Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 16: Tending A Piece of Our Dream

Today's chapter of Luke is complicated, covering a pretty big swath of life situations. I thought I'd pull out one section and see if we can't unpack it a bit.

Jesus offers these provocative words about how we should (as The Sopranos might say) "handle our business": "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?"

Interesting, right? This suggests that whatever our big dreams are, we've been given small facets of them already where we can build the skills we need and learn to make smart choices. I think of this as God's way of keeping me from getting in over my head.

My favorite example of this is my dog (known in the blogsphere as THAT DOG, due to a certain incident with the bathroom trashcan right around the time I started blogging). When I got her thirteen years ago, I was the least likely candidate for pet ownership on the planet. I was totally self-involved, and not doing a particularly good job at that. I could barely keep myself fed, walked & watered. But she was cute (and I was impulsive) and just like that, I had a dog. (Members of my family immediately started discussions about who would take her when I failed). But what do you know--I rose to the occaision. And I learned something HUGE: that I had what it took to put her interests and needs ahead of mine. That's come in pretty handy in almost every relationship, job or friendship I've had since.

Where in your life have you been trusted with a piece of your dream?

An important note for anyone who tends towards seeing passages like the one above as an opportunity to feel horrendously bad about yourself, assume your prayers haven't been answered because you're a miserable failure of a human being, and vow to do better (and as I read the comments, I suspect this might be more than a few of us): DON'T.

There are some areas, for all of us, where we're doing a great job. Find them. Think about them. Thank God for them. And there will always be areas where we wish we could do better. For those, we can skip the thinking about them part, because let's face it: if we knew how to fix ourselves, we'd have done it already. Let's take these things straight to God and say, "Help!?!" Then do our best to follow his suggestions. I often pray to be trustworthy with what I have, be it clothes that need to be washed or a book that needs to be written. We can't do it on our own. But the good news is, we don't have to :)

Need a laugh today? Check out Ryanhood singing this song for Ellen DeGeneres, asking her to teach them to dance. I love the line, "I don't know how to get to where I want to be, I don't know what we're missing but I'm starting to think, that you could teach us, maybe you could teach us..." Then they promise to wear sweater vests, which I'd definitely tune in for :)


Sarakastic said...

I recently got a small sized version of my big dream. Part of me panicked thinking, "Wait is this it? This isn't enough. It won't last." It's like getting one of those fun sized candy bars while though I love candy isn't nearly as fun as say a pound of chocolate. Instead I'm going to tend it carefully and be grateful.

Suzanne said...

Yep, I was feeling this way last week, so much so, that in my gratitude journal instead of writing what I was grateful for, I actually made a list of things I'd done well the day before just to remind myself that I wasn't a complete loser! And then I started repeating Jeremiah 29:11 to God to remind Him that he promised that he actually has a plan for my life, even if I don't yet know what it is.

Stella said...

I've pondered if the reason for some prayers going seemingly unanswered is due to not measuring up, or missing the point, or not getting it, or looking past it, or not hearing His call, or hearing it then ignoring it, and so on etc.

For me, because the things done "right" just flow easily, its more difficult the "see" them. I think that's why the hiccups in my walk stop me in my tracks and grab my attention.


Anonymous said...

I am definitely one of those people that take a scripture and feel like I don't measure up if I don't get it right the first time, or second or third, etc. When I got back into church and my walk w/the Lord, I felt like I had to adhere to all the rules and guidelines of the Bible but was overwhelmed at the magnitude of the task (cuz there are quite a few). I finally started to let go of the type A in me when God let me know to relax (take a few deep cleansing breaths) and when there is something He needs to work on with me, He will be the first to let me know (and there have been quite a few but we work on them one at a time). I still fall back into my old patterns at times, so thanks Trish for reminding me to breath:)

What came to my mind regarding tending to a piece of our dream is when God asks us to act like we already have it. Start to plan what we will we do with it even if it is not right in front of us. That is what I have started to do. Just like God says to speak those things that be not as though they were, I think that includes more than just speaking - it includes other things like think those things that be not..., prepare for those things that be not...., plan for those things that be not..., etc. So when I really get my dream and it is right in front of me, I am already one step ahead.

kim said...

yeah, and i see how do this with little signs that i think are from God too. i pray for encouragement and when it comes, i doubt and minimize it. today's entry helped me see that it would be good to be trustworthy with God's encouragement too. ;)