Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sixth Sunday After Pentecost

Gospel today:  The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes

I've been worrying and fretting a lot lately about my own incompetence. 

 No use making excuses -- it's just a fact that I've been dropping a lot of balls this past year or so, and feeling like I've not been the person I should be, or accomplishing the things I should accomplish.  It's embarassing how many things I just plain old forget. There are so many things I should know and don't know, so many skills I should have and don't have.   I'm very frustrated with what a poor instrument I am for God.  And no doubt I've not made matters better by fretting and worrying instead of digging in and fixing things.  But sometimes that's easier said than done.  Sometimes I think it's useless.   I'm useless.   Especially when I compare myself with the friend we lost this week, who was a human dynamo for God.

 But, God is good, and in the belief (which I firmly hold) that there are no accidents in the universe, I've been picking up some petals of hope and mercy He's been dropping around here lately.  They're in my pocket now.  Here --  Hang on a second:  I'll pull a couple out.

The other day, as I was explaining to myself why I had recently dropped ball x and ball z -- and worrying about how I could make the people who were tripping over these balls understand that I'm not as big a loser as I seem -- really I'm not -- William pulled out a book  for me to read him, one I literally haven't seen in a year.  It was Max Lucado's You Are Special. I remembered this being a neat little book, but it hadn't stood out much -- until I read it this time around, as a lesson to be learned -- maybe more for me than for my five year old. 

The story, in a nutshell, tells about a town of wooden puppets who are very judgmental of one another.  They put star stickers on their puppet neighbors who meet their approval and grey dots on those who don't.  One little puppet named Puncherello has no skills, talents, or beauty to recommend him, so he's covered with dots and very woebegone about it.  In the end he meets the carpenter who made him, where he learns that his maker knows and loves every knothole of him.  His maker explains to Puncherello that if he will spend more time in his maker's house, getting to know the him, he'll come to understand that it's only the assessment of his maker that matters, and the marks of others' opinions won't stick to him. 

This was a reminder I needed.  Everyone doesn't need to know the whole backstory, because God knows it.  Sometimes the chips just have to fall where they will -- and the dropped balls can roll and ricochet off them.  I'm running around to retrieve the balls, but God knows why I'm dropping them --- and He loves me anyway. 

Another little petal:  Today in Father G's sermon, he made reference to all of us being tools in God's toolbox.  He said that, on first inspection, you might look into that toolbox and say, "Ew.  These tools are a mess."  But we shouldn't criticize what we don't know about.  That steel-tooth rake that's missing its tines?  That's perfect for cleaning out the gutters.  That hammer with the broken handle?  A paperweight.  God can make use of all His tools, no matter how faulty they might look. 

He can take a basket of fish and a couple loaves of bread and feed thousands.  He can do anything. 

Lord, I know You'll make something of me, because I beg you to.  But I don't know what you're going to do with a string trimmer that only starts when you hit it on a tree...

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