Joseph was about 4 when he asked for a garden. We don’t have too big a yard but we did find a 2×3 spot just right for him. Pop Pop fenced it in. Joseph colored a rock and labeled it in his best chicken-scratch handwriting, “Joseph.” (I was secretly hoping he would have written “Jofess” as that’s how he introduced himself back then.)
Pop Pop and Grammie bought him a red wheelbarrow that year for his birthday. His best friend gave him gloves and seeds and Jofess got to work. I can see him so clearly in my minds eye. The path to the garden was right across the front lawn. It dips just enough to give him momentum before a full stop in front of the garden.
After a while, there was a clear path worn out from all the back and forth and back and forth to the same stop.
As you can imagine, when Jamie, my counselor, referenced the “wheelbarrow” visual as a decision making model; I was all in. As she explained it to me, our brains have lots of well worn paths in them. If you were to sit and think about how you make a decision about work, weight, relationships, etc; you approach these things much the same way every time. Can you almost feel the paths? Now if that’s true, it’s safe to assume your outcome is the same every time.
Did you just squirm a little? It’s ok. Me too.
Let’s use me and my wheelbarrow as an example. Ok, so let’s say I’m about to have an uncomfortable conversation with my mom. I do not like confrontation and try to veer that wheelbarrow far off any bumpy path. If it’s inevitable, I will load up my wheelbarrow with deep breaths, maybe even some handwritten notes to guide my words and reminders that we both want what’s best. Then I’ll steer that wheelbarrow to the phone; 9 times out 10, I’ll keep going riiiiight past it to avoid the discomfort. Yep. I am immature but at least I’m aware. Right? There’s power in that realization. There’s humility in that realization. So, HOW WILL THINGS GET BETTER?
What are you trying to change? Maybe you’re mindlessly going down the same path with different stuff loaded in that wheelbarrow every time but the path is worn, comfortable and leads to the same disappointment. Same kind of boyfriend. Same dosage. Same weight.
Sheesh, what if that were the end of the story… it isn’t.
There’s something brewing in my soul. It’s way down deep too. Maybe it’s just me getting caught up in the new-ness of everything. Spring has taken over my morning view. The renewing, the growing, the “ing” feels like a fever and I want it.
There’s more to it than just the colorful landscape and the cute wheelbarrow.
It’s the promise. There’s more. Can you feel it?
In my faith, my savior’s story, this weekend, today, Jesus will die. “For God so loved the world, he sent his only begotten son.” For God so loved me, he sent Jesus. Jesus came to the world to die but there’s more. Jesus died and then rose from the dead.
Did you just squirm a little more? yeah, me too.
Jesus came to earth and walked the same earth we walk. Jesus saw, witnessed the well-worn paths we fall into and he willingly plowed through your mess and mine to offer a new end.
God made me for a purpose. Jesus died for me and busted open the gates of heaven for me. The Holy Spirit is in and around me to carry me through.
How can I go wrong? Well, there’s the issue of me, tripping me up. But- God, Jesus and Holy Spirit – that is quite a team right? Plus I have you! (You can re-read this paragraph out loud and the same is true for you.)
Scripture says God sings over you and knows the number of hairs on your head. In the Psalms, David reminds us that God lays His hand on us. (Psalm 139:5). In Scripture Jesus asks, “Do you want to get well? (John 5:6) “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:41) AGAIN “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51). He just wants to hear you say it. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit God gave us “does not make us timid but gives us POWER and LOVE and SELF-DISCIPLINE.” Paul told Timothy, Dude fan that gift into flame! (2 Timothy 1:6)
This Sunday is Easter. When we celebrate a victory, another way, a new life.
Are you feeling it now?