Monday, November 03, 2008

Unlikely Places

We went trick or treating last week and did our usual thing. We went to a friends house for dinner and then drove around to all the people we know and the elderly people in our church who like to see our kids dressed up.

But there is one house that I would never think of going to. It is a dumpy old house. It looks kind of uninhabitable, but since there is usually a beat up car in the driveway and some dogs running around I assumed someone lived there. It turns out that house belongs to the brother of some people that go to our church. It is the house they all grew up in. They've always told us to to Trick or Treating there and I always thought they were crazy! Do they think I would actually drive in, unload my family and walk right up to the door? Maybe they don't know me as well as they think they do!

Well, last year we followed some other relatives of his there (ok so everyone is related in Wrenshall!). Here's what we've been missing: He has big storage tubs full of candy. He takes an ice cream bucket and scoops it full and dumps it in every child's bag. He'll even give you a new bag if yours isn't big enough! I'm not sure I've ever seen a look of such intense surprise and delight on my children's faces! So this year, of course, the big question was "Are we going to Warren's?"

I didn't get to go with them this year due to Maren's intense dislike of trick or treating and getting in and out of her car seat. But they did go and they got a bundle of candy! I drove by there the next day and thought isn't it crazy how there could be treasure in such an unlikely place?

We went to check out Holyoke Park a few weeks ago. I wasn't excited to go, there is nothing in Holyoke! But I was amazed at how beautiful and fun it was. There is a flowing river (I put in a picture - pretty hi tech!), lots of trees, a baseball field and trails. We went back this weekend and had our family pictures taken there.

It seems like I often overlook someone or something because of outward appearances. I try not to make eye contact with scruffy looking people. I avoid places that don't seem to be up to my high level of approval or might have a funky smell.

On an even more personal level, how many times have I dismissed some trait or talent that one of my kids has because it seemed odd or silly or embarrasing? Maybe I've contributed to them not reaching their full potential in an area or freeing them to use their abilities for God.

I'm especially convicted with regards to Jenna. Unfortunately for her, she is a lot like me in personality which makes us butt heads alot. She is rough and tumble, tomboyish, and very messy. Today she was eating a sandwich and had lettuce and mayo all over her face and crumbs all over her shirt and pants. She doesn't like to brush her hair or wear nice or clean clothes. She spits in the dirt! And I often try to help and guide her in the direction of being a young lady and needless to say she doesn't appreciate it too much!

In my desire to give her the needed direction, I often overlook her zest for life. She loves every minute of everything she does - except practicing the piano. She is fun-loving, energetic, fast-paced, friendly and driven. I know I need to appreciate the unique personality and talents that God has given her. It's hard to find the balance between training her and stomping all over her personality.

All of a sudden, God reminded me that I need to look at things through His eyes. He has given bunches of treasures that may look like a ramshackle house, but it holds the motherload of candy. And it might be a sleepy little nowhere town, but it possesses amazing natural beauty.

Are there things in your life and the lives of those you love that you've overlooked or shunned? Are there people in your life that seem weird or worthless at first glance? Jesus made a point to reach out to those that society shut out and bring out the best in people he came into contact with. The woman at the well, the adultress woman, Zaccheus, the criples and crazies are all people no good "religious" person would touch with a ten foot pole! But Jesus could see that every person was created by God and made for His glory. He went right after their hearts and brought them straight to Love.

I want to follow Jesus' example of finding treasures in unlikely places. Oh that I would be able to do that for my family and those around me.

Luke 19:7-9
"All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a sinner".

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possesions to the poor, and if I have cheated anyobody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, becaue this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to sek and sae what was lost."

1 comment:

Christy said...

Very nicely written. Good stuff! And congrats on adding a photo to your post!