Good morning all! A shout out to a dear friend today on his birthday….Happy birthday J-dawg! (aka Jim Fellers)
Jeremiah 1:4-10 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’
Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.’ But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am only a boy”; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.’ Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said to me, ‘Now I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down,to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.’
Yesterday afternoon, Betty and I decided to go on a little adventure. I realized that I had had a bit of a rough week (as many of you know by reading a blog a few days ago) and I have been working quite a lot and I just wasn’t feeling the sermon writing inspiration I thought I would (hopefully that comes this morning). So Betty suggested we load up the pup and go to Portland. So at 2ish in the afternoon we drove out just to go to Portland. Now, we like to pick a neighborhood that might be kinda cool and walk around, look in shops and see who we might get to talk to. Betty had heard about a neighborhood that just might do the trick. This is where we went.
We parked in part of the neighborhood that looked pretty run down but when we got out of the car there were all sorts of people walking around and many diverse murals painted on walls. Already we loved the experience of just walking around. Our first stop was a little cupcake shop that we happened to have a coupon for that said they had gluten free cupcakes and we must try to see if its a place for another day. So we went in the Robot themed shopped for a delicious treat. We ended up talking to the baker for a bit and thoroughly enjoying the treat. She asked if we were from the neighborhood. We replied, “Nope, just walking around today.” The response was a little bit surprise but intrigue. Our next stop looked like this…
You can kind of see the sign, it says, “Chocolate Craft Studio.” We were intrigued as we walked in front of this place. We looked at the window and it said to drop in. So we did. We ended up talking to the lady who does oh so many crafts with chocolate for quite a bit. She showed us all of the different types of chocolate, let us play with some molding chocolate, told us her story and how she ended up crafting with chocolate. She was pretty quirky but I was so excited for this experience. She was so willing to share her passion. At one point she paused, looked up and said, “Why did I pick chocolate to dedicate my life too? Who knows, something just clicked.”
So we moved on down the street. In and out of little paper shops and looking in bike shops windows, talking to people around the shop. Finally we went into Queen Bee Creations. I have seen their wallets, purses and accessories in shops before and was eager to see the actual place things are made. All handmade.
Really beautiful stuff! And when you go in the shop, you can see the staff making the bags right there. I ended up watching for quite a bit while people sewed and designed. What a great adventure! A little later, we traveled downtown to a favorite movie theater to watch “The Descendants” but on our way in I spotted a friend from college who I haven’t seen in years! I yelled out his name and he looked totally blindsided…but in a good way I hope. We exchanged phone numbers and caught up briefly before we moved on to the movie. All in all, a fab afternoon and pretty theological if you ask me.
What if I had said no and had stayed at my desk uninspired? I would have missed all of these connections, stories, and wonderful moments. I would have missed the gorgeous day with sunshine and brisk winter air. I would have missed God moments and refreshing renewing spirit! I would have just missed an opportunity. The night before I went with Mark and Robin to the PLU Christmas Choral concert. It was lovely and inspiring…with Mary’s magnifcat throughout. What if I had said no instead of yes? I was full of awe and newness and inspired by scripture and if I had said no, I would have missed it.
What if Jeremiah had said no to God? He would have missed the prophetic days ahead and a chance to speak God’s words. While I know that some of his days were really tough some of them must have been inspiring and awe -filled and thank God type of days. I love this call story so much because it echoes what we are all thinking. “Sorry God, I can’t do that because….” It could be because I am too young, too old, too busy, too full in my schedule, too stuck, too free, too….you fill in the blank. But then God says, “No worries, I’ve got your back and its time to say yes.”
In Improv, you always say yes to the prompt given otherwise you miss the opportunities ahead and it kills the scene. What if you say yes today to something you maybe wouldn’t have before? Or what if you say yes today when someone asks to connect or chat or go someplace that might be inspiring? What if you say yes to a new opportunity?
Prayer: God, today we want to see what you might have in store for us. Surprise us in the best ways possible and we will try to say yes to what you might put before us today. Inspire us in your beauty. Connect to us through others. Guide us in your paths. Amen.