Friday, April 16, 2010

About a Bag

I've been asking Jesus to change my heart. To make it more His own.

Am I the only one who is scared by this? Honest to goodness, I had the feeling of "I need to just ask Him to change me." And then I carried that feeling around for a good 4 or 5 days and didn't do a darn thing about it. I was too nervous.

I'm the type of girl who has always thought that if I really prayed for God's will in my life, I would be on the next plane to remote Africa for life. I also remembered fearing that God's will would be for me to marry an ugly dude, but that's another story. (And I was 16 and clearly shallow.)

The point is, there was a disconnect in me...I didn't (and probably still do not, fully) understand the joy in obedience, or the excitement in submission. For whatever reason, I viewed God as someone who would say, "OK, I've got one here who just prayed the prayer. I'll have her marry someone who she finds very unattractive and then ship them both off to a faraway country where they'll be forever unhappy in their obedience."

Why did I think like that?

And where am I going with this?

And why do you continue to put up with my rambly self?

Here's the thing. Since asking for my heart to change, I feel like it is changing. The changes might be microscopic so far, but they are changes, still.

I want to be careful in sharing this journey that I'm on with all'aya'll. I want to make it clear that I have not "arrived". I do not know the answers. I am not better. I am not holier. I do not believe that my mansion in the sky will be painted a prettier color or have fancier chandeliers hanging.

I'm fumbling my way through, like always. But I think there are lots of us on similar journeys, and there's just no good reason to walk on separate sidewalks, where all we can do is wave to each other.

So, the bag.

This is me with the bag. This is me saying, "Cut the picture off right about here". This is me with the freakishly large hands, holding the bag.

I got this bag today. At our joint-venture garage sale.

It eyed me across the driveway.

And the whole thing is, I'm not normally a red kind of girl.

But I inquired about the bag and it happened to belong to my cousin Mindi, who was the recent recipient of my $0.50 plastic box grater. It was the end of a slow garage sale day, and we were doing what is inevitable...we were trading stuff.

For years and years, I have found the urge to get a new bag when Summer rolls around. That old, familiar urge pinched me on the ear when I was in TJ Maxx last week. Those bags, all lined up and color coded. It didn't seem right to leave without one.

But, I did.

We keep talking about how to be better stewards of our finances. What does God expect us to do with what He has blessed us with? Is He mostly hoping that I'll have a fresh, new bag at the start of each season? Or does He wish that I wouldn't be quite so concerned with those sorts of things? Would He rather I concern myself with the things that concern Him?

So now, I have this. It probably won't match with anything I own, but does that really matter when I'm a girl wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt and pukey-brown pants with a stain on the leg?

I think not.

I like you, New Bag. I think my life needed a little dash of red.

"And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are." Matthew 6:28-29