drink your milk

when i was small, i was taught how to thank people that had
done something good for me.  if someone gave me a gift, i was
told to thank them.  we said a prayer at the dinner table in the
evening to bless the food, and when a child did not want to eat
the liver or the lima beans we were told to be thankful for the
food on our plate, because kids in china were starving.
that was a new one…thankful for lima beans?  crazy talk.

well, eventually i got the idea of how to be polite, and the lessons
started to take root in my heart.  sometimes i really meant it
when i said thank you.  not about the lima beans, but, other
things that i liked better.  some of the big things, like snow on a
school day, or for a barbie doll for my birthday.

but now, gratefulness doesn’t seem quite so simple.  there’s more to
it than being thankful for good things.  like Love, gratefulness has
a way of working on the heart.  possibly about the time that humility
starts to be part of mix.  and it gets into the heart and just does a real
bang up job for a few, twenty-thirty, years or so.  God can whip
up quite the concoctions for the heart, added with it some living
and a bit of experience of heartbreak and loss, it goes to work,
slow but steady.  eventually the idea about being grateful to God,
for um well i would have to say for everything, starts to take effect.
for good things as well as the not so good things, for the large and the
small things…and yes, i suppose even for lima beans.

~

check out the one word carnival, the word being gratefulness this
time around.  write, post, and link up at the blog of bridget chumbley.

in sin, my life

i am a sinner.
i could say that i can’t help myself.
it is true that i can’t change the fact that i’m a sinner.
yet, i know that i can choose to believe in Christ Jesus.
but even in belief, i am still a sinner.
and i wonder how belief makes a difference to a sinner like me.
just as before i believed, i want to do good, but, i also want to please myself.
how can i want to do good, when my passion is to please myself?
i think it’s probably because any good that i want to do, is also that which pleases me,
or makes me feel good about myself.
i want to be accepted by people and thought of as a good person.
i know that i am a sinner at heart, but, i want to think that i am not.
i want to do enough good so that most of the wrong is something i don’t think too much about.
maybe if i keep it small enough to sweep under the rug i won’t have to look at it.
and i won’t have to show it to anyone else.
i don’t want other people to see my sinful passions and greed.
i don’t want them to see that mountain under the rug.
and i really don’t like to think about the fact that God can see everything.
i like to use the handy excuse that there are other people much worse than me.
oh yes, there are other people doing terrible things.
i can compare myself to others and think i am better, or think i am worse.
as good as i can try to be or as good  as i try to think that i am, i can not be truly good.
i am not better,
i am not worse,
i am not good.
i am a sinner.
i do have passions, greed, and sinful thoughts.
i think about such things,
i know that i act on such things
and that i am capable of doing better and worse.
and somehow,
in all of this
i realize
that my only hope
is Jesus.
in His Spirit
and in His truth.
to turn to Him
and continue to turn to Him.
to look to Him
in my brokenness.
to try and live a life of following,
of turning again and again to Him.
humbly coming before my God as i am.
asking to be led by and changed by the Spirit.
asking for His help to forgive as i have been forgiven.
asking for His help to Love with His Love.
asking for His will to be done.
asking for His daily bread.
because i know
that i am a sinner.