Scene Around The Sphere
Jul 29th, 2008 by Sonja

I dunno if it’s a cycle of the moon.  Maybe I shouldn’t try to explain it.  But there just seems to be some stuff I need to share with you right now.  So here is some of it … in no particular order.

Rachel Barenblatt of Velveteen Rabbi is studying in Israel this summer.  Her descriptions of life in the Holy Land are not to be missed, but of particular note is this meditation with photos of a day trip to the West Bank and Bethlehem.  She has a remarkable ability to see the humanity in both sides of Israeli-Palestinian dispute that is touching and beautiful.  Here’s a little taste:

Walking around the camp [refugee camp in Bethlehem] was surreal. It didn’t feel like what I imagine when I hear “refugee camp;” it felt like a neighborhood in any one of the developing nations I’ve visited. (It’s easy to forget that once a refugee camp has existed for a few decades, the army-issue canvas tents are replaced with buildings, but it’s still a refugee camp.) We quickly acquired a cadre of small children who followed us shyly saying “hello, what’s your name? Hello, how are you?” I’ve had that exact experience in so many places, so that felt very familiar. The streets of the camp are tiny, and in every window people watched us with curiosity.

But Shadi’s remarks gave us a sense for what some people may be feeling behind the walls. “This is a ghetto,” my friend Tad said to me, sounding stricken. “Is this what our grandparents survived the ghettos of Europe for: to do the same thing to someone else?” I couldn’t answer him.

Doug Jones at Perigrinatio posted this video challenging us in the arena of forgiveness.  What do you think?  Could you forgive?

Kent Leslie is working at a summer camp this summer and has an interesting take on the usual tradition of the altar call.  I think he’s probably onto something.  If you don’t have Kent in your feed reader, I’d recommend him to you as an interesting and provocative read.  He takes his faith, both orthopraxy and orthodoxy very seriously … his writing?  Not as much.

“When you screw up, we’re going to forgive you. When you make mistakes, or break rules, or are mean or do anything wrong, we’re going to forgive you. We’re not gonna hold it against you—although if you plan to take advantage of that forgiveness and just be evil all week, we might have to send you home for our own safety and the safety of the other campers. But for those of you who are trying to do right, this camp is going to be a giant clean slate for you. No worries. No guilt. Just forgiveness.”

Then we invite them to follow Jesus, and get ’em saved from the very beginning, and spend the entire week walking in newness of life, instead of waiting till Sunday and having an altar call to “wrap up” the week.

Who knew you could find such great music at the Smithsonian?  They have blues, African, jazz, Native American … all available for electronic download (to purchase, of course).  And much, much  more.  It’s an amazing collection to prowl through.   You can hear samples of everything before you purchase, but it’s all pretty fabulous if you like folk music and music from our roots.  I highly recommend prowling around there for a while.

Pam Hogeweide is messing around again.  She challenged herself to a 10 day duel.  She’s winning, by the way.  She writing everyday for ten days and finding the supernaturally beautiful in the ordinary … things like a bologna sandwich.  Everyone said it couldn’t be done.  Read Pam and see the God-beauty in the everyday.

Updated, courtesy of BlisteringSh33p, to include (drumroll please) the 7 Hamburgers of the Apocalypse.  Do not, I repeat, do NOT read this post if you are at all queasy, or have the tiniest little bit of an upset tummy.   However, if you want to see the fattiest, gluttoniest ways to eat red meat on the planet … it’s an absolute howl.

Finally … watch this space for book reviews and an e-zine … coming soon.   I’ve got book reviews coming on the following books:  We The Purple, Feel, Hokey Pokey, The New Conspirators, Rapture Ready, The Tangible Kingdom and Oh Shit! It’s Jesus … oh, and one cd, Songs For a Revolution of Hope … oh, and coffee too … I ordered two pounds of Saints coffee.  We’re taking it to Vermont at the end of the week.  I’ll let you know if it’s a good buy.

Babbling On
Jun 26th, 2008 by Sonja

There are some blogs I simply read.  I don’t have the words to engage there, so I just read.  The other day I read the following:

In passing it is worth noting that one important reason why we should be suspicious of hierarchical top-down notion of leadership is because we know from history and from human nature that institutional systems confer social power and concentrates it at the top. The problem is precisely because of human nature that we should be very wary of such power in human hands. It almost always corrupts and damages the relational fabric that constitutes the church.

