Dare Sixteen of The Respect Dare…
The factory worker stood in front of me.
Greasy hands wiped the front of his shirt.
“What ARE you, anyway?” he asked me.
My brow furrowed.
I chewed my lip.
I had no idea what he was talking about.
“What do you mean?” I inquired.
“You’re always so happy all the time. And whenever someone complains, you listen, then you tell them a different way of thinking about things,” he said. “That’s why we call you, “Mrs. Bubbles… you’re like always cheerful about everything. How is that even possible?”
Oh, that’s why. I wondered why they gave my husband a bottle of Mr. Bubbles bath soap, and me a big bottle of bubble blowing liquid at the Christmas party that year.
“What do you mean, ‘What am I?’ though? I don’t understand the question,” I asked.
“You in some sort of religion?” he said.
My Jesus is showing.
“No, I just follow Christ,” I said.
I didn’t know what else to do. Didn’t know Him well enough to offer up more than that, and given I hadn’t been a follower but for a couple of years, my theology pretty thin, it’s probably just as well.
I don’t know where it happened, but somewhere along the line in the last 20 years, that girl, while growing in her faith, lost the edge on the joy. And so in the last several months, He’s been reminding me that it’s all good. I’ve forgotten how to see it, but He’s reminding me.
My daughter was in a play a few weeks ago, and when the characters had 3 hours before the entire universe exploded, she (playing the character representing “Joy” and that aspect of the fruit of the Spirit) has this amazing line: “Yay!!! We have THREE WHOLE HOURS LEFT!!!” while everyone is freaking out about how little time they have.
And He’s asking me, “Are you paying attention?”
Philippians 4:8 reads, 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
And yesterday, Ann Voskamp reminded us that the cup is always FULL.
But we can’t see it, can we?
This morning, I’m looking at the seeds I need to plant in my garden – and I am realizing that my high school graduate is one of these seeds – filled with potential, passion, Him… and yet, at the ripe young age of 18, too often, all we see is the SEED part, the shell of what He’s creating.
As for me, I think I’ll spend today with my mouth shut, mostly listening, taking thoughts captive, refusing to give the enemy an inch, lest he continue taking the miles of joy God’s prepared for me on this journey.
And I want more of that young believing girl back in my life. The one who had more love MORE JOY!!! in her life… because she thought rightly about most things, seeing the good, though some might call her naive. Or childish.
But Matthew 18:3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
I believe also that if God is going to tell me what to think about, it has great purpose, that of to be an effective lover of Him and of others. So maybe I should pay attention.
Perhaps it will generate more “positive sentiment over-ride” and improve my relationships… 🙂 Want to join me?
1 Corinthians 13: 1-7
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
May we all be more patient, kind, humble fans of others, being slow to anger, and filled with grace. May we rejoice in truth, thinking about these things, protecting, trusting, hoping, and persevering, focusing on what is right pure, noble, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy and excellent – and giving voice to only those things.
Out of our hearts flow our words. God, please change our minds and hearts to ones that love you and others better.
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Love to you,