Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Thousand Marbles

Each week, I try to read a few other blogs - most of the time, they are ones that I "accidently" discover through someone else's post.  I just finished reading, A Thousand Marbles by Jeffrey Davis (through the Patheos site) which offers a simple story with a profound message and reminder.  Go ahead and read it now - then come back here.  I'll wait.....

In this life and world when one day seems to blend into another, seasons pass in a blur and we can't even remember what we had for lunch yesterday, this blog reminds us to take the time each week to honor our relationships with one another.  It is more than just counting our blessings.  It is honoring the blessing of the relationships in our lives.

Earlier this week, our newly (re)formed Stewardship committee met and we got talking about the stewardship and care of our relationships.  We often take each other for granted or we  promise ourselves we will spend more time with that friend, grandparent, spouse, child - when we get the chance.  We talked about the gift of our church community and the relationships that have blessed our lives here.

God has entrusted us to each other; we were created to live in community and in relationship with one another.  These relationships are God's greatest gift to us.  How are you being a good steward of the people God has placed in your life?  How are you being called to care and love for these gifts?

We might have more or less marbles than the described thousand available to us - no one really knows the exact amount - but what matters is how we "spend" and use those marbles in our lives.  In the gift of this moment, how will you choose to honor the people in your life?  How will you live those 1000 (or more) marbles?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Everyone has a story

The title of this blog was a phrase that was recently shared with me.  It points to the need for us to consider that we don't know what's going on in someone else's life.  It calls us away from our tendency to judge first and find out more information later.

When that person cuts you off in traffic, you don't know if they are rushing to the hospital to welcome a new baby or get to work on time so that aren't fired.  Their actions might affect you, but we still don't know their story.

Knowing my own complicated family history, I learned early on to give others the "benefit of a doubt", that we didn't know what else was going on in their day or their lives.  There is much that we don't know about one another and much that can be difficult to share.

Everyone has a story.

And in the midst of our own stories is God's story.  From our first breath, we draw in the gift of life that was breathed into the beginnings of creation.  From the moment we open our eyes, we see God at work in our lives - from the rising of the sun, the blooming of a flower to the relationships that are entrusted to each of us. 

Its not so much that God enters into our story, but rather we are in God's story.

Yes, I know there are many who do not believe, who wear their atheism on their sleeve.  This is one of the ways that people seek to make sense of their own life story - hence the variety of faiths and religions that make up our world.  These various belief systems  only enhance and give greater depth to that phrase that "everyone has a story".

As I look back over my own story - the ups and downs, joys and sorrows and even the mundane day to day routines - I see more than just memories or particular snapshots in time.  I see that which has given shape to who I am today (good and bad). 

More importantly, along my life's journey thus far, I see God.  I see those people who God shared in my life who supported me during the rough parts when I couldn't do it myself.  I see the moments of unequivocal joy that celebrated the goodness God has placed among us.  I can peruse my own story and in all of it, there is God.

What is your story?

How has God been a part of that story?