Thursday, March 27, 2008

Food For Thought

No new garden photos today, but I did get some stuff planted. I didn't come to blog about that though ... I found a quote in a book today that really made me think about myself (ironically).

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong - because someday you will have been all of these." -- George Washington Carver

I had been reading I Dare You, by Joyce Meyer, and there was this part about being greedy and selfish and stuff like that. Really, I guess it was more about NOT being any of those things, and I was thinking quite a bit about myself at that point. She had started out talking about Christians being called to a life of service, giving freely and joyfully to others, and I've got that down ... almost.

I tend to give a lot of myself, and I tend to do things sometimes that I'd rather not do. Not bad things, but little things like answering the phone when I don't feel like talking just because the other person obviously does feel like talking. Or going to the store to pick something up when I'd rather just be home. Or sitting up late at night with a friend or family member when sometimes all I want in the world at that moment is to close my eyes and sleep in my bed. And I'm not saying that that's a bad thing, or that I wish I didn't do it. Those tend to be some of the best moments in my life; those are the phone conversations when my friends and I get closer, they are the times when Boyfriend/Fiance and I have the best talks, the times when I happen to be at the store at the same time as one of my long-lost friends. So those things work out, and I'm glad to be a giver, but Joyce had me worried about my motives ... sometimes I'm more than a little annoyed at the people in the world around me, because they aren't all givers like me. So sometimes I don't feel just like a giver ... some days I feel quite simply like a door mat.

And in the end, that's okay. Jesus will be plenty reward for me when I get to the end of the line and hear him pronounce me a "good and faithful servant". It's what I'm called to do ... and I don't feel like I'm giving to get something back. I'm not giving as a way of working for payment from those around me. I just wish that more people were givers, that the world's people had a more free way of helping each other, of giving to each other and each sharing with others what they have.

But, I digress. After the talking about giving and such, she moved on to talking about motives. Some people aren't just giving people. They give to get something. They donate to charity, but not to help others, they do it because they get the tax break. "Oooh, did you help someone? Well, you deserve a cookie." Because let's not just give for the sake of giving, right? Selfish people, that's what she talked about next.

And that was scary as hell for me, because I've always felt that in sometimes being resentful of the door mat feeling ... maybe I'm selfish. Maybe I'm working with motives that are lacking. Maybe my heart isn't pure in my giving to others. But I think that's just the human in me, worrying about whether I can possibly be worthy to serve this God who is all-powerful ... and knowing that I can't. I can't be worthy. Not one of us is, and only One has ever been. Jesus.

It's not my motives that are lacking ... it's just that I know I am small standing next to my God, though I am proud to be His no matter my place in His kingdom. Even if I hear those words, "good and faithful servant" followed by "come here and let me wipe my feet on ya, door mat", it will have been worth it completely.

I'm not selfish.

But I am a lot of things. I am impatient. I am short-tempered, and often angry. I am a person who overflows with poison when I'm angry, and it's not that I say things I don't mean ... it's just that I say things in a way that could have been gentler, could have been delivered better. Or could have been kept to myself.

So I'm not molded yet to the form He wants me to take, not yet ready to finish being clay and begin being a masterpiece of God. I still have a lot of work in being tender with the young, tolerant of the weak and the strong. Mostly I've got the compassionate and sympathetic down ... but who doesn't need a little practice, right? So I'm not yet ready ... But I feel close to the fire. Close to the kiln any clay piece will see before it's ready to be displayed, before it's painted and stained and ready to shine.

And even then I suppose I'll need to be dusted here and there.

And that brings to mind a song that has always touched me, The Potter's Hand, by Darlene Zschech, and I'd put a little player thingy on here for you to hear it ... but I have no idea how, so I'm going with the other option. YouTube. Ha.