the blessings of Spring!

To follow is my final column for the Waverly Newspaper...enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

7:00 am: roll out of bed, check schedule for today and remember I need write a column for the Waverly newspaper.

7:30 am: wait patiently for inspiration while sipping a cup of tea. Ah, caffeine!

7:42 am: check Facebook and email – still waiting…

8:45 am: send Eric @ Waverly newspapers an email about the column that’s due, assure him I’ll have it to him today.

8:50 am: load up computer and get ready to go to work. On the way out let the dog out one last time, pause to look at the lawn. (Note to self, text number two son and remind him to mow the lawn, today!)

8:54 am: back out of garage. Yikes! Front lawn REALLY is in need of mowing; dandelions, creeping charley and daisies are taking over! Gotta get #2 son to mow the lawn.

8:55 am: drive down my street and admire the beautiful spring day, including my neighbors’ lawns – and then burst out laughing!!

Laughing? Yes, laughing. How come you ask? Because I realized, in that moment, that we are THAT neighbor; the one whose lawn is full of weeds. Meanwhile, every other home on our street sports a beautiful carpet of grass!

I could become ashamed but I could also see our little corner lot as a feast for the eyes, a gift of color and a pleasant distraction for the people who will stroll by later in the day.

As I survey my yard I realize the chaos of my lawn seems to be a fitting metaphor for life. We know, all too well, that life is fragile, sweet and often chaotic. What sets people of faith apart is how we deal with the inevitable chaos that IS life.

As a Christian I am invited to be different, in fact in all of his teachings Jesus instructs his disciples to look at the world with a new lens, in a new way. Making room for the other, those whose lives are a bit chaotic, is one of the primary mandates of our Christian faith – and yet this concept seems to be something we too easily forget, or even worse, something we seek to manage.

Christ offers a third way.

For all those who are reading this week’s column whose lawns aren’t perfect, for those whose kid needs to be reminded more than once, twice, even 5 times to do his chores, for those who are struggling to make ends meet or who are lonely in a crowd, I want you to know that you are beautiful and beloved in God’s sight – and your presence is needed…desperately needed. Truth be told we wouldn’t be the same without you!
be it ever so humble...home, sweet home
Here’s the important part; we don’t need you to change, we need you to feel safe enough to be really real. Sometimes really real is scary, but if we are open and receptive to looking at the world in the same way God sees us, we will soon learn how to lean even more confidently on Jesus and this makes all the difference in the world!

Paul sums up the tasks of a follower of Jesus, especially in uncertain times such as these, in his letter to the church in Rome: 

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
 (Romans 12:9-17 The Message translation)

Enjoy these first weeks of spring and take a chance today…you never know where God will turn up. And that’s what makes beautiful spring days like today even more of a blessing!


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