Just a quick thought today for your consideration. Isn’t it interesting how what is important changes over time? Mom loves her fidget blanket! While I don’t presume to know exactly what is going on in her beautiful and precious mind, watching her play with her blanket demonstrates that she especially likes the simplicity of what is presented: the spinning disks, the little stuffed bear and the velcro.
You know, when all is on the line…I mean REALLY on the line in life, we seldom, if ever, draw near to things we are indifferent to. How many in their hour of departure from this Earth are worried who the Bachelor will pick or what President Trump tweeted today? Said differently, you can tell a lot about a person when you consider what is on their mind in the storms…in the end game of life storms. Christ, as our sympathetic Savior, experienced the end His life. This fact alone should BLOW YOUR MIND if you are a believer who understands the Bible. The Son, the eternal Son of the Trinity, who had lived an infinity of infinities with “only” the Father and the Spirit in perfect joy and happiness before we ever came along…died! He died. Really, He did… and, amazingly, His concern was for those looking up at the Cross much more than the situation itself. I mean, he did sweat blood at the thought of becoming sin…or sin…on the cross, not only because the cross was terrible but because of His great love for His Father. However, if you look at what He said while ON the cross itself, what dominated what He said was His love for His Father and for me and you. It was theological…sure. But it was deeply simple. Amazing.
That brings me back to mom. What does she see in the spinning disks, the little stuffed bear and the velcro? They are surely not valuable. It couldn’t be sold on eBay for a dime with free shipping in the condition they are in. She chews on the little bear sometimes… Frankly, it is hanging on by a thread and avoids the trash only because we know of mom’s love for it. But when we step back we can see the value. It exists, if you will, to bring her joy. What more can you want than that???
Could the same be said for us with Jesus? The great confessions of the faith say:
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
So, if tradition’s purpose/”end of man” is to have this glorifying and enjoying relationship is true, we really should, as believers, strive that direction. With this in mind, how do we simplify things with God, as do mom’s spinning disks, little stuffed bears and Velcro on her blanket? Maybe we have made living in our faith too complicating?
My great-grandpa, mom’s very favorite relative from days gone by, was Efton. He insisted that she/we call him that because he wasn’t into titles I suppose. He and my great-grandma were horseback travelling Methodist evangelists by trade/calling mostly in the first half of the 1900s. When her beloved Efton passed away, my great-grandma Myrtle lived decades longer and “stayed busy” by reading her and his Bibles and praying day and night. No TV. Maybe a radio? We never saw or heard it. What we did hear was her love for us and for Christ when we visited. What an example of Christ-likeness she was! When she passed away I was given Efton’s Bible. In the front of his Bible, he wrote the following:
Secret to Life: “Find a time and place to pray. Read your Bible every day”.
Could it be that living day-by-day in a right relationship with Christ is “easier” than we make it out to be? Maybe all of the posturing and theological gum-flapping/seed picking and working-for-the-sake-of-working could be swapped for simply growing in our relationship by learning about Him through the Bible and conversing with Him? Sure that other stuff that shows our faith isn’t dead will come as an out-flowing of our love for Him, but the core of who we are should be just like the spinning disks, the little stuffed bear and the Velcro: living to bring Him joy and allowing Him to bring us all the joy we need. Sure we will mess up and make Him sad sometimes, but only because He wants what’s best for us…a humble, loving relationship. Mom models her faith yet again when she is in the calm after the storm. She teaches me more every day…
Update: Mom was doing swell yesterday again. 🙂 We have a big shindig with her tomorrow with my siblings…always a good time. 🙂
Thanks again Marshfield, West Plains and other Senior Centers who make these fidget blankets, cuffs and the like!!!
1 Thes. 4:11 comes to mind…