Alan Hirsch wrote those words on his post “field of dreams, part iv.”  The whole post is about nature of power and hierarchy within church structures.  As is usual with Alan, it’s quite good.  He’s published books and all, so of course, it’s good.

As I read those words, and as I continue to read them, I keep getting this picture in my head:

Tower of BabelThe Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9)

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.  As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar  and settled there.

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building.  The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

  So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel —because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

So, I was talking to my friend, Doug, on the phone the other day and mentioned this to him.  Because I think that Babel is (among many things) a metaphor for how we ought not to be concentrating power in tiny little hierarchies in churches.  Sometimes when I get odd ideas like this I run them past Doug because he’ll tell me when I’m nuts.  He is kind and gracious about it, but he’ll tell me the truth.  He’s smart too, so I can’t slip very much past him.

He got excited, in a very “doug” kind of way.  And we talked about the first four sins of the Bible.  There was the rupture of relationship between humans and God (in the Garden).  There was the rupture of relationship between humans and humans (Cain and Abel).  There was the rupture of relationship between humans and creation (the Flood).  And last there was this rupture of relationship between humans and the systems they love.

So all of that is to say, I think I’m going to study these and look the metaphors more deeply in the coming weeks and how they play out for us today.  I might even write about them here.  But I’m not promising anything.  Every time I promise something that looks like a series, I get overwhelmed and run away from myself.  This creates all sorts of havoc with my cellular structure.  I wanted to write this much so that I’d remember and see what happens from here.

To Give Hope (The Missional Synchroblog)
Jun 23rd, 2008 by Sonja

So … here it is.  Today’s the day.  The day of the big synchroblog.  The big hitters are writing about this.  Fifty of us are writing to define the word “missional.”  When Rick sent out his call for this by blog and by e-mail (thank you, Rick), I thought, “Yeah … I do have something to say.”  In the intervening weeks though, my scattered thoughts have not gathered themselves.

I am no theologian.  I am not trained in exegesis or any of the other long scary unknowable words that people use to make themselves seem smart.  I am, at the end of the day, a teacher.  And a quilter (I love color)  And a story-teller.  So I will tell a story and teach a lesson about how I and my family are missional in the suburbs.  In our house missional means lawncare … among other things.

It all began with a door to nowhere.  Or more precisely, a door to our backyard with a 5 foot drop for a first step.  We lived in our house for 3 years with a french door that we could not use because, well, “Watch out for the first step, it’s a lou-lou.”  So we had a deck built.

Two guys built it.  I think they spoke about 10 words of English between the two of them.  Just enough to ask for the bathroom and water when they needed it.  We’d go out and admire their workmanship occasionally; they’d smile and nod.

During this time I was caring for a friend’s four children once a week while she and her husband went to marriage counseling.  It was the tradition for she and her kids to have dinner with us when the counseling was done.  One evening, it happened that the deck makers were also there.  We invited them to have dinner with us in the back yard.  We’d have eaten in the house, but we had no way to get the grilled meat into the house because of the construction.  We set up a plastic banquet table and paper plates. BlazingEwe and her FlamingLambs were here too.  The kids ate all over the yard and the grown ups ate together at the table.  I remembered about as much Spanish from highschool as they knew English.  So we were able to communicate over sticky drumsticks and gooey potato salad.  We all ate and smiled until our stomachs and faces were full.  It was one of the happiest meals I remember.

We’ve carried on the tradition since then.  Whenever people come to work on or around our home, we bring them water or share a meal with them depending on the circumstances.  This year, we’ve finally broken down and hired a lawncare service.  This has turned out to be a Hispanic man and his sons.  We don’t do lawn care with any regularity and our lawn has always been the po’white trash lawn on the block … a certain disgrace to a particular neighbor of ours.  It is the elder son who does the talking and negotiating with us.  He must be about LightGirl’s age, but sober and sturdy.  Responsible, quick and dependable.  They come whenever to mow our lawn, if we’re here we pay them, otherwise, they come another time for payment.  If we’re here, we take them water.  One evening the father was taking a little too long with his part and the sons played joyfully on our trampoline.  LightBoy joined them.  And the joy was exponential.  Our lawn has become beautiful in their capable hands, but more importantly we are slowly building a friendship with them.  Our goal is to invite them to a meal soon.  To share our hospitality with them.

