As Anton Ego put it in the movie Ratatouille, "... you know what I'm craving? A little perspective. That's it. I'd like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?"
Thursday, February 6, 2014
eVotionals exhorts those who pray. It's the glass of water held out
around each month's turn for the runners who can use a quick and easy
quench in order to finish strong.
Approx. reading time: less then 10 minutes
you sit down to watch one of your favorite TV shows. As the episode
starts the main characters become stranded in a forest and start
remembering some of their best moments together. A series of awkward
transitions follow where the characters start staring into space while
the screen blurs into a flashback.
It reminds me of when iReminisce, in August of 2012 I wrote about how reminiscing could lead to a great conversation with the Lord...
Sometimes I sit before the
Lord with nothing to say. I will probably fill up 4 hours of
conversations at my 20 year reunion, but my mind can draw a blank after 4
minutes in prayer. Maybe I need to sit at a table and reminisce a bit!
"Lord, you healed me when I was only 3 as the
combination of chicken pox and scarlet fever bargained for my life. I
remember the white feather I found as I stepped outside for the first
time after getting better. That was from YOU! I'm not sure if I was
aware of your presence at the time, but you were there!
I grew up in my thoughts, actions and motivations there. You healed
some deep wounds and taught me how to take responsibility. You
encouraged me when I regretted lousy decisions. Remember that one
situation Lord? Thank you for Your Grace! I may have learned my lesson
the harder way, but I learned it and I see the blessings from growing
up in my faith.
"I feel like you were holding my hand as
I adventured into unmarked territory like getting married and becoming
the kind of wife you intended me to be. Or like having kids and
becoming a mommy that parents with the same love and truth you parent me
"Remember when my pelvic split Lord... When my
son was sick... when you answered my prayer as I asked for... when you
gently showed me how to turn and go in a new direction... "
It's at that
moment when you realize that this stranded predicament the characters
have found themselves in is not what it seams. Instead of experiencing a
new episode of your favorite TV show you find yourself watching clips
of episodes you have already seen.
It reminds me of when iPray Newness, in January of 2012 I wrote about being a new creation rather than being stuck in the past...
I think that greeting is missing something. Oh yes, it's the NEW
part. Why would I wish you a happy year without including the most
important part? Without the NEW there is a whole lot missing.
"Not much, same old same old. Anything new with you?"
"Not really. Just chugging along."
what I mean? If it's not a NEW year then what on earth are we
celebrating? The same old thing, just chugging along. Nothing new to
think about, nothing new to gain.
What would you think if someone came up to you as the calendar turns over with this greeting:
year! Have fun being stuck in the past and not moving forward with
anything. Forget your goals, dreams, aspirations or your God given
purpose for what lies ahead. Love that there is nothing new, just the
same old thing. Just chugging along! Time to turn over an old leaf.
You know, the one you have turned over again and again and nothing has
come of it but sorrow and pain. Ring out the old and bring in the
older. Stay lonely. Stay still. Stay bitter. Stay angry. Stay
lazy. Stay revengeful. Stay jelious. Stay in your brand spankin' old
ways to have a happy old year!"
I could just see your
shocked face. Mouth dropped open, wide eyes. That is not the greeting
we want to walk around with ringing in our ears. What exactly are we
saying when we give NEW years greeting?
in the year to come; be happy because it's a NEW beginning. Look
forward to new opportunities to rejoice! New opportunities to be
hopeful. A new baby, new home new age, new start, new look, new
perspective, new chance or maybe even new counter space. Put off the
old, put on the new. Be dead to the old, alive in the new! A new day, a
new way. Something is happening that has not existed before. There
are things to be discovered for the first time. Fresh things. It's
time for a new season, a new life attitude. Put on joy, patience,
compassion, forgiveness, love and hard work. Look forward to new music,
new dances, new creations, new life, new vision and a new heart in
increasing ways. Happy NEW year!"
Now that's the
greeting that can put a smile on a face! When I include the NEW I'm
blessing you with more than just another year. Shall I give you this
greeting again? YES, take two! But this time I will not leave out the
most important part! And this time iPray the blessings of NEWness upon
Instead of turning the channel you find yourself following a frame
story with clips of past shows, all of which you have already seen.
Somehow they keep you interested just enough to continue reading...
"ahem" I mean continue watching.
