Tuesday, July 22, 2014





It’s the cutting edge of making choices,
splitting what you choose from what you don’t choose.
And making your choices will set you apart
from others, even friends and family.
This is the work of becoming your own self.
When your choices upset those around you
it may be because you’re being foolish.
But it may be because you’re making your choices
instead of letting them. It will be like this.
Abandon that owned self, and find your own self.

Listen deeply to God.
Let God alone lead you.
Make yourself available to God
as an instrument of righteousness,
and know that even as you let go of your life
you receive life.
-Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Jesus moves on, according to Matthew (Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52), from stories of God-the-Mad-Farmer who sows seed everywhere and refuses to weed the crops, to stories of choices that must be made, stories in which it is not God, but we who must do the choosing, between small seeds that can grow God-crops in the world, and all the welter of things the world wants us to choose instead.
The grain of mustard seed – the smallest of all the seeds, can grow in a weedy patch to become the largest of all the bushes and offer shelter to many birds. A small amount of yeast can grow flour into bread enough to feed a town. The priceless pearl, a small thing among fakes and baubles, has value far greater than everything we own. A great treasure, unexpectedly found in the field of your life, will require everything you have. And the full fishnet, teeming with life and trash, will best be sorted on shore, so bring it all in.
Each of these tales requires everything. And each requires just one thing. The price for the treasures of God is everything we have. And the prize, the treasure, is only one thing, one thing that must be seen and named and taken and prized. And none of them would get you a round of applause in your choosing. And most of them would get you some rolled eyes, or some catcalls, or some Damn Fool!  remark, maybe muttered, maybe said to your face.
After all, who are the likes of you and I to be purchasing pearls? To be selling the farm for something you found in a field? To be wasting all your yeast to raise three barrelsful of flour into bread for strangers? To be planting mustard instead of fig trees or olive groves? And as for that fishnet, any fool can see the old boots, the broken bottles, the sea-bottom trash in that haul – throw it back, cast your net again!

What’s precious, say all Jesus’ stories, is likely to be judged as junk by most folks, and likely to require a lot from you and me. All the stories say – Make yourself available to God (Adapted from “Treasures,” The Bite in the Apple by Nancy Rockwell, July 19, 2014)


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