On the fourth day of Thanksgiving:
I have a book that Karen gave me for my fifteenth birthday, Stepping Heavenward.
I can't say that I really like the book. The girl and her mother drive me crazy. They're so good. Even when they make mistakes, they still seem perfect. They're constantly running around saving poor, starving people out of the slums. And they always call each other "dear".
If the daughter complains about her breakfast, her mother says something like, "Daughter, dear. Have you read your Bible today? It doesn't sound as if you have. Be thankful for what you have, dearest."
And then Daughter Dear feels properly rebuked, and asks God's forgiveness for her ungratefulness.
Then they hug, and kiss, and discuss God's wonderful bounty as they eat their gruel.
It's that way through the entire book.
Now if it were me, I would complain that my Raisin Bran wasn't Lucky Charms, my moma would say, "then starve, Marv", and then I would starve.
End of story.
Anyway, I picked up that book again the other day, and although it still drives me crazy, there is one thing that I like.
One thing that I wish I had a good grip on.
They put God first in every way. Even when they complain about the breakfast.
In the book it seems overboard, like they're just a couple of goody two shoes, but I wish I could actually be that way in real life.
Not a goody two shoe, but so focused on my relationship with God that everything I do is because I thought of Him first.
In all thy ways acknowledge him...
So then I looked around for real life people who are that way, who really do seem to put God first.
I found some. I didn't have to look very far either.
I found some of them in my friends and family, some who were old preachers that I've listened to, and some who were elderly ladies that I've known since I was a little girl.
Christians who have either suffered, or fallen flat on their faces, or something like that, and yet, they seem so.....close to God.
They have this aura of 'the world cannot touch me' about them.
Like a quiet strength, a calm because they have such faith in God and in His ability to take care of them.
They're like oak trees. They might sway and bend in the wind, but they aren't going anywhere.
Whereas I am like a pine tree. Every time the wind kicks up, all my needles fall off, and it takes forever to get me back into shape.
It's not that they're perfect, but they 'die daily', and grow in wisdom. They've settled in for the long haul.
I die daily, and grow more dramatic.
I said all that to say, I may still want to chuck Stepping Heavenward and all its annoying perfection against the wall, but it has a good point: make God your priority.
And I have a multitude of examples who show me not only how to do that, but what the rewards of such a life are.
And I want to say thanks to all you guys for giving me an example to follow.
Thank you for showing me that it's God's way, or the highway.
Thank you for letting me watch you, listen to you.
Thank you for finishing the course.