Thursday, March 5, 2015

If God Gives You Ordinary

Today I remember the story of the demon-possessed man who Jesus heals from chapter 5 of Mark. I remember how, as Jesus got into the boat to leave, this healed man begged to go with Jesus. The text doesn't tell us, but I imagine this man not only wanted to be with the one who had healed him, but he also imagined that he would now live an extraordinary life of adventure.

I imagine that he might have been willing to suffer greatly, to sacrifice much, to travel far, to work hard, to do anything. Take me, Jesus! I'll go anywhere and do anything for you!

But the text says that Jesus says, "No."

Jesus says, "No, go home to your family and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been."

So the man returns home to the boring, comfortable regions he already knows, and he proclaims the great things Jesus has done. The text says that "everyone was amazed at what he told them."

Sometimes we see the trend in Christian living that exalts the exciting life of adventure and sacrifice. We note the ones who suffer greatly, sacrifice much, travel far, and work hard. But what if God sends you back to boring, comfortable, ordinary family life where you daily proclaim the great things of Jesus? Is that less meaningful and less important?

Jesus said, "No."

Jesus had a different plan for the man who wanted to get into the boat. He was to stay home and not go. Sometimes, that's the way we're called to live, and in the midst of this kind of ordinary family living, I remember it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Tiniest Little Gift

On Sunday night, my friend put a tiny little present on my kitchen counter.

It was a teabag.

It's wrapper said Scottish Breakfast Tea. My friend simply said, "You will love it. It's the best tea."

Days pass. I had set the teabag next to my tea kettle because I wanted to drink it during the morning sometime since I'm so sensitive to caffeine.

Finally, I remember that little teabag, and I make myself a cup of steaming Scottish Breakfast Tea. I add some sugar from my tiny little blue and white sugar bowl.

It was delicious.

This tiny little gift brought an immense amount of relaxation.

I remember that living with flair involves tiny little gifts to pass on and enjoy.

It was, as I said, delicious.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Not the Most Important Thing

I'm sitting here upstairs as I listen to these ice pellets fall. I learn that this isn't a half snow / half rain combination; it's an entirely different kind of phenomenon.

It's amazing. And it means something to me.

An ice pellet forms when a snowflake melts as it falls through a warm layer of air but then refreezes when it passes through a below-freezing layer of air.

I learn that such ice pellets tell us that a nice warm front is on the way. The temperatures will rise this week!

This chiming catastrophe of early dismissals and traffic horrors, this pinging mess of accidents waiting to happen indicates an advancing mass of warm air. It's the pregame; it's the prelude; it's the overture. In other words, this dreary precipitation outside my window that has canceled everything isn't the most important thing happening. It's simply introducing the great thing coming next.

Warmth! Spring! It's coming!

Living with flair means that sometimes what's happening isn't the most important thing. What's coming next is.