Must be nice…

You’re probably familiar with this phrase or some close derivative of it:

  • x,y,z never happens to me…
  • I’d do anything to have something like this…
  • Wish I were so lucky…
  • I never win/get anything…

I’m sure you could add several other ones to this list. We’re all guilty of these types of responses and have been the recipient of them as well.

 

With social media taking the place of so many other forms of communications these types of statements seem to be on the rise. I think it is due to a couple of things. First, we’ve become much like the ancient Egyptians where we only record our victories (successes and positives) as opposed to a balanced view of our personal history/story. Secondly, when we encounter our social media threads we find ourself envious of the ideal life that we’ve pieced together from all the ‘great‘ things happening in everyone’s lives around us.

What would it look like if our first responses to good news for others was NOT to compare our own situation but instead to celebrate the favor that they’ve gained?

Our behavior on social media often reminds me a bit of a biblical story of ‘The Prodigal Son‘ where the one brother returns and the other’s response is something along the lines of, “but I never get to…” When we insert ourselves into these moments for other people we’re often guilty of stealing some of the joy, redemption, happiness that they were to receive. Just imagine if the older brother’s response would’ve been to contribute to the party and celebration as opposed to detracting from the moment?

So let’s challenge one another to celebrate the good that befalls our neighbor, cherish the moments of success of our friends, heap gladness onto the fortune of our family members. Let’s learn to bask in the glow of each others joy.

 

Pray with Your Feet

Abraham Heschel is famous for being a wonderful theologian, scholar, activist, and overall a godly man. When asked about his experience marching with MLK at Selma he responded that he was ‘praying with his feet.’

What an absolutely beautiful statement – standing up for others, marching for what you believe – is, in fact, prayer! Not just what is uttered from our lips but what is also demonstrated by our steps.

I found that through most of life I prayed (with my lips) the Good LORD would make my path smooth – that He’d fill in the potholes of life, detour me around construction, and carry me when times got rough (think: footprints in the sand) – As I’ve grown in my walk (pun intended) I’ve realized that there is another prayer that has begun to resonate more – It is a prayer for the correct feet for the terrain in front of us. Not a prayer that allows us to escape but rather a prayer that allows us to more fully engage in the landscape of life.

Think about the beauty of the animal kingdom and how their feet/paws/claws are perfectly suited for the things that they must traverse and experience…In that same exact way I pray that G_d gives me the right feet for this moment in life that I might be able to continue to pray with my feet.

I want to be a person who prays with my feet. Please join me!

Today’s Blessing (5.05)

Blessed are You, O’LORD our G_d, King of the universe, Creator of all things for accepting my humble offerings.

Blessed are You, O’LORD our G_d, King of the universe, Creator of all things for accepting my small contributions.

Blessed are You, O’LORD our G_d, King of the universe, Creator of all things for accepting my inadequate gifts.

Blessed are You, O’LORD our G_d, King of the universe, Creator of all things for declaring them good.

The Creator of all things finds my gifts and offerings to be a “pleasing aroma” – I turn my nose up at the grandeur of His creation…yet He celebrates the small return of my “creations”…How is it that the G_d who placed the stars in the heavens would express gratitude for my $.02 (literally and figuratively).

Today I’m blessed by the priceless offering of sunshine and warmth, green leaves and yellow bulbs, gentle breezes and fluffy clouds – all of this freely offered for our enjoyment…and in return – what? – how do I return an offering?

LORD – I glorify You – I lift You on high – may I live a life that declares Your Majesty – that reflects Your generosity – that shares Your warmth. May Your Name be sanctified!