Monday, December 29, 2014

The Have to Life

In the past couple of years, the words "I have to..." seem to be coming out of my mouth more often than not. They usually precede a long list of very important activities... or so I would like to think.

I have to...
     Go to the store...
     Clean the house...
     Go to work...
     Get my nails done...
     Get my haircut...
     Write in my Blog...
     Walk the dog...
     Spend quality time with...
...and the list goes on and on.

The hustle and bustle of an active life are actually quite exhausting when I really evaluate what I deem as important. I mean, after all, the "have to's" speak of a life of significance and of being needed. Without the "have to's", ordinary is not extraordinary. Oh my!

Then I stop and listen...and remember.

"Be still and listen", echoes in my busy mind. "Follow me", resonates in my heart. "You are chosen and loved", pierces through to the very core of who I am.

The truth is that there are many things that do crowd in and around my life. Some are mundane chores that have to be done. Others are activities that, on occasion, do add to the richness of my life. My choice and responsibility is to make sure that the level of importance, the significance I give each task, is appropriate. 

There is one thing I choose each day, yes even at times, each moment, that is above all things...even above my relationship with my husband and children. It's my relationship with Jesus. He is never a "have to" or "I need to". He is always first and never an item on my check-off list of things to accomplish each day. I can't  schedule my breaths or heartbeats. He is my breath and heartbeat. 

As for the "have to's", I am learning to relegate them to their proper place and will not be proof of a life of significance...I have that through Christ.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gifts Parable

There was once a young boy, Tom, who was part of a marvelous family of craftsman. His father, was the best carpenter in the whole town and could build anything. His mother was a brilliant designer and created wonderful drawings of fabulous buildings and furniture that his dad would then build. His sister was a painter who could do the most magnificent murals ever seen. His brother was the best glass blower and created works of art that became a rainbow of colors when the sun would shine through them. Tom, however, could do none of that. His job was to cleanup each job site and organize his families tools.

Above all, Tom wanted to build and draw and paint and create wonderful glass pieces. His father tried to teach him how to build, but Tom ended up hitting his dad on the head with the wood he was trying to saw. His mother tried to teach him how to draw, but Tom tore holes in the paper and broke the lead in her pencils. His sister tried to teach him to paint, but he couldn't see the colors and he spilled her paints. His brother tried to teach him how to create glass art, but the result was a floor full of broken glass. Tom felt like a failure next to his very talented family. Dejected, he went inside.

He crawled into his bed and decide to stay there with the covers over his head. "They don't need me," he thought to himself, "I'm going to stay here and hide." And so he did.

The day hurried by. He waited to see if anyone would come find him. No one did. He peeked out from his covers and listened, but heard nothing. 

   No saws or hammers.

   No scratching of pencil on paper.

    No splashes of paint or swishes of brushes.

    No hissing of fires or rushes of air in bellows.

He heard nothing. Out of curiosity he climbed out of bed and hurried outside. In the yard was his family. 

   His dad held a cold pack to his head.

   His mom had bandages on her fingers and was tending to his sister.

   His sister was covered from head to foot with paint.

   His brother was covered in soot and ash and had singe marks on his clothing.

He ran to them and asked what happened. His dad looked at him with sadness in his eyes and said, "Son, we need you. We do the things we do because you make it possible. Only you are able to stack my wood perfectly. You keep your mother's pencils perfectly sharpened. You know exactly how much pigment is needed to mix the perfect bucket of paint for your sister. Only you can stoke the fires till they are hot enough for your brothers furnace. We can do those things, but not the way you can."

The son listened and then understood. Each of his family had a wonderful talent. His talent was being able to see what needs to be done and then doing it. He might not ever build or draw or paint or blow glass, but he could organize and help and encourage. He breathed in deep, looked at his family with new eyes, rolled up his sleeves and got to work.

He was needed. He was talented. He was gifted. But most all, he was loved.

I Corinthians 12:12-31

(C) Terri Milton 2014