Monday, December 24, 2012

Lessons from a Fuzzy Blue Crayon

I went grocery shopping with my Bug yesterday.  I had my list and, like usual, we were in a hurry.  I was afraid if I didn't mark off my list as I rushed through the store that I would miss something important for our Christmas meal.  After digging in my bottomless pit purse I found one lonely blue crayon from a pack of crayons that I recently bought the Bug that I could use to mark off my list.  As soon as she saw the crayon her 3 year old little mouth quickly shared “that’s my crayon”.  I told her I knew it was her crayon but that I needed to borrow it for just a few minutes while we hurried through the store.  She didn't have anything to draw on anyway and I would even give her my list in the car and let her color once I was done.  Apparently this did not appease her. She began to pitch a fit about me using her crayon.  Her voice kept raising and the fit continued to grow.  I was shocked.  She is usually very giving and willing to share.  Apparently this blue crayon was an important part of her identity (for those 5 minutes) so being the excellent mother I am I looked at her in frustration and said “who do you think bought the crayon anyway?  I did” and I shoved the crayon back in my purse and finally found a pen I could use.  I was about to be really petty and tell her that really, the crayon belonged to me since I bought it and I gave it to her to use when I felt like God stopped me in my tracks.  I just stood there as this very real example of how I tend to live washed over me. 

If you have been on my blog before you are probably beginning to think that I sound like a broken record.  I am okay with that.  I think that God keeps me in a place in life until I get what He is trying to teach me and the lesson has taken root enough to continue to grow as He moves to the next area to prune.  God is absolutely working on me about stuff/gifts/money/lifestyle.  In my little tiff with the Bug over a crayon in the middle of a grocery store I heard God say “Amy, sometimes this is the way you are with what I have given you.  So often you hold onto something that doesn't even matter in the big picture.  It is all Mine.  I give you things for you to use for My Glory, not so you can be selfish and not share with someone in need.”  Think about it.  My daughter was flipping out over a single blue crayon that had purse fuzz and cracker dust on it.  I have a seemingly endless supply of crayons at home for her (including at least 5 other blue crayons).  Why was this one blue crayon so important when I could provide her with so much more?  I started thinking, how often do I hold onto something that God wanted to use for the good of someone else when He has so many better things for me available? 

Then, the realization got worse. 

Just as I gave up trying to rationalize the blue crayon with my child and I put it away and got out a pen, I pictured God giving up trying to argue with me and repeatedly asking me to return something to Him that is His.  I saw Him stop trying and He found another tool to complete His mission.  It really upset me.  I do not want to miss God.  I do not want Him to have plans to give through me and, in my blindness, I get in the way to the point that He stops trying to use me all together. 

I know that Jesus has been calling me (shamefully for much longer than I have recently been answering) to a deeper, radical walk with Him.  I am still nervous and excited about all that He is doing and I certainly do not know fully what it looks like but I do know this.  It involves my hands opening completely and letting go of everything I have in my life; people, expectations, comforts, things and even myself.  I have joined a group called The Yes Club to help me along the way in this journey.  You can see my post about it here.  When I shared with a loved one about what God has called me to say no to so that I could walk in His will and provide clean drinking water for others I was told I was being ridiculous.  Oh, when did we become so blind?  May I always heed His call to give the things that He has put in my life back into His hands so they can be given to those in greater need.  May I always be willing do what He asks, even if it looks like foolishness to those around me.  May I always be willing to give Him back all that He has given me.  As my Pastor said just a month ago in his teaching “God gives to us, to give through us”.  He also said that "when we give to God, we aren't deciding how much of our money to give to Him, we are deciding how much of His money we give back to Him."  

Let me encourage you to follow through on what God is calling you to.  It could be something as amazing and radical as being obedient in donating your most treasured possession, your wedding ring, to help bring clean water to those in India and Africa that are in need.  If that is your heart, click here to go to With This Ring, an amazing ministry.  Maybe it is God calling you to give up fast food for year or Starbucks coffees for a year.  You can pledge to do whatever He has put on your heart at The Yes Club and step into the life that God has for you and, as a bonus, you get to be a blessing to those that have very little hope for life. 

No matter what, do not miss Him.  Join me if this is the prayer of your heart too, "please God, do not let me miss You".     

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