You see, to me, missional is about giving hope in a world of gray.  It’s about smiling at people who routinely wear frowns.  I may never have the chance to speak the words of the Gospel to them in my outloud voice.  But I can say to my (agnostic) friend when her sense of being gets too tied up in her website, “You are more than that.  You are not your website.  You are beautiful and created for much more than that.”  Help her move beyond despair and into grace.

Missional is about loving my neighbor and that can be expressed in thousands of ways, but the thought that came into my head this morning and will not leave is the verse from Jeremiah that most people use in very different circumstances.  Jeremiah 29:11 … “1 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Plans to give hope and a future.   You see that’s so often lacking in our world today.  Hope … AND a future.

So I speak hope into the lives of the people I know and the people I meet.  I try to know them and find the hope that is there.  Find the light that leads to the future and together we will walk towards God.

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This is part of a synchroblog that has been organized by Blind Beggar (Rick Meigs) that is hoping to clarify and define the term “missional.”  I have more than likely just muddied the waters with my craziness here.  But these other folks will have done a much better job than I, so please read them:

Alan Hirsch
Alan Knox
Andrew Jones
Barb Peters
Bill Kinnon
Brad Brisco
Brad Grinnen
Brad Sargent
Brother Maynard
Bryan Riley
Chad Brooks
Chris Wignall
Cobus Van Wyngaard
Dave DeVries
David Best
David Fitch
David Wierzbicki
DoSi
Doug Jones
Duncan McFadzean
Erika Haub
Grace
Jamie Arpin-Ricci
Jeff McQuilkin
John Smulo
Jonathan Brink
JR Rozko
Kathy Escobar
Kent Leslie
Len Hjalmarson
Makeesha Fisher
Malcolm Lanham
Mark Berry
Mark Petersen
Mark Priddy
Michael Crane
Michael Stewart
Nick Loyd
Patrick Oden
Peggy Brown
Phil Wyman
Richard Pool
Rick Meigs
Rob Robinson
Ron Cole
Scott Marshall
Stephen Shields
Steve Hayes
Tim Thompson
Thom Turner

Missonal Synchroblog
Jun 14th, 2008 by Sonja

Blind Beggar (Rick Meigs) has put out a call for a synchroblog on Monday, June 23 to discuss the idea, the topic, the notion of missional. The word is losing it’s boundaries and becoming a catch-all word that people use because they think it’s the latest cool ministry word to throw around.

I’m going to add to his invitation here because he just posted the list of potential bloggers. As of now, there are 18 (eighteen). Seventeen men and me. Ladies, I’m feeling very lonely and sort of overwhelmed. Now, you know most of the men are going to post treatises that are wonderful (but long and, ahem, boring 😉 ) on definitions and complaints and they will “fix the problem.” We need to bring some balance to this mix. Some of our wonderful right-brain thinking. How do women view the concept of missional? It is a highly relational term. Hello!! This is our ballpark, jump in and write your thoughts on that concept. If you want to use poetry, or story or have a video … all the sweeter.

So, my girl friends, please either visit Rick’s blog to sign up and let him know you are participating or let me know in the comments and I will keep a list here for him.

On Watching A Dream Come True
Jun 5th, 2008 by Sonja

I woke up this morning with these words echoing around in my head:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

They were spoken in a voice that is different from my voice. A rich deep baritone that is familiar to all of us. This clip is familiar to many of us. I have fuzzy, crackly memories of those words when they were first spoken, crackly and fuzzy on the radio in our house in Kansas. I was two and something. Those words were repeated over and over throughout my childhood.

Twenty years later when I was 22 and something I stood down on the Mall and listened as those words and that speech was re-enacted. I looked around at the poverty and disparity and dispaired of the words ever having truth.

Forty years later when I was 42 and something I listened to those words each year with my children and we talked about what they mean, and who this man was.

Now I’m 47. I woke up this morning and realized I’m watching this dream come true. On August 28, 2008 … 45 years to the day later, Barack Obama will accept the nomination for the Democratic Party.

This year. This election. We’re choosing hope. We’re looking at the content of someone’s character and not the color of their skin. Yes, Amen and all good things, we’re choosing hope. Let justice roll down like a mighty river and may grace abound …

One Tree At A Time
May 6th, 2008 by Sonja

Cherry treeToday I got a tree. A cherry tree to be exact. I believe it’s a Montmorency Cherry, but I’m not certain. LightBoy wanted to get an apple tree. But apple trees need to be pollinated in order to bear fruit. He had grand designs of taking our harvest to the farmer’s market. From our one tree.

