Give us a flood of water.
Let it rain tomorrow and always.
Give us plenty of little slugs
and other luscious things to eat.
Protect all folk who quack
and everyone who knows how
to swim. Amen.
Don't we all tend to live with narrow perspectives on life? Someone who grows up in a small town is intimidated when going to New York or Paris or Islamabad for the first time. And what is true of geography is even truer for our intellectual horizons. So long as one chooses to swim only in a tiny little pond, the fresh-water delights of stream, river, and ocean are simply unreal.
One of the things Jesus came to do was to break the shackles that come from living in too narrow a spiritual world.
Jesus taught that life's most important thing is to love God with one's whole being. God is Creator, and we are his beloved creatures. The true and ultimate meaning of our lives is found in him and his will. To lose our lives in his is to find life; to stay on our own little ponds of self-interest is to miss life.
The second most important thing is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Escaping our stagnant ponds of selfishness, we can learn to see others. Having seen them, we can care about them — especially the most fragile among them. A cup of water, a warm coat, the message of God's love — sharing these things with any one of them counts as doing them for Jesus himself.
So stretch the envelope. Read. Get to know people from backgrounds different from your own. See some of the places you have only read about. Eat sushi, skydive, or do something different and exciting this week.
Rather than feel threatened by someone with an unconventional point of view, learn from her. Try to figure out how that person came to a conclusion different from your own. Then, if you see something you never saw before, be honest enough to admit it. To embrace it. To delight in it.
Life is meant to be a high-seas adventure. What a waste yours would be, if you were to let its joy pass you by like water running off a you-know-what's back.
Look what happens when we pray little duck prayers and expect nothing new or exciting in the work of God:
Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown. The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Where did he get all this wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?” Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief (Mark 6:1-6 NLT).
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