Oct. 8, 2
1 Corinthians 2:15a
Those who are spiritual discern all things …
“Kwazzy Grandpa” as granddaughter Ellie calls him, was in fine form today. On this beautiful day, he asked Ellie and Dylan to rake “pine leaves.” He loaded them into the wheelbarrow and drove them towards the large pine tree along the driveway with a carpet of needles beneath it.
While still in the wheelbarrow, Kwazzy Grandpa tried to move the tree. Squeals of delight erupted from the wheelbarrow as time after time, Kwazzy Grandpa ran them into the tree. When the tree could not be moved, the kids were dumped into the soft pine needles and “put to work.”
The rakes were older than the hills with several missing tines. Ellie went right to work, raking needles and putting them into the wheelbarrow. Rick’s #1 man, Dylan, was not as cooperative. Removing the needles seemed more interesting than putting them in. Bored with raking, Ellie decided she wanted to swing than rake.
I realized I was watching a metaphor for the spiritual life unfold. We may have good intentions of doing the right and meaningful things … but get sidetracked. When large obstacles (the pine tree) come along, we run into them over and over, thinking they will move out of our way. When they don’t move, our squeals are not ones of delight.
We have plenty of baggage in our lives (needles in the wheelbarrow) that need to be turned over to God. As soon as we give something to God, we do not trust it with God and pull it back out, thinking we can do better on our own. Just when we make a commitment to really get our spiritual lives on track, something seems sexier (swinging). We get distracted and leave growing our spiritual life for another day.
There are four significant areas of our lives: spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. Most of us probably struggle to some degree in each area. How are we to improve ourselves? By making baby-step changes in each area. I contend the first area to start is with our spiritual lives. Too often, this seems too difficult and we choose an area we think we can make quicker progress.
There was another lesson from today. While I was in the house getting lunch ready, the doorbell rang. This is Ellie’s way of announcing she wants me because she cannot open the door. Upon opening the door, she yells, “Dianne, you have to come and see Kwazzy Grandpa’s eyes!” Why should I be surprised to see Kwazzy Grandpa has an acorn stuck in one eye and a pine cone in the other? (Unfortunately, I hadn’t brought along the camera.) Do I wonder why Ellie calls him Kwazzy Grandpa?
A Bible passage came to mind: Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’seye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye. – Matthew 7:3-5
Too often, spiritual growth gets distracted by putting more energy into the speck in someone else’s eye while ignoring the boulder in our own.
Folks: it becomes easy to get distracted in our spiritual lives. We are busy people. After I put Ellie and Dylan down for naps at their house, I again read the words on a sign above the kitchen sink: “Make time for quiet moments as God whispers and the world is loud.” This is exactly why we need time for our spiritual lives.
Forgive us, Lord God, when we have gotten distracted by seemingly other more important things in our lives that creating time and space with you. We are sorry that the world’s loud noise overpowers your whispers. Quiet our worlds so that we can grow in love with You, Your Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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