In our back yard.

He has no shortage of self esteem.

We discovered that cherry trees do not need to be pollinated. We are lazy. So we got a cherry tree. It’s taller too. It got planted in the poop hole. Ships have a poop deck. Our back yard had a poop hole. The former owners had a special hole into which doggie waste was to be disposed of. I think they put special enzymes in there to speed decomposition. It was like a doggie septic system. We never used it. It was just tiresome hole in the back yard. So we put a cherry tree in it.

It’s taken six years. When we moved in there was one tree in the front yard and some horrid boxwood shrubbery out front. I pulled out the boxwood. I’ve been slowly replacing it with hydrangeas and other perennials. On the very shady side of the stoop, I put in a ninja bush. No … I can’t remember what it’s called, but it starts with nin … and it grows delightfully in the shade. There’s lily-of-the-valley in front of it.

We’ve got boatloads of yarrow. If you need some yarrow, I’m your woman. It’s really a weed that I paid good money for I found out later. Oy! Now two lilac bushes grace us with blooms and finally the french lilac that I thought died gave off blooms this year too. I didn’t know that french lilacs are different when I bought it. They are … there’s no scent, but the blossoms are beautiful. My peonies are enormous this year and there are about 20 buds. Who knew?

The willow that we planted out back about 4 years ago is almost big enough to climb. The butterfly bush is looming large over all; tempting butterflies near and far.  The tulips are all up and bright.

first blooms on lilac

This is the lilac bush my dad gave me six years ago. It was a runner from one of his bushes in Vermont; so tiny it came in a half pint milk carton and I had to put a fence around it so that LightHusband wouldn’t mow it down. It took six years to bloom, but it was worth the wait.

Now I need to plant the new hydrangea I just bought and the two monarda that are perennials as well. I like watching my garden grow. A little here and a little there.  One tree at a time.

The End of Time
Apr 17th, 2008 by Sonja

LightHusband recently went out of town on a business trip to Cincinnati.  He traveled with his boss and a couple of co-workers.  BossMan and SalesGuy are more conservative than we are.  That’s the best way I can say this.  We are friends with BossMan and his family, but when it comes to matters of theology and politics, we generally agree to disagree about a lot.  We respect each others’ perspectives, but …

LightHusband returned from his trip yesterday and the rest of us were glad to see him again.  He used to travel quite often and we all have bad memories of that (me especially).  Like the time he went to London for a month when LightGirl was 6 months old.  He was housed in a stadium with no phone access.  It was fairly unnerving.  But he did get introduced to the Queen.  In any case, he and I went grocery shopping for dinner together yesterday afternoon on his return.  That may sound funny, but it’s something we enjoy, especially if we can leave the LightChildren home.

While at the store we ran into an old friend from our CLB1.  Now this lady also happened to be a founding member of that church.  She was (and is) a dear.  I spent a good deal of time with her oldest son when I worked in youth ministry (he was also helping out).  We had a nice conversation catching up with one another.  Then talk turned to our old church and goings on there.  She caught us up on some of the main big news.  Somehow we got on the subject of some books that she is reading and is very excited about.  It’s a series by an author named Joel Rosenburg.  Apparently, he’s written quite a series based on Ezekiel 38 and 39.  It seems to be very popular according to the sales figures on the website.  She spoke very highly of the books and recommended them to us.

In fact, she got pretty wound up about the whole idea of the so-called Second Coming and the Rapture and the End Times.  She got a big grin on her face and a light in her eyes and she stood on her toes.  The air around her was electric.  She spoke with certainty about the days to come and the fulfillment of prophecy.

Maybe I’m cynical.  Maybe I’m … I dunno.  But all I could think as I was listening to her was one word … zealot.  Well, other words came to mind too.  I wondered exactly what makes Christians with this perspective any different from Muslims who are engaging in war-like behavior to bring about their prophecies.  Then, as I was sewing today I was musing about it and I realized the root of my disturbance with the whole thing.

