...You mind if I ramble for a moment?
I'm in a summer book study. I'm loving the conversations each week. The lively input.
We're reading the book Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman. I borrowed the teen version from some friends a couple of years ago -- great read. I enjoy listening to these women's thoughts regarding the difference between being a fan and being a follower of Jesus.
One gal, she leans forward when she speaks but doesn't scoot to the edge of her seat. Her tone is raw, like she's showing us emotions that were dragged through the gravel in the last week. She shares openly, breaks open her doubts and desires right there for all of us. Reveals the messiness and lets it linger.
Last week, my friend Michelle, sent home what she's aptly dubbed "Crack Brownies." There were eight in the bag. Two each for LeRoy, Eli, Zeke, and Israel. Brownies filled with all sorts of love: peanut butter, caramel, chocolate on several levels. And in an effort to love me well, she didn't send any for me because she knows I'm in the throes of working toward better health and fitness. Do you see where this is going?
Suffice it to say that one little tiny bite at a time... because my line of reasoning is that I can satiate my craving with one tiny bite... Well, you can imagine my dismay when a couple of days later there were only two brownies left.
Here's the worst part... I didn't even realize I had eaten all those brownies until my friend asked me if my family had enjoyed their brownies. I knew the brownies were disappearing, so I enthusiastically told her that, yes, they had gotten them. Confused, she asked me why one of them had reported that they didn't know what she was talking about when she inquired the day before. Huh? Ya, I suddenly found myself replaying in my mind all the moments in the last few days that I broke off "just a little corner." I guess if you break off "a little" of enough corners...
When I wrote my friend to repent and ask for forgiveness for eating the brownies she sent home to my family -- to tell her that I wanted to make it right, just give me the recipe and I'd make the brownies for them -- she wisely wrote back, "Oh ya! Give the crack addict the recipe to make more crack. I don't think so." Then she told me that the next time she makes them, she'll send the number for her Helpline, too.
I adore her. She comes over once a week to connect, to share ideas and pray. Because she sometimes brings her brownies, we refer to our times together as Jesus and Brownies. I think it's what grace tastes like.
And since you're so graciously allowing me to ramble...
...someone said to me this past week when I was talking about writing a book and starting a business, "It's not about the money." And, you know, not so long ago I would have agreed with that. No,no, it's not about the money, I would have solemnly shook my head in agreement. But now. Now I'm rethinking my beliefs about money.
Would you plan a road trip, fill your gas tank a quarter of the way full, not sure of the distance to the next filling station, and shrug, well, it's not about how much gas is in the tank? We've taken a few road trips, (ya, I'm understating that), and when we see the gas gauge reading low, we always ask ourselves how much further until the next gas station. We're headed to a destination and we need so much fuel to get there. It's simply a means of measurement of where we're at and how much we need to reach our goal.
Speaking of goals...
Do you know why I'm ecstatic -- yes, ecstatic -- about today? It's July 1st! Halfway through the year. We have an opportunity to totally rock the second half of 2015!! Two more quarters, Friends! What do you want to achieve in this quarter? What do you want to see happen in the next 100 days?
I spent the better part of Monday working on our BHAG's (Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Thank you for that, Jim Collins.) And I'll be honest, most mornings my eyes pop open at two or three in the morning. I'm scattered and groggy, but alive... to the point that my heart is racing because there is so much to accomplish and time is fleeting and... this passion...
Mercysakes! Do you have a sense of purpose and destiny? Life is too short and amazing and, oh! the romance of it all!
Fan? Follower? To count the cost. ...heh, to count the cost... perhaps we ought to talk people out of coming up at altar calls? That following Jesus is the greatest adventure but that His grace is audacious and reckless? That it offends our senses to accept something so amazing that's so undeserved? Undeserved. And yet. And that beautiful moment when we are transparent in the mess. To step into a lifetime of following, pressing into, Grace.
And if I intentionally broke off the tiniest of corners on enough HEALTHY habits that took me closer to achieving those crazy-big goals... Whooweee! What would that look like?!
And money. It's just another term of measurement. To gauge where we're at in the journey and how much we'll need to get to where we're going. Maybe we only need a half of a dollar. Or maybe hundreds of millions. Where is the destination?
You know me, I'll ask this until my dying day: What keeps you awake at night? What gets you up in the morning? What makes your heart race? Purpose. Destiny. You are created to be a blessing.
How can I best serve you? What do you most need to achieve your goals in the next 100 days?