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Saturday, November 21 2009

I had just finished reading the chapter Great Stories Have Memorable Scenes in Donald Miller's new book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years when my granddaughter asked me to read her Fancy Nancy. I don't remember which Fancy Nancy book we were reading but the storyline told about the time Fancy Nancy's plain parents dressed up "fancy" and went with her to the local restaurant. I thought to myself now that's a memorable scene and without a thought as to where this might lead I said to my granddaughter, "would you like to go fancy to McDonalds"? Her eyes lit up and you could literally see the wheels turning in her little head trying to imagine what going fancy to McDonalds might be like. We finished our story and off to bed we went, but she did not forget.

The next morning my daughter asked me if I had said "something" to Lily Grace about going fancy to McDonalds. Oh.....caught in the act. I confessed that I had and explained the context of the Fancy Nancy book. Feeling responsible for placing my daughter in a predicament, I had to somehow figure out how to go fancy to McDonalds. That is when I decided to make a "memorable scene" for Lily Grace.

Fortunately for me Halloween was only a week away. I had been invited to attend Lily Grace's preschool parade and party. Why not dress up and surprise her? I could come as her fairy grandmother. I ransacked my closet and discovered a long winter formal I had worn to a friend's wedding years ago....perfect! Then I fetched the old shoe box with my grandmother's gaudy costume jewelry finding earrings and rhinestones for my shoes....perfect! Finally I was off to the Disney store for a Tinkerbelle crown and a pair of light up wings ( at this point I was beginning to sing Bibbity Bobbity Boo to myself).

The Thursday before Halloween I drove to Hickory in my formal attire. I was hoping I wouldn't be stopped for a speeding ticket or break down with a flat tire or have any other reason to exit my vehicle. Arriving at the school I made a sweeping fairy grandmother entrance into Lily Grace's classroom. When she saw me she flew across the room into my arms in awestruck wonder. Memorable scene you bet. She then proceeded to lead me over to her spot on the floor for story time and snuggled close to me as if she never wanted the magic to end. And after we had paraded and snacked our way through the morning there was only one thing left to do, go fancy to McDonalds.

I will forever be grateful to Donald Miller for writing such an inspiring book. I could have been the grandmother bystander that day; instead I entered into the story and gave Lily Grace and myself a memorable scene we will never forget. Somehow I think that is all the Lord wants us to do...enter in to His story and stop being the bystander. One thing is for sure, it is a lot more fun.

Posted by: AT 02:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 10 2009
Orbit* n. 1. The curved path, usually elliptical, described by a planet, satellite, spaceship, etc. around a celestial body.
             2. The usual course of one's life.
             3. The sphere of influence, as of a nation or person.
           

There was a time when all men perceived that the sun was in orbit around the earth. Everyday they would see it rising in the east and setting in the west and from where they stood the sun was clearly moving around the earth.

Well those of us who live this side of the Enlightenment and the Age of Scientific Discovery know just how foolish that perception was. It may look like the sun goes around the earth but nothing could be further from the truth. Earth is in fact orbiting the sun along with several other planets ( that keeps changing but that is another story).

How interesting then to consider definition #2 of the word orbit. We all come into this world with the perception that the world and everyone in it revolves around us, ourselves, or more succinctly me, myself and I. We can spend an entire lifetime with this mistaken notion and when things begin to crash and burn as they always will we wonder what is wrong. Why is this happening to me? The idea that there is another reality which is in fact the ultimate truth for the way things work; the way they orbit, never enters our heads.

The "pre-enlightment" people may have been wrong about the earth's orbit ( definition #1), but they were actually quite knowledgeable about definition #2. They knew they were not the center of the universe, God as revealed in His Son Jesus Christ was. They lived in a "Christocentric" world which meant that everything found its meaning, its life, in orbit around the Son. That was how God created the universe and that was how He sustained the universe.

The question that begs to be answered is; who is at the center of your universe? Before a quick response that God of course is, stop and think about this. The "I" does not easily give itself over to the "Thou". It would much rather try and remain at the center and draw others into its sphere of influence (definition #3), God included. For the I to be replaced by the Thou requires a death. There are many in the Christian Community that have yet to be thus enlightened.

For the I who can die and accept the Thou at the center there is another kind of life, a whole and lasting life. It produces great stability and a unique place in the cosmos reflecting a far greater glory than self. It is the glory of the Son.

* Randon House Webster's College Dictionary
Posted by: AT 10:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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