Everyone who subscribes to this theory of the end of time assumes that they will be among those who are raptured (caught up as it were).  They are all absolutely sure that they are among the ones who will disappear in a twinkling and everyone else (all the rest of the rabble) will be left to the horrors of the millenium.  Just as every Christian I know “knows” they will be going to heaven.  But … um … I got news.  Not everyone who thinks they’re going is.  OR … everyone (and I do mean everyone) is going.  What I mean by this is that if this whole metaphor were to actually be truth (and that is a big IF), there are a lot of people who might be in for a nasty surprise.

I have to wonder why it is that we always think that our own fruit (of the spirit) is sweet to God and therefore we’ll be raptured … but that other guy down the pew row, well … he’s not goin’ anywhere.  He may have prayed the prayer, but I don’t see any fruit in his life.

I’m just not so sure I want to be praying and acting like the Rapture is a good thing.  Because that prayer is not in scripture anywhere and does not assure me of anything other than checking a box on a human list.  It seems to me that living in a proper fear of God might just include an understanding that we are not in control … at all.

Just What It Takes
Mar 19th, 2008 by Sonja

“Daddy,” LightGirl twinkled and spun, “do you have ….

… any money?”

The adults nearby sputtered in laughter. One looked at me and said “Daddy?!” I rolled my eyes … she knows how to twist her father around. But he can handle her. It reminded me of an experiment my mother and I did on my father a few years ago.

Not too many years ago either, LightGirl was alive, but I don’t think LightBoy had yet joined us. The first part that you have to know is that I barely remember a time that my father (the GrandPea) was not hard of hearing. However, he only very recently got hearing aids. This experiment happened before hearing aids. LightMom and I did this in a number of different settings and it was successful everytime. She would call his given name in increasing volume and he did not hear. She would even whistle and do some fairly loud things to get his attention. Nothing, no response. But if I would say, “Daddy” in a regular tone he always heard me right away. “Dad,” sometimes got him too.

That’s what it takes. That’s all it takes for my dad to turn and come out of his reverie. A simple “Daddy.” I haven’t lived at home in over 20 years, but his ear is still tuned for it. I’m a mother now myself, but he is still listening.

It occurred to me when I was retelling this story to my friends that when God, “Abba” or “Pappa,” or “Daddy,” He is tuning in to us in the same frequency. When S/He gave us permission to call Her by a familial title of love that was indeed the moment of adoption.

Do we have what it takes to use it?  It takes courage, familiarity, sass and desire to use a “small” name for God.  To pick Him out of the crowd of all the smaller gods we venerate everyday, lift Her up and worship only Him, by using a familiar title … Daddy.  S/He’s invited us to do this.  And is waiting with a listening ear.  The question now is, will we?

I Have A Dream …
Feb 9th, 2008 by Sonja

Those are some famous words, spoken to outline a deeply held and righteous dream of a culture. Many of us have dreams that are not so famous. Yet just as closely held. They speak of who we are and who we are meant to be. My beloved grandfather used to tell me, “If you never have a dream, you’ll never have a dream come true.” So I used to dream big dreams and hold them close, believing for sure that at least one would come true some day. None of them did. As the years went my dreams grew smaller and smaller and now I don’t bother much at all. I have a few scattered hopes left, but my dreams … well.

Late last year you may recall that I read and reviewed It’s A Dance by Patrick Oden. There’s a link to the book in my sidebar (over to the left there and down a little). I was quite enamoured by it. You can read my review here. Over the past year or so Patrick and I have developed a good cyber-friendship and corresponded with some regularity.

Shortly after It’s A Dance, I read The Shack by William P. Young. Now The Shack has gotten a much wider acclaim than IAD, so I did not write a review and I may not have even mentioned it here. However, I was deeply moved by it and am reading it a second time. What struck me though, was how much the two books were alike. The authors knew nothing about one another … nothing at all. I know that there are very few people who have read both books. Certainly very very few who read them back to back as I did.

Slowly, an idea was born that somehow the two books or the ideas in them, or the authors … or somehow in someway they needed to be together. But I kept putting the idea away. Because it was is impossible. I know Patrick. I don’t know Mr. Young. Don’t know him from a hole in the ground. And I’ve got no background with which to talk to him. No entree, so to speak.

Then the impossible became probable. Today, through a series of far out events, I am going to meet William (Paul) Young at the home of a friend. Sort of. The friend of a friend (whom I have met before and know) is having an open house and the guests of honor are Mr. Young and Wayne Jacobsen (another of my heroes). I don’t know if anything will come of this. Or if my hope is a silly hope. But if you read this and it crosses your mind today, I’d appreciate the prayers.

