Saturday, March 10, 2012

The beauty of a rainbow

I like to watch children at play.  Their imaginations and curiosity are truly unlimited.  They will fight fires as easily as they blow out birthday candles, dance like Cinderella at the prince’s ball, they stomp in rain puddles just to see how high water can splash, and at the end of the day feel like superheroes because theirs is a world of pure absolute joy, where ability and pleasure flawlessly click.  Their true colors shine.

That is, until they realize they are being watched.  Suddenly the fire is bigger than the firefighter; Cinderella is afraid she will miss a dance step; puddle stomping becomes a cardinal sin because of the mess it may create.  Ability and pleasure suddenly clash, and the superhero now is the one in need of being rescued.  True colors that were shining a few moments ago have suddenly faded.

What gives someone the right to cast shadows on the true colors of a child’s imagination?  Ok, proper boundaries are necessary, as with the puddle stomping boy-wonder, but with every puddle?  And at what age is it appropriate for imagination and curiosity to be dimmed? 
The thing we do that brings us pure absolute joy, where we feel like we are truly in our element, when our ability and pleasure flawlessly click – That is a gift from God, by the power of the Holy Spirit.  We are told in 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, “There are different kinds of gifts. But they are all given by the same Spirit.  There are different ways to serve. But they all come from the same Lord. There are different ways to work. But the same God makes it possible for all of us to have all those different things.   The Holy Spirit is given to each of us in a special way. That is for the good of all.”

Your “click” may be cooking.  It may be listening to people’s problems, or giving comfort to someone going through a rough patch.  Maybe it’s dancing, or painting, or working with wood.  You might be a person who is in a position where you can give financially to a favorite cause, and enjoy doing so.  Or a teacher whose joy is watching a student’s face light up when they understand something for the first time.  Whatever your joy is, it is often something you would do for free, although getting paid for it wouldn’t be so bad either. 
When we do these things that bring us joy, our true colors shine.  As I close, I leave you with this ponder:

If everyone does the things that bring them joy, and does those for the benefit of others and for the glory of God instead of just themselves, how brilliant would the resulting rainbow of true colors be?

Thursday, March 08, 2012

It's a Great Big Universe

The other day I was pondering how vast and enormous the universe is in comparison to you and me.  As the song says, "It's a great big universe, and we're all really puny / We're just tiny little specks, about the size of Mickey Rooney ..."

Yet even though we may be tiny specks in a great big universe, ponder this:  The entire universe is a tiny speck in the palm of the hand of God.  How really puny are we, really, if we are just tiny little specks on a tiny speck in the hand Omnipotence?  That is enough to make most people feel at least a little bit insignificant.

The good news is the truth of the matter is, even though we are micro-Mickey Rooney-sized specks, we have captured God's attention!  In a time long, long before Mickey Rooney walked the earth, the king of Israel, David, pondered the size of man in comparison to the size of the God of the universe:

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in the whole earth!
You have made your glory higher than the heavens.
You have made sure that children and infants praise you.
You have done it because of your enemies.
You have done it to put a stop to their talk.

I think about the heavens.
I think about the moon and stars that you have set in place.

What is a human being that you think about him?
What is a son of man that you take care of him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings.
You placed on him a crown of glory and honor.

You made human beings the rulers over all that your hands have created. 
You put everything under their control.
They rule over all flocks and herds and over the wild animals.
They rule over the birds of the air and over the fish in the ocean.
They rule over everything that swims in the oceans.

Lord, our Lord, how  majestic is your name in the whole earth!
Psalm 8 (New International Readers Version)

I don't know about you, but I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the Creator of the universe noticing puny me, let alone loving me the way He does! 

It's big and black and inky, and we're all small and dinky.  It's a big universe, and we're not! 
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in the wole earth!