“I, (Paul), keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” (Ephesians 1:17 NIV)
I am one of those people who are attracted to reader board signs and such. Some of the ones on lumber yards, bumper stickers, and the like can be “iffy”, but the attempts made by churches are almost always safe. I offer up a brief sampling from recent views:
“Today’s forecast: God reigns and the Son shines.” ”Prayer is a wireless connection with no roaming charges.” “Jesus died for us, will you live for Him?” or this one “Are YOU on God’s Most Wanted List?”
I know some of you are thinking, “How trite”, “way too simplistic”, or even “downright annoying”. I tend to think, “Huh, that’s kind of cool.” and ALLOW IT to give me a quick food-for-thought nudge which invariably leads me into a place and moment of ponder under God and grace. Then the day and I move on and attention slides quickly to what is next on my list.
There are some “sayings”, however, that have become embedded in my thoughts and being, re-emerging at intersections and crossroads of my life. One of my all-time favorites popped up on the bumper sticker of the car ahead of us at a stoplight. I read it, re-read it and wrote it down: “IF YOU DON’T FEEL AS CLOSE TO GOD TODAY AS YOU DID YESTERDAY… WHO MOVED?“ Whoa! WOW! Ouch! Sorry God and thanks. I have never seen or heard that saying anywhere again but my stoplight encounter with it has helped change and grow me.
At home we have two important bulletin boards, the community board, and the Gratitude board. The first, zoned as the anyone-can-post-anything space, AKA the busy board, sports and accumulated array of lists, schedules, coupons, pictures, cards, notes, etc. The Gratitude whiteboard (which truthfully took a while to catch on), silently asks for that, gratitude… a positive word or idea, a prayer need or praise, a thankful thought. Its content changes daily with items jotted down in passing and new ones added. Several months ago I noticed a bright purple sheet pinned dead center in the busy bulletin board. Investigating with my usual, ”Huh,” I found: “WHAT IF YOU WOKE UP TODAY WITH ONLY THE THINGS YOU THANKED GOD FOR YESTERDAY?” Whoa! WOW! Ouch! Sorry God and thanks. From its permanent residence at bulletin board central I ALLOW it to challenge me daily. It is way too important to shrink down to fit on the Gratitude board. Thanks to JaLynne, we keep it big and bright for everyone to see.
Mac Taylor hit me squarely with a saying years ago when he was pastoring at Creekside. “Grace means: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense” When this flashed up on the big screen I jolted alert with a Whoa! Wow and thank you God!
Eleanor Roosevelt wrote: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that is why they call it the present.” The present, the here and now, where I am called to live today and serve the present tense God. He says “I AM”… not I was or I will be, but I AM. He wants my attention, my awareness, and my intentions… He wants me, my heart, my gifts and my actions right now and that is indeed a present I CAN give Him. The daily question is all about my willingness.
How about this one… I love this one! LOVE IT! “To the world you are but one person, but to The One Person you are the world.” Don’t you need to see that and read it every day!? Don’t you love that surge of grace and connectedness and joy every time He affirms that in you!? That is a huge WHOA! WOW! Thank you God! Write that one on my heart and be in its every life giving beat as we walk together.
These “sayings” posted anywhere and everywhere are meant to get my attention. Yeah, a lot of “iffy” and icky” stuff pops up but like anything else I encounter in this world I am called to sift and sort and discern through knowledge of Scripture and the guidance of the Holy Spirit what is positive and Godly. The point is every one of the “sayings” quoted here has its origin and life in the Word! Think about it… think about them. From the beginnings of our Covenant tradition in the home Bible studies in Sweden, the foundational question of the seekers and believers always was, “Where Is It Written?” Where does the Bible say that? How and what does the Word of God want to teach me? Whether the authors, bumper sticker makers, or sign purveyors intend it, their “sayings” can speak to the world of Scripture, God and grace in the flash of a car driving by or any one just briefly looking… and maybe, just maybe there will be a nudge that moves and grows someone closer to a Whoa! Wow! Ouch! Sorry God or Thank you.
I’m just saying…
Love and Joy! Char
Char can be reached via email here.