I know it’s not good English, but that’s how we say it ’round here….. “This don’t just happen!” It has come to be our family mantra! My husband and I both use it with frequency.
As I fold the clothes……”Ya’ ever wonder how your underwear finds it’s way back to the closet?” Ignoring his reply: “Elves?” I snap back.. clean clothes don’t just happen!”
As I put supper on the table…. “supper don’t just happen!”
As I do the ironing……”Clean, ironed shirts don’t just happen!”
…….as I put up the groceries, unload the dishwasher, take the dog for a walk, go thru the mail, pay the bills, and the list goes on and on. But rest assured my husband’s got his own list….
“Ever wonder how that trash can gets out on the curb? That gas finds it’s way inside our car? The painter shows up, the houses get built, the work gets done? It don’t just happen!”
What is it with us that we want CREDIT! I was kinda pondering all this as I was out watering the flowers in the EARLY morning hours this week! It’s been really hot and dry this summer, and I’m determined that these flowers are gonna survive….. so much so that I’m out there before the sun gets hot and I’m watering what the hose reaches and I’m hauling buckets for those it doesn’t, all the while thinking that Carl will need to be reminded…….beautiful flowers don’t just happen! I was already anticipating my due when Carl got home…. my accolades of notable service rendered!
But as I stood there watering, one can only think self-centered, self-absorbed, self-promoting thoughts for so long before the Lord grabs such and gives it a twist. I found myself thinking about the recipients…… I’m pouring that water out and I began to image what those begonias might be thinking (if begonias could think. I know…. it was early and I’d had very little coffee at this point!) But I began to think how happy they must be. Here it was so early in the day and they were getting refreshment to equip them as they faced the heat of the day. And then I began to see some little flying things hovering and I thought “I’m only pouring into the begonias but look at the overflow….. I refresh them and they, in turn, are able to refresh the bees and gnats and such with their healthy blooms!” And as I was mentally delving so deeply into this whole botanical world (which is quite obviously so foreign to my normal thought process), I began to consider the soil…. the ants, the worms, the grubs…. I bet they all are so grateful this morning! I bet they had no idea they would be getting such joyous moisture this morning!
Suddenly it somehow seemed less important that “I get my due…. my credit, if you will” but it was more about the recipients — their situation, their needs, their very lives! You can learn a lot from a begonia! I couldn’t help but consider that my obvious need for credit runs fairly deep! Granted Carl and I recount our mantra with jest and good humor, but still…. there can be a lot of underlying truth that’s masked within our wit! But today I want to rethink the lives God has me pour into…… be them begonias or people! The new mantra needs to be…. “Begonias matter! People matter!” But ya know…..even as I type that, it just doesn’t set right. Yes, the recipients matter. And yes, the one serving the recipient matters….. but God can raise up people from stones (John the Baptist said this very thing to the Pharisees and Sadducees who prided themselves in their Jewish heritage…… Matthew 3:9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.) So I must remind myself that I have been blessed to have been even chosen by God to meet a need for the recipient He has chosen! All of it is His grace and mercy! The recipient needs to be thankful! The one serving needs to be thankful! BOTH thankful to God. I’m reminded of the verses in 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 where He tells us that the beauty that is being given out is Jesus…. He is the treasure! I’m the clay pot! Or sometimes I’m the begonia! But either way….. the light that shines out of darkness has shone in my heart to give me the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of His Son Jesus! And whether I give that out or I receive it….. He is the beauty! He gets the due! He gets the credit. I think the family mantra must change. I’ll surprise Carl….. next time the occasion presents itself, won’t he be shocked when I say…… “What a blessed clay pot I am!”
2 Corinthians 4:6-7 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.