The Gator And Me –
The Gator and Me,
We are not friends you see,
Because when the Gator Sees me,
He thinks of how tasty I would be.
I don’t know why He thinks that way,
I don’t know why He thinks me a filet,
All that being said I dare to say,
He will not be tasting me today.
Wooo Hooo, It’s finally hear! The day we have been expecting, It has finally arrived! With excitement in our hearts and anticipation creating a buzz all around we dress to the 9n’s. Jewelry, suits, ties, makeup (for the ladies) and let’s not forget those sharp, but ever slightly uncomfortable shoes that complete any stellar wardrobe ensemble. One this special occasion, this rarest of days, we cannot forget the most important part. Our elephant. It is, in fact, “Bring Your Elephant to Church Day”
On this day of days, this ginormous occasion, of enormous significance, we absolutely can not forget to pack our profusely over sized, ponderous, pachyderm. Sounds quite preposterous, doesn’t it? Sorry, I just had to throw in a another big “P” word, for effect.
What does this day entail, besides making room for the oversize mammals in the pew or aisle next to us? Well, it’s real impact would be found when everyone could see everyone else’s massive, smelly, beast of burden, and know, they are not the only ones that lug these things around. Yes! that’s what I am getting at. We all have them. The thing we carry around that know one seas but wears so heavily on our hearts, or perhaps the sin that other people might know about, but no one dare say a word, because they don’t want to be seen as mean or judgmental. Inside we could be crying out in desperation, but if no one wants to share their elephants, then no one wants to share their elephant.
Church should be the place where all our elephants are welcome. We should have a special section filled to the top with peanuts and hay so they are comfortable while we worship God, and then we can show them off. Tell people that this burden or hidden sin is too much to keep in our house any more. It eats too much, it poops too much, and it’s too darn big. Heck every time it moves around in our house there goes another one of our porcelain collection of “Precious Moments” left to us by our grandma. We have got to take them somewhere! Why not church? Why not go to the House of God and say “Here, I can’t deal with this thing any more. It is just too much animal for me”. We don’t though, we can’t right, because if everyone saw our elephant, then we would not be welcome. The fake smiles, and half hearted handshakes would not be enough to cover up the stench of real sin, and the hearts in real pain.
Most of the people that have left the body of Christ, did so because one day their elephant came to church with them, and they were turned away. More often then we would like to admit, they didn’t even make it past the door, because it wasn’t big enough to let the massive mammals they had with them, in. The ones that do managed to slip past the front door are scurried into a room that know one knows about, or perfumed and adorned to look like something more then they are. Ether way, an elephant, is an elephant.
Jesus, lived, and loved the people who had the biggest, meanest, smelliest elephants. The sins that could not ever be hidden. The pain that seemingly could never be fixed. He loved them, held them in his hands and heart, and then he did something only God could do. He looked at the person with love, and then the beast, well, he sent that beast packing, trunk and all! He freed them! No more elephant!
Lets do it! lets have a day were we can change, be truthful, be real, stop trying to cover our burdens with giant blankets that clearly are in the shape of an elephant. Bring your pachyderm to church. You want to know what the absolute best thing about “Bring Your Elephant to Church Day” is, you get to leave him there! And that my friends is AWESOME!
It’s not! It just isn’t. One moment you are sitting on a flower, soaking up the sun, enjoying a lovely spring day, and in the next moment a windshield is careening at you at 60 miles per hour… or at least it would be if you were a monarch butterfly who happened to venture over one of the many highways right next to that lovely park. It’s not fare! Something so beautiful shouldn’t have to die, and yet, it does. Just like us. We get sick, we get wounded, we fall, we fail, we die.
I do not wish to sound depressing or morbid. On the contrary. My goal is simple. It is to say that though this life is not fair there is hope. There is life beyond this one. That is what I hold on to when I hear about something tragic in my life or the lives of others.
The average monarch butterfly lifespan is only eight months. It is rather short, but it can do a lot in that time. It can fly thousands of miles, pollinate thousands of flowers, and even take a moment to reproduce themselves, continuing the God’s grand circle of life.
With the power of Christ love we have hope that this isn’t it. Even if it’s not fair, even if things fall or fail, we have hope. Jesus is our hope. I write this with tears in my eyes, knowing that a dear friend of mine has lost her father to cancer, but one thing I know, from knowing his daughter, to hearing the testimony of his life, He HAD HOPE, and now he is with the LORD Jesus Christ. Praise God.
