January 12 Reflections

This past week I was reading a blog in the BeMoreWithLess website and it spoke to me in a deep way. I have that now and then, where I will come across something that sets my soul on fire because it resonates within me.  These are words I have thought and even pieces of them have written down, but Courtney the blogger, puts it all together in one paragraph.

I don’t want my legacy to be containers full of stuff. When people remember me, I don’t want them to remember my shoes, my furniture or decades of things I stored in containers. When people I love grieve me, I don’t want them to have to make decisions about things I never really cared about. I don’t want my legacy to be containers full of stuff, but rather how I loved while I was here.

For me, I hope they remember how I loved well, because I do believe that loving well is the essence of true spirituality. It requires experiencing connection with God, others and our self. That is why I believe it is so important to be consistently thinking about healthy relationships. We are on that journey now as we think about our identity (bottom line who we are) and self-definition (What I will do, what I won’t do. What I say no to. What I will say yes to. Where I end and you begin) and Connection (offering our hand during self-definition). It really is a movement, almost a dance: both hands out palms up (our identity is a gift from God); one hand made into a fist and raised up by our head (self-definition); and last the other hand reaching out as to shake hands ( Connection). This is the movement of healthy relationships.

This coming Sunday we are going to think about this in terms of when a relationship breaks down as in the story of Jacob and Esau. It is a story of surrender. It is a story of trusting that God will give the strength for reconciliation. Jacob in many ways thought he could appease Esau by giving him all his stuff. All Esau wanted was a relationship with him. It was as if he said to Jacob, “What is all this stuff you are sending me. I don’t want it. I want you. I love you. I want to be in relationship with you.” Loving well is not about things or stuff. It is about a relationship. It is, I think, the same way in our relationship with God. We might think if I give this to God or if I do this for God, he will love me. God says, “I don’t want any of that. What I want is you, just you, surrendered to me, without your stuff. God, too, simply wants a relationship with you.  We are going to think about this on Sunday. Some passages to read and reflect on: Genesis 32; Genesis 33; Philippians3:1-11.

Grace upon Grace,

Pastor Verlyn