Fools Rush In – January Synchroblog
Jan 15th, 2008 by Sonja

As I mentioned in my earlier post, we watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation a couple weeks ago. The whole Vacation series with Chevy Chase are rapidly becoming favorites with the LightFamily.

I was struck by a number of things in this movie. As must be obvious because I can’t stop talking about it. The thing I want to write about here is both the differences between Clark and Eddie.

Clark is Mr. Suburban Everyman. He has dreams and visions life that seem to come from a combination of Norman Rockwell, Currier & Ives and advertising aimed at suburban bliss. So he plans, he works, he cuts the grass once a week. He lives the right kind of life. It’s not too competitive; that is reserved for the next door neighbors (and you’ll barely recognize Julia Louis Dreyfuss in this role). He saves for a rainy day. His wife and children know how to dress and behave. In fact, their family looks very much like many of the families populating many churches across white America. What Clark wants most for Christmas is to have his extended family around him … and his Christmas bonus to purchase an inground swimming pool for the backyard. The swimming pool will be a good investment, good stewardship as it were.

Then cousin Eddie with his wife and children show up to join the holidays. It’s a surprise.

“Surprised?” Clark says, “Why if I woke up tomorrow morning with my head sewn to the carpet I couldn’t be more surprised.”

His face and body language are all too clear … this is an unwelcome surprise. From his perspective, Eddie is a fool. And … Eddie is. Eddie hasn’t worked in ten years “… waiting on a management position.” His oldest son is not with them this Christmas. He is out in the world, starting his career … with the carnival. Next year he hopes to be a barker for the Yak Woman. Everything Eddie touches seems to get dirty or fall apart and his fashion sense made even my 10 year old boy cringe in embarrassment. As the movie progresses we discover that the family has fallen on hard times and Eddie has lost his house. They are now living in the rustbucket RV out of necessity, Santa will likely only visit Clark’s children unless Clark and his wife provide for Eddie’s children, etc.

I can’t stop thinking about Eddie. Everything about him was repulsive to me. He was stupid, illiterate, foolish, unplanned and unlearned. He slurped his eggnog. Wiped his mouth on sleeve during a more formal event when napkins were present … and was uncaring. But most of all he was a grasshopper. Think about that for a moment.

If there were a fable to describe the North American church it would be the ant and the grasshopper.

Ant and the Grasshopper

The Ant and the Grasshopper

An Aesop Fable retold by Rose Owens

One summer day a grasshopper was singing and chirping and hopping about. He was having a wonderful time. He saw an ant who was busy gathering and storing grain for the winter.

“Stop and talk to me,” said the grasshopper. “We can sing some songs and dance a while.”

“Oh no,” said the ant. “Winter is coming. I am storing up food for the winter. I think you should do the same.”

“Oh, I can’t be bothered,” said the grasshopper. “Winter is a long time off. There is plenty of food.” So the grasshopper continued to dance and sing and chip and the ant continued to work.

When winter came the grasshopper had no food and was starving. He went to the ant’s house and asked, “Can I have some wheat or maybe a few kernels of corn. Without it I will starve,” whined the grasshopper.

“You danced last summer,” said the ants in disgust. “You can continue to dance.” And they gave him no food.

Fools, or those we perceive as fools, are not suffered lightly. The Eddies of the world are given a “kick in the pants if you don’t,” as my mother used to say. But … being an ant requires that we become very, very busy. Ants are planners, builders, kingdom (with a little k) creators. North Americans, westerners, and especially western Christians aspire to be ants. We’ve made it into an art form and given it much thought. Indeed, there is an entire book of the Bible (Proverbs) devoted to admonishing us to follow the way of wisdom rather than suffer the folly of foolishness.

Have we interpreted God correctly on this? Or are we re-interpreting something which cannot be found anywhere in Scripture? God helps those who help themselves. Grasshoppers live for the moment, they fly where the wind (Spirit) takes them. They do not spend every waking, living moment planning and investing for the future when they will die. They live. Think about that … they live.

How will you live for God? As an ant or a grasshopper?

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This is part of a synchroblog on fools and calling … please read what the other grasshoppers had to say this month.

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