O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O LORD, from childhood. Psalm 71:5
Have you ever been the victim of someone on a high horse? Hopefully not literally, but figuratively speaking of course. I know I have. Recently in fact. The “High Horse” mentality happens when people self elevate to scrutinize others, looking down upon them from some lofty place they set for themselves far above those they judge. That got me to thinking, were did the term “Get Off Your High Horse” originate?
I did a little research and came up with this, people of importance actually used to ride high horses. Dignitaries, government officials, higher ranked officers in the military, all would obtain the tallest stead to ride, giving them a towering position, domineering over their fellow horse riders, and presenting themselves as larger than life. When the use of horses for battle became less common people began to use the term to mean someone who elevated themselves above others in thought, deed or action to be seen as superior.
Jesus came with a completely different mentality. Here he was, God, in the flesh, and he presented himself as a humble servant, loving rather then judging. He washed the feet of those he taught to show them how they should treat others. The only people he ever spoke ill of were the religious leaders who exalted themselves above everyone else. They called themselves holy, but they were full of holes, and they were the ones on the “high horse” in his day, and he told them that they would be brought down. So weather you are the victim of a high horse rider, or the mounted one, remember the words of Christ… “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Matthew 23:12
Did you ever take a look at a caterpillar? They Are kind of freaky looking, some even down right gross. Personally I would not want to be a creepy, crawly, worm like creature that had to move from place to place just hoping that there weren’t any birds around to eat me, kids around to torture me, or adults with size ten shoes to accidentally step on me. It seams like it would be kind of a rough, crewel life.
But, all of that being said. I would love to be a butterfly. To flutter from place to place on the warm breezes of summer, be admired for the balance of strength, beauty, and delicate design. Visit every brightly colored flower in every garden I could find. Now that would be the life. But wait…oh darn it, If I want to ever be a butterfly, first I have to be, ugh, a caterpillar. If I ever want to be all that God had intended for me to be I guess I have to get used to crawling on my belly for a while, because with out that, I would never grow the wings that I needed to fly.
I know I do. All the time. So much to do, I can push, pull, force and frantically move, and I still can’t seem to get what I wanted done in the amount of time I wanted it done in. Often times the lack of ability to, speed up, get the job done, move quicker, has made me feel like I have failed in some way. Then there is the Tortes.
Most people remember hearing the story of the tortes and the hair when they were children. The hair was quick as quick could be, and left the poor tortes in the dust, but in the end, the meek, the mild, the slow, the steady one, is the one who crossed the finish line first. Much to the hair’s chagrin, his lowly friend bested him with the tenacity only a turtle could have.
I met a tortes one day, moving slowly along, crossing an empty parking lot. He had a goal, a purpose, and a destination. It didn’t matter that he was slow, all that mattered was that he kept moving. And, though I didn’t have the time to watch the entire adventure take place, I am sure that he reached his destination, because he wouldn’t stop. Not even for a crazy girl with a camera in his face. He just kept on moving.
Next time I feel like I am moving at turtle speed, I am going to think of that tortes, and remember as long as I keep going, have my goal in mind, and stop worrying about the when, I will reach my destination.
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
It’s Huge. It’s There. You can’t hide it, sweep it under a rug, drape a nice linen table cloth over it. No matter what you, or how hard you try and cover it up, the truth is it is a massive, stinking, giant of an animal, and it somehow squeezed it’s way through its portal of choice into the room you find yourself.
So, what does one do when they find themselves in the presence of an elephant? Most people ignore it, thus the phrase is coined “Ignoring the Elephant In the Room”.
I have been there. An elephant standing in the room with me, and to be honest, I can’t stand it. I want the air to be clear of the presence of any pachyderms, no matter how difficult or embarrassing they might be. Because quite frankly, they stink. I believe we should embrace our elephants. Talk about them openly. Invite it to sit down on the couch with us and share our snack of choice. How else will we ever convince them to leave. Only when we choose to openly discuss what is bothering us, causing us grief, or making us uncomfortable to we get the opportunity to tell the beast to get the heck out of our room.
It is not always easy, sometimes it takes some yelling, and often times tears, (especially from me, because I am a big sap) But talking about the tusker is the ONLY WAY to convince it to hit the road, leaving the room open and free of over sized mammals. Just remember though, if you ignore it, or dance around its massive legs, not only will it stick around, but it will also invite some friends to join the fun.
I don’t know about all of the people who might read this, but the only place I want to see an elephant is at the zoo. God Bless!