Monday, September 19, 2016

Same Mud - Different Experience

Year Four-Day 263: Today, I am grateful for lessons from the mud and the garden.

We had mud this weekend.  The Pumpkin Festival had "Eau de Mud" mixed in with my favorite smells. It seeped into our shoes, sandals and was an ever present annoyance. For some, it ruined the festival. For others, it was just an inconvenience that didn't stop them from making the most of every minute and they kept seeking out their favorite things.  

Oh, the power of choice strikes again. The parade weather was absolutely perfect!  

I am forever amazed that no two people experience even the same event in the same way. From something fun like a festival... to something tragic like the loss of a child or spouse.  Even the the same loss is not the same. 

This image nailed it!  Really, what is an inconvenience to the big guy feels life threatening to the short pup. It isn't always just perspective. 

On the other hand...the big dog may have felt so threatened that he stopped until his human rescued him...while the little guy stepped up his determined spirit and took up mud swimming. Choice and perspective work together. Both are powerful.

Sometimes, it is life's earlier chapters that have us prepared...if we focus on the lessons to be learned... or if we insist on bearing our own burdens...we can be overwhelmed with each new storm. Jesus calls us to leave our burdens at the cross and to trust his grace for this one day at a time. One day...not even tomorrow.

Sometimes, we don't know how to pray. Jesus gave us a beautiful pattern for prayer. It is, also, a way to pray when we are at a loss. Really think about Matthew 6:9-11:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.Your kingdom come, your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.

I am going to stop there - as most of us reading this know the prayer.  Let's to pause and take in the lesson in submission upon recognition that God is holy and it is His Kingdom. This is how Jesus taught us to approach the throne of God in prayer. I am reminded I need to revisit this often and take notes. 

Requesting enough bread for this one day... not tomorrow... but this one day, is the example given. Remember how God only gave manna for one day at a time and if they tried to save it for tomorrow it became wormy? Our God asks us to trust him for this one... hard... day at a time. We can make our requests known. 

Jesus did that in the Garden of Gethsemane before he faced the cross. Sometimes, the answer is "no". If Jesus... the sinless one... was not excluded from a heavenly "no"...why would we? He faced the cross knowing he had the power to call ten thousand angels, but love held him there. Not nails. 

When we face trials and loss -and find ourselves kneeling but not knowing how to pray, "give us this day our daily bread" comes to mind. 

The cross was part of a much bigger plan. It was a chapter in the story - a huge one and certainly a turning point - but God's story of winning back the heart of man did not end there. Every day we make the choices. 

Do we love him more than yesterday? How do we show Him?
Do we love our neighbors more than yesterday... and act on that love?
How do we face the mud? 
Are we satisfied with our daily bread?

Today, I am grateful for lessons from the mud and the garden.

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