Monday, January 16, 2012

Strawberry Cliffs

The Ragamuffin Gospel
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I was recently doing my quiet time and ran across a story from a book that I read awhile ago, The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan ManningIn my devotion it discussed this story about a Monk who was chased by a tiger. This monk was moving, staying just ahead of the tiger and came to a cliff. He started to look around and found a rope that he could climb down to avoid the tiger. So he did. The downer part is that when he started to climb down he saw only jagged rocks. He thought he had finally reached safety until he saw that some mice were starting to chew the rope. When he looked up he saw the tiger and when he looked down he saw what would become his death. At that moment, right at eye level, he saw a strawberry. So he reached out to get the strawberry and ate it and said, "Yum, Yum--that's the best strawberry I've ever tasted"

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What does this mean? As I began to think about it and finish my devotional, the story reminded me that we can't live in the past or think too much about the future because we will miss what God has in front of us. For the longest time I struggled with letting go of the past and my tigers. Once I did, I saw God in a whole new way, began experiencing him in the now and saw that he was real and alive. 

Lately, I have been thinking about the future a lot. Whether it’s my job or life in general I am thinking about the future. Going past a quarter of my life, it makes a lot of sense to be thinking about the future. I know the goals I have set for myself and planning for those goals makes you think a lot about the future. This is all fine of course, it's important to look forward, but where I often fall is spending too much time focusing on the future and that focus turning into worry.

I have to remind myself of these verses:

Do Not Be Anxious

    25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble  Mathew 6:25-34 ESV

God will and does provide for our every need and like the passage says, we are more valuable than the birds in the sky. The story from the  The Ragamuffin Gospel reminds me, just like these verses, to live in the moment. The monk looked up, saw the tiger and the mice and looked down and saw certain death. But instead, he decided to enjoy what God had in front of him. This is one lesson that I need to remember and I hope it’s one that you take to heart.

I am not responsible for the quote in the photo, I just like the frog
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