Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Don't Poop on My Parade

I often get my thoughts through various experiences of life. Such is the case today. I am sitting outside of my camper at Ocean Lakes, just outside of Myrtle Beach, SC. It is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing things we do. We absolutely love the opportunity to get away, even if just for a few days.

I set up a little tent outside the camper for extra space, just in case it would be needed. Next to the tent is our vehicle. I glance over at the tent, and notice there is bird poop all over it. Looking beyond to the Tahoe, I see bird poop all over the side of it, as well. In fact, upon further investigation, there is bird mess on the door panel (the window was down) and inside the doorway to the tent. Directly above is a power line. Several birds are there as I look up.

The birds remind me of life. There are times when in the midst of our enjoyment, something messy happens. Some stink occurs. It is not due to a fault or anything we have done, it just happens. It was caused by another. And it will need to be cleaned up by you. You didn't do it, you didn't cause it, but if it gets clean, you will be the one to clean it. I remember last year during our vacation time. When I returned home, I had to deal with several "messy" situations in the church I pastor. None of which were due to something I had done. And I will admit, I have made more than my share of problems, lol. But isn't it like the devil to try to steal your joy and peace, and often times just after, or during, your blessing!

I wrote a little poem. It is just a humorous attempt on my part to make light of what is going to be some scrubbing on the tent and car. Here goes:

"Birdie, birdie, up so far.
Why'd you do this on my car?
On my brand new camping tent,
And even inside your stinky went.
They parked my camper beside the power line,
Otherwise, all would be fine.
I'm on vacation
For planned relaxation,
Instead this vexation.
Here I am stressing
Because of your messing."

Has your parade, er uh, vacation ever been pooped on? Like me, you have more than likely faced times when things happened that were not of your doing, and it got dirty and messy. Maybe like myself, you wanted the bird that caused the mess to clean it up, but you knew it wasn't going to happen. I'm just here to tell you to move on. Clean up the mess. It's life. It happens. Get over it.

Y'all be blessed!

Flawed Friends

Have you ever noticed that we want our friends to become to us what we've never become to them? In fact, we expect them to be what we could never be to anyone-- perfect. Perfect is being without flaw. A perfect friend never is unfair, never treats you wrongly, never overreacts to a situation. A perfect friend is just that... perfect in every way. But that person doesn't exist. Truthfully, you don't have any perfect friends, and you are not one yourself.

You may have friends of whom you've never had a fight with. There may be those with whom you seem to hit it off. That is great! We all need friends that are special to us. Everyone needs a friend that will stand with him through thick and thin. A friend that will go to battle with them, believe in them, and encourage them, no matter what they have done or are going through. But even that friend falls short of the perfection mark. We just tend to overlook, ignore, or are purposely blind to their shortcomings.

My wife and I are away on vacation. Our grandson, his mom, and dad are with us, as are some friends. Zach, the grandson, Samuel, and Sydney Grace were collecting seashells yesterday as the sun was going down. It was for a project for my daughter Ti Ti, who leads Kid's Church back home. They returned with some perfect sea shells, among others that were imperfect. What they don't know is that Samuel and Sydney Grace's dad had bought an assortment of sea shells in the camp store, and planted them so as to help their project. The perfect shells to them weren't formed from the ocean, the grind of the water, waves, and rocks. Truthfully, I've never studied their formation. I just know most of the seashells you pick up at the beach are cracked, chipped, or have an imperfect form. Like my friends... and like me.

Job was going through the crisis of a lifetime. Calamity after calamity, trial after trial had hit. His finances, his home, tragic loss of lives and property, and his health were all affected. He was having wife problems. He needed his friends, but they weren't there initially. And when they showed up, they said nothing. Things got worse when they finally spoke to him. They played the blame game. Instead of encouragement, came accusations. Job called them "physicians of no value." Physicians are supposed to help heal, aren't they? Job's friends had become his frenemies-- friend enemies. Do you have frenemies? Have you become one?

Before Job could be restored, he had to pray for those flawed friends. I believe he had to forgive them. So must you and I. We are flawed, we are imperfect. Our shell is cracked, fragmented, and chipped. But Jesus loves us anyway. We should love one another as He has loved us!

Lord, thank you for my flawed friends today. Bless them, I pray. And forgive me when I hurt them. In Jesus' name, amen!