks has he called you to do that just seem heart-stoppingly immense?  Our church has answered a calling to feed the needy.  A monthly dinner hasn’t gained the traction we’d hoped for.  Planting the community garden with vegetables for the local food pantry went a lot better.  So far we’ve delivered 3 pounds of carrots, 5 pounds of onions, 7 pounds of loose leaf lettuce, and over 200 lbs of cucumbers. We also made 4 dozen jars of pickles to deliver.  If people could survive on cucumbers alone, we’d have nailed it.  Seriously.

Feeding the poor is a huge task and I’m not going to claim we’ve figured it out.  But working together we made strides.  We are thinking big and planting fruit trees and making new plans for next year’s garden. Fewer cucumbers most likely and someone suggested zucchini.

–SueBE

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Most days, my morning starts with CBS This Morning. Last week, newscaster Gayle King interviewed actor Matthew Perry and put his whole life into a neat, yet negative, nutshell:

  • You had been on a hit show, Friends.
  • You’ve done other shows since and they have not been successful.
  • You had a serious drug addiction and struggled with fame.
  • You’re starring in a remake of the Odd Couple, which will be tough to make a hit, since the original show was iconic.
  • You’ve dated famous women through the years; those relationships didn’t work out. Who are you dating currently?

So she “bullet-pointed” his life, as if this is the sum total of who he is.

For a moment, his face registered real emotion – it seemed to be a combination of surprise, since his show will be on this same network, and hurt, since, like, he’s a human being. Recovering quickly, he went back into his regular actor-guy persona and dutifully recited talking points about his new show.

So often, we “bullet-point” our own lives, thinking the boxes containing our troubles really have anything to do with who we actually are.

Do we think of ourselves in this way:

  • Sick
  • Sad
  • Strapped
  • Struggling

Or in this way, which is the truth:

  • Cherished
  • Chosen
  • Child of God
  • Champion

God didn’t go through all this trouble – knitting you together in your mother’s womb, making you this quirky bundle of wonderful – so you could drag yourself through the day, barely holding on in life. Don’t think of your short-comings. Think of your long-goings, to coin a term. Think of the long game. Focus on what you want out of your life instead the pile of things distracting you.

So, next time somebody aims that bullet-point in your direction, set them straight. You can’t be put into a box or pegged by parentheses. You’re not an afterthought or an addendum. You’re an original, one-of-a-kind with fingerprints and forensics tracing your lineage to a Higher Authority.

Bullet-point that, world!

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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