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Posts tagged ‘life lessons’

A Spiritual Raking

“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness for God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” ~ Matthew 6:14, The Message

I was outside cutting grass after all the rain and had to rake up the grass clippings because it had been a while since I had cut my grass. My goal was to have all my grass cut the same length, because I can’t stand to have a piece not uniform with the rest. Even though I was enjoying raking my little piles up, I started to get irritated at the grass in areas. In some places in the yard, raking produced areas that I thought were cut but actually were not. Well, I went back over these areas with the lawnmower to cut them down, but when I raked again I realized that there was another piece that needed to be cut! I finally put the lawnmower blade down one level and went back over the whole spot. I was frustrated by all the extra time I had spent on it, but I got it taken care of eventually!!

As I worked on my yard, it occurred to me that we have areas in our lives that we think are okay until we examine them closely and find uneven places that need some trimming. I could have left my yard alone, and it would have been a job well done for most people. If I had not raked up the waste left in my yard, I would never have found the areas of grass that escaped the trim. If we never examine ourselves a little closer than usual, we will overlook the little things that escape the first pass of prayer or repentance. Our spiritual landscape may pass for a while, but that one piece that we overlooked will eventually grow and raise its ugly head above all the other areas of our lives if we don’t take the time to properly eliminate it in the first place.

How often have we thought something in our life was taken care of only to find it surfacing later on down the road? It is the little things that we think we have taken care of that will sneak in and cause us not to walk with God the way that you should or experience the fullness of what He has for you.

So rake through, and let your spirit show you that little twig of grass that needs to be dealt with. Whatever it represents, put your spiritual mower on it and get it out of your life so it doesn’t cause you problems on down the road!

~ Ronda Sullivan

Image Credit: The Symmetrical Rake © Jon Watkins via freeimages.com

New Drawers??

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Joshua 1. It’s about the transition from the wilderness into the Promised Land. For years upon years, they were promised this land, but because of a generation’s lack of gratitude, their failure to acknowledge & appreciate divine intervention and their own murmuring & complaining, they turned an 11-day trip into 40-years of the longest “donut” ever. As a matter of fact, God was pretty clear that they couldn’t enter the promised land until a whole generation died. So, that’s what happened and Joshua 1 picks up with Moses, the previous leader, dying & Joshua, the new leader, taking over.

Now, in my family, “growing up” has always been coupled with the metaphor of getting new undies (AKA “a new set of drawers”). It’s true- “new drawers” has taught this SUSTAH a number of life-lessons.

A) I remember around the age of 3 that the transition into undies meant I was “big girl” and had responsibilities. I had to help feed my baby brother & baby cousins, be a big sister to Cat, making sure that she was protected & watched, and build “important” things in Grandpa’s tool shed. Whenever I acted contrary to being a big girl, one of my relatives would quickly remind me that I was NOT wearing a diaper anymore. My drawers had changed and I needed to also!

B) In elementary school, my Mia Ma, Pop, grandparents, older brothers, cousins, aunts & uncles used undies to teach me that “change” was a good & necessary thing. “If you don’t freak out about changing your drawers everyday, Little Vickie, then don’t freak out about other changes.” That typically led to a monologue about how some changes resulted in death, despair, chaos . . . and more death. They often responded quickly and explained how change could result in something that could really be good for you, referencing a sport, a “Rocky” movie or a “back in the day” tale that ended in victory. “Wait it out . . . and if it doesn’t end up being a good situation, then change your “drawers” again, baby. You know how to do it!”

C) My all-time favorite “drawers” lesson was in my early teens when I would get into trouble. In those days, it was something new everyday. I was a leader, a scientist, a teacher, a rebel with a cause . . . and that often meant that I was gonna do exactly the OPPOSITE of what Mia Ma told me NOT to do. Despite being recognized for the creativity & innovation that went into the the escapades, I was always grounded. The explanation for my punishment was the same simple reason each time: I was trying to wear “grown folk” drawers when it suited me to keep the “teenager” drawers that I had. And, if that didn’t sink in, it was Mia Ma’s infamous declaration that she was the ONLY ONE who was gonna wear the “grown up” drawers in HER house and we the kiddos had better take note.

I could keep going on and on because I’ve been recalling these life-lessons lately. I’ve recognized that, like Joshua 1, I’ve been in the process of a transition in my life. In other words, I’m coming into a new set of drawers. Like Joshua teaches me, in order to lay hold of the things ahead, some things must “die” and be left in the wilderness. I have to leave the soiled things that I’ve overused – excuses about why I’m not doing what I know I need to, complaining about the things that I’ve been unwilling to change, lack of trust, lack of forgiveness, pride & fear – and put on a fresh pair! The truth is that I cannot transition into the new phase with the waste & crap of the old phase.

Maya Angelou once said, “Nothing changes unless we do.” That’s true! What is TRUTH is that God wants to do a NEW thing in our hearts, in our lives and in our generation, not another “played out” version of the old thing. He gets the NEW thing when we, through the blood of Jesus & with the help of the Holy Spirit, willing transition into the NEW!

So, listen to a Sustah & do yourself a favor as you’re transitioning into a better you- CHANGE YOUR DRAWERS, HONEY! Bigger & better things are to come!

~ Vickie Bowman

Image Credit: Married Life1 © aToy via freeimages.com

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