It reminds me of when iFollow, in October of 2012 I wrote about being aware of who and how we follow...
all love to play games and few are more universal than Follow the
Leader. We have all played it as kids and as adults we are still
playing variations of this classic game. We see something we like or
admire and we follow! The rules are simple, but no two games are the
same. 1. Assign a leader and several followers. 2. The leader starts
to do anything that he or she wants. 3. The rest of the players follow,
doing exactly what the leader does. Anyone who doesn't follow exactly
is out. 4. When there is only one follower left the game is over and he
or she becomes the new leader. It goes on and on and on and on.
following someone that is doing whatever they want seems a little like
fumbling around in the dark! Furthermore, the game never ends.
I'd rather follow with a purpose.
when my husband and I take separate cars to an event I end up following
him home afterwards. He usually rolls down his window and says,
I have to keep my eyes on him, stay close
in proximity, watch what lane he is in and not let too many cars get
between us. I look for his signals and merge with him. My husband
keeps an eye on me as well, slowing if need be and putting signals on
early. Both of us are driving with an awareness of each other. Both of
us are making decisions that helps us stay together. If either of us
gets distracted or daydreams, then we can get separated. Unlike Follow
the Leader I'm not following just for the fun of it. I'm following with
a purpose to end up at home.
Following Jesus is not
only fun like the universal game of Follow the Leader, but we follow
with a purpose! We follow Him until He calls us home.
After all of this "remembering" is over the episode finishes
"strong" when the characters are quickly rescued as a random ranger just
happens to wonder by. It leaves you wondering what the main point
might have been.
It reminds me of when iFinish Strong, in December of 2012 I wrote about what the main point is to finishing strong...
I step back and really think about having a peaceful heart through the
ups, downs and surprise life turns; even when things don't always feel
peaceful, I think about Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!
right, a Disneyland ride that happens to be my son's favorite in the
park. Mr. Toad, a character from Disney's 1949 "Mini-Classic" version
of the tale The Wind in the Willow's, takes you on a crazy ride through
town in his new found love... a motorcar! After Mr. Toad discovers
this motorcar he becomes completely fixated and obsessed with a new and
exciting adventure of driving it. Unfortunately his motor-mania
driving is quite reckless. As a passenger in his motorcar you are
subjected to his uncontrollable turns, near crashes and a few moments
of driving right through the pit of hell. Only to come out alive and
well with the magical sounds of Disneyland's Carousel across the way.
summer before last we visited the Disney Museum in San Francisco and
in the store my son found his most treasured book ever. A collectors
book that features Mr. Toad's wild ride. In the middle it has a
wonderful bird's eye view of the whole ride. He has studied every turn
and close call the ride takes. He knows what is to come and how it
Life is like this ride.
on a ride that has many unexpected turns, near crashes and at times we
can even feel like we are traveling through the pit of hell. My son's
life has been no exception. At birth he was rushed to the NICU. He
lived for years with pain that no one knew about or understood. At 3
he was so sick from failing kidneys that the pit of hell seemed to lurk
outside of his hospital door. Before he was 5 he had endured 6
surgeries, endless procedures and numerous lab tests. This was not a
ride he stood in line for and looked forward to riding. He had to jump
aboard whether he liked it or not, forcing him to face unknown twists
and turns of a crazy motorcar. At times it seemed hopeless and too much
for him to bear.
In the hardest of moments God's
present voice whispered in his ears just what he needed to hear. Hope
placed on his young heart at just the right time. "Only a few more
turns and you are going to come out saved!" He may not have had a
bird's eye view, but I believe that he learned to trust the One who did
at a very young age.
If you have ever sat through an episode of this sort, you have
experienced a compilation episode or a "Clip Show." The network
successfully sidestepped the lack of a new show to air, due to a failure
to meet production schedules. Some may walk away feeling let down, but
imagine you decide to ponder these things again... with your life in a
new season... seeing the episodes with a changed perspective... with a
new set of eyes...
...in Jesus Name that as uPray you will "forget not all His benefits" (From Psalm 103:2) and that you too will reminisce!
you share greetings this year, may you be the one that speaks newness
onto others. For light in a messenger's eyes brings joy to the heart,
and good news gives health to the bones. (From Proverbs 15:30)
as you follow you will remember God is the leader, to keep an eye on
your reflection, move quickly without hesitation and just jump when the
future is unknown.
...that as you ride with an eternal perspective you will finish strong!