Laura H. Sunday, August 12, 2012

Oh, bother. Here she goes again with the religious stuff! There, I said it for you. You are officially off the hook and can read ahead in secret once the kids are in bed and the spouse is doing other things. Go on, I can wait.

Back? Great!

So since the move, I actually had to do less shopping for a church than I did in M-ville. The decision was made easier by the information that the preacher who did our wedding ceremony had gotten a local-to-us-now gig.* I did go to more than just the one, but I ended up staying there and am quite content. It is small but has an active congregation.

Anyway, something in the message today struck me hard enough for me to scribble it on the back of my bulletin and bring it home. And I didn't know this before.

When Jesus began his ministry, lots of folks didn't believe that he was the Messiah. I never gave that much thought, but I never realize why they didn't believe him.

Me! Of all the people to have never wondered about it! Me! Who still drives everyone nuts asking "Why?"

Sorry, had a Completely Ashamed moment.

See, people didn't believe that Jesus was the Messiah 'cause she showed up on a donkey talking about peace. They'd been expecting the Messiah to show up on a gold chariot, clad in armor, bringing war and the destruction of their enemies. So how could the guy washing everyone's feet and being nice to prostitutes and hanging around iffy guys like Paul and Mathew possibly be the Messiah? A lot of people missed him because he wasn't 'packaged' the way they'd expected.

How many times have we missed stuff in our own lives - GOOD stuff - because it didn't look like what we'd expected or wasn't how we'd decided it needed to be?

So often in my own life I set out to find something intangible (and sometimes tangible, too!) and I look and I look - not for what it is I want but for the image of what I think I want it to be. My image of my Forever Person wasn't the Boy Scout! My image of my own contentment wasn't raising a daughter and sewing 'cause it's fun! I could have missed all this great stuff if I'd held out for my imagined-life!

Do you see the difference? Say you want to find something that makes you happy. And you've got this idea in your head of what Happy is. So you are going after that imagined Happy, not for the real thing. And the real deal may not look anything like your image of Happy, so you skip right over it and you miss something really amazing that would make you Really Happy.

What are you looking for for your life? What are you after? And are you really looking for it or are you looking for your idea of it?

He came preaching peace and they were expecting a warlord. Could what you are looking for look the opposite of what you imagine it to be?

*UMC preachers move around a good bit. There's a committee in each church that talks each year about weather to keep the current preacher or ask for someone new. Most preachers stay in one place between 4 and 8 years, and I think 8 is the max.

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