over the river and through the woods: living flat out!

Give this command to those who are rich with the things of this world. Tell them not to be proud. Tell them to hope in God, not their money. Money cannot be trusted, but God takes care of us richly. He gives us everything to enjoy. Tell those who are rich to do good—to be rich in good works. And tell them they should be happy to give and ready to share. By doing this, they will be saving up a treasure for themselves. And that treasure will be a strong foundation on which their future life will be built. They will be able to have the life that is true life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

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“Race you to grandmama’s”

One of the most fun aspects of the grandchild experience right now is the unabashed enthusiasm and goofiness. (To be completely honest I’m talking both about the kids and the grandparents.)

The children are so silly, and full with life, and they are reveling in the fun of it. We will welcome maturity when it comes, of course, but there’s something about the way children interact with and in the moment, without embarrassment, that refreshes my spirit.

The challenge is in teaching them to be circumspect without losing too much spontaneity or dulling their authenticity of spirit. “Yes” to ebullience, and “be careful” to tantrums and overreactions.

Real life can be costly:

We talked a little bit about this general idea in my Saturday morning Bible study. The topic was suffering, and how we respond to it as disciples of Jesus. We agreed that we learn and grow tremendously in response to struggle and hardship. But such growth can be extremely difficult, so sometimes we put our defenses up and try to avoid the pain; but such a level of self protection comes at a cost too, and that cost is often the joy, the transformation, the growth, the authenticity, the learning.

img_5261-1-001When we try to back off too much from what is hard, then we find out that what is easy is much less valuable.

When we try to back off too much from what is hard, then we find out that what is easy is much less valuable.

What my grandchildren are going to discover – and I believe they already are to some extent – is that we can  learn to be disciplined in our interactions and still engage this life full on and without compromise. 

But it’s tricky. What we need to achieve – not just the children but all of us – is a life that is grounded in a sense of responsibility, humility, and care for others… while at the same time unafraid to engage both the triumph and the tragedy that living like we mean it requires.

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I think the children become good at this when they know how deeply loved they are, and when they are given the gift of safety and security by parents who never let any doubt creep in regarding the extent of their love and care….

… It’s exactly the same for us as adults. When we rest in the intimate knowledge of God’s unconditional, nurturing, permission-giving love, then we are foundationally equipped to live flat-out, grounded in care and motivated to serve.

Tell those who are rich to do good—to be rich in good works. And tell them they should be happy to give and ready to share. By doing this, they will be saving up a treasure for themselves. And that treasure will be a strong foundation on which their future life will be built. They will be able to have the life that is true life. – 1 Timothy 6

Peace on the journey – DEREK

 

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