Wednesday, October 28, 2009

If I only had a brain

I could while away the hours,
Conferrin' with the flowers,
Consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin'
While my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain.
I'd unravel every riddle
For any individ'le
In trouble or in pain.
With the thoughts you'll be thinkin'
You could be another Lincoln
If you only had a brain.

If I only had a brain. OK...I have to give credit to the start of this devotion to Tara Hilderbrandt. She posted a portion of this song on Facebook and it didn't seem quite right to me so I ended up singing it in my head for 20 minutes until I got enough of the song to google it and figure out the right words.

But the reason that it hit a chord with me was that as a kid I remember watching "The Wizard of Oz" and I really loved the movie (EXCEPT for the flying monkies...can I get an AMEN?) but I always, ALWAYS felt let down at the end. I always felt that it was just too terrible of the Great and Mighty Oz to turn out to be a human. I expected him to BE the Great and Mighty Oz.

But I can say that I am guilty of this in my own life too. I see something or someone that I think is amazing and suddenly I think THAT is the person or thing that is going to fix whatever it is that I think I'm lacking. It's prevalent in our society, too. If you don't think so look at late night TV. It's full of stuff that is designed to fix anything you might think is wrong with you. Neck exercisers to tone your neck, Derma Pro to get rid of wrinkles, Bump Its to make your hair stand up, Slap and chop to make you better in the kitchen, make up, exercise equipment, diet programs, cleaning tools, gadgets, stuff to whiten your teeth and stuff to tan your skin, stuff to make your laundry cleaner and stuff to grow your yard, stuff to make it easy to be warm and keep your hands free and stuff to keep your car cool, people to tell you how to live your life and people to tell you what to do with your money. It goes on and on and on because we are ALL looking for something.
None of us feels "good enough" in our physical body...our earthly body. See, God planned for there to be a hole in us. He created this hole in us and He made it God shaped...Jesus shaped. Because the only thing...the only Person Who can fill it is Jesus. Filling it up with all that other stuff works for about a minute until it falls right though that hole becaues it doesn't fit. We are all looking to the Great and Mighty Oz and he will always be human. He will always disappoint. But see, Glenda comes and tells Dorothy that she had the ability to go home all the time. It was inside her. If you have Jesus inside you, you have the plug for that hole. It's there inside you.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Going Home

I saw that "Jaws" was on TV today. That movie always hits a chord with me. The summer of 1975 I was only 8. "Jaws" was rated R, but left to the somewhat questionable discretion of my Uncle Tom (this was the man who called us in to dinner by shooting us with a bb gun out the back door of the house) "Jaws" became a perfectly OK movie for me, my cousin Mitch (8), his son Brent (also 8) and his daughter Brenda (about 6). Now this was in Montana so sharks are about as real to them as a Jackalope, but I lived in FL and I knew that sharks were REAL. So the natural conclusion would be that after the movie I would be terrified of the beach...scared of the sharks there. WRONG! I had nightmares about being inside that shark cage without any air and dying. OK...a little weird, but that's what scared me. Something that wasn't even a part of the movie. I mean no one got trapped in that thing without air but that was my fear.
Skip ahead to the next summer. Every summer I spent some time at my grandparents' home in Port Charlotte. I was very lucky...I had both grandparents on my mom's side and also both Great-grandmothers. I had a VERY close relationship with Gram E (read grammy) my mom's mom's mom. She lived to be 103 and a half (she told me that under 10 and over 100 you get to count your halves so I always make sure to add that half...LOL!) and she was a wonderful, amazing, funny, caring woman of God and, eventhough neither of my grandparents were beilevers, Gram E always took me to church with her when I was visiting. So one day, on the way home from church, I told her about my dream and how scared I was about dying. I remember it as if it were yesterday. She never skipped a beat.
This is what she she said:
"You like coming to visit us in the summer, don't you"?
"You stay for a couple of weeks or a month and then at the end of summer you go home, right?"
"When your mom comes to get you, are you afraid to leave"?
"Of course not. You're going home. Eventhough you miss us and we miss you, you are not scared when it's time to go home. Do you know why"?
"Because I live there".
"Yes. This is not your home. This is a vacation. It's fun, but it's not your home. It's the same thing when you die. If you are God's child then you don't live here. You're just visiting this life. Your real home is with the Lord. When He comes to get you it's not scary...maybe a little sad, but not scary. He's just taking you home like your mom takes you home after your time with us here every summer".

WOW! What a succinct and visual word picture for a 9 year old that was scared to die in a shark cage. I'd like to say that I never had that nightmare again. I did, but not for years and even then it was actually a really good nightmare because it always reminded me of what she had told me. Now whenever I hear that music...dum dum, dum dum, dumdumdumdumdumdum I can't help but think of her and how she helped ease my fears and how, later, when I accepted the Lord as my Savior, she was the first person that I wanted to tell. When I think about it now I just want to tell her that I can't wait to see her again...but I'll wait until the end of summer.