Monday, May 27

A granny and the Bee Gees song "Staying Alive"

This past week has been quite the week. 

With a series of really low, tough stuff, just one issue after the other non stop...

And only a few good high spots, well, at least 'normal' spots.

Have you ever had those stretches of just wading thru mud yukky stuff o' life?  It's like I was totally minding my own business, comfy and just enjoying life.  And then I was dropped into a giant mud puddle with miles until a safe shore. 

I'll share in a different post the "stuff", but really it doesn't matter.  It's just stuff.  Some small things and some so large I'm not sure they will ever be resolved and I just need to learn how to live with.  I love everyone involved but in the end it's just life and everyone survives.  After all that's the goal here in life, survive.  Ah, let's take a moment to sing the Bee Gee's "staying alive".   Andy Gibb I loved you!

So when Nate and I went to Cornwall church yesterday morning for early service I was really looking to God for inspiration, encouragement .... just a bit of the Holy Spirit offering me a nudge in the right direction.   Dealing with this last week really got me down.  And when I was handed the sermon notes and saw the title of the sermon would be "Granny".... I just about walked outta that church and drove home to bed.  What a lame sermon.  Granny?  Are you serious?  Really?  Heaven isn't even going to help me after this week of nail biting and clawing my way along barely scraping bottom.  Ahhhh.  Well, I decided I could always stay for the sermon and just get some of their delicious coffee afterwards and talk to friends, maybe it's the fellowship I need today, totally writing off the sermon.  I'll just stand her alongside Nate and enjoy just being here.

I was wrong.

The sermon had everything to do with me.  Everything.  I wasn't just nudged, I was practically shoved off my chair with the sermon "Granny". 

Jesus continually elevates the unexpected.  

The pastor shared about the story of the widow who probably was greatly disadvantaged in life.  And although the bible doesn't illustrate her life "stuff" or "specifics" we know in Mark that she was a poor widow.  And that Jesus is always watching over us, especially in the small unexpected moments of "staying alive" parts of life.  So the pastor said that Jesus had sat beside the large coffers where believers would bring their monetary offerings.  And he saw the widow put in two mites (less than a penny). 

"Jesus sat down.... and watched the crowd... Many rich people threw in large amounts.... this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others."  Mark 12:41,43

Hmmm, I work with numbers day in and day out, less than a penny isn't "... more.. than all the others".  Slightly confused.  But then the sermon expanded.

The widow loved her Lord and gave "her all".

Stay with me, don't turn the channel because I started talking about money.   It's not about money.  It's not about tithing, or offerings of money.  That only happens to be sure that our hearts are pointed to him and not to possessions and comforts of this world. 

The story of the "granny" (the widow) is about being set apart and called to give our ALL. 

Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind and with ALL your strength.  Mark 12:30

Eternity should have my attention.  I should give each day my ALL.  All of my mind.  All of my strength.  All of my soul.

But the truth is I haven't been.  I get tired.  Really, really tired and just plain exhausted.  And not just physically, but in some conversations I just hear the topic and want to turn and walk away.  Ugh, too big of a topic for me to address.  Or sometimes I feel, gee whiz we have discussed this ten times already and I can't talk about it again.  But I need to give it my ALL *especially* when I have had enough.

"Staying alive" in this life really is about keeping my eyes on eternity.  Consecrated so that I can give my ALL.  Not being weighted down by the choices of what beautiful clothes to wear during the day, but rather, I really need to call this person today and have that tuff conversation.  To purpose to do the work that I know I have been called to do.  Mostly around kids with special needs (mental and physical challenges) but in a larger context of helping their families.  Volunteering more as a helping parent.  Spending more time collaborating on system supports and solutions for families.

Because it's not a pattern for giving (offering, tithing) but a pattern for my living (giving my ALL).

I've been holding onto a few things too tightly that have been preventing me from giving it my all.  I've been keeping my small amount of evening personal/free time sacred. I've been a bit bitter.  I've resented that issues and life stuff keep popping up in front of me.  And my feet are just stuck in the mud of life.  But during the "granny" sermon I was shoved off my seat to try again to do more. 

At the end of the sermon the pastor shared that their unfinished gym will soon be made into more classrooms for children's church and teenagers.  And I realized I'm meant to be involved in how those new spaces will address a continual "life stuff struggle" for lots of families to attend this church.... they struggle with their children like Tommy.  A runner.  A silent, yet God filled child, who wants to learn more about God alongside his friends. 

So.  As I shake the mud from my feet, I'll talk to the church and see if I could collaborate on strengthening a special needs children's ministry with them.  And on a separate issue, I'll make a few phone calls to some parents of life skills students this week who might also be stuck in bitterness and resentment about issues and just "life stuff" and ask them if they want to be part of a solution and get over the easy to feel bitterness.  Because the "granny" sermon reminded me that I need to give my ALL. 

Tommy Adventures