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I’m forgettable…. that’s what I am…

Not too many weeks ago, I was watching American Idol and Simon told one of the contestants that she was forgettable. Ouch…  I hurt for her.  What a terrible thing to say to someone…..I can’t remember her name but ….. Okay, I guess he proved his point… ugh.  simon_cowell_pauls__457703a

I think it bothered me so much because I’ve been in that forgettable boat lately too…. twice on facebook and once in person.  While shopping at the nearby Meijer one day I ran into a high school classmate.  He passed right by me having no clue who I was.  After I freaked him out by calling him by his name, he said with a smile, “Nancy, I haven’t thought about you in years” … Now  you might be thinking that I’m going overboard with the whole forgettable thing with just that one comment but bear with me here….

Then on facebook, two of my guy friends who I spent time with and just adored in school  … one even gave me a nickname and called me by it for years… well, they acted (or ” for realled”) as if they didn’t know who I was… I will have to say that my ego was completely bruised.  I thought that all of these guys would have the same  memories as my memories.  I thought the one would automatically call me by my nickname again.  I thought the other would have thought about the whole 8th grade crush thing because I was pretty obvious about it.  Better yet,  I thought the other would strike up conversations about the church events that we went to together or the pranks we played on others… I will have to say that I was disappointed to see all of their little chat conversations with others were way friendlier than those that they sent me….  I’m thinking they either truly don’t remember me or don’t remember how connected we were… or at least how connected I thought we were … No, I’m not playing the violin of pity (well, maybe a little) as I write this, because I realized that the American Idol girl and I are still not in this forgettable boat alone… this is not some little fishing boat… we are talking an enormous cruise boat… the SS Forgettable… large enough for everyone to get on board… forgettable
Pretty much what I’m getting at is that everyone is forgettable.  Think about it…. can you name your great-grandmother’s maiden name?  What about your great great great grandfather’s name?  Do you know how many siblings your great grandmother had?  What about a former President?  Do you know the names of  Abraham Lincoln’s children or at least the name of the one son that lived through adulthood?  Okay all of this may sound pretty depressing or hopeless but hang in there… good stuff is coming….

Unless you have an extraordinary place in history (and even if you do, Mr. Lincoln) being forgettable is inevitable.  In Genesis, the story of Joseph is told.  He saves Egyptians and Israelites from lack of nourishment during a drought and is deemed a legend/hero and yet when you read the first few lines in Exodus you’ll see that a new king took the throne and didn’t know about Joseph… Joseph, pretty much a hero, was forgotten… it’s just going to happen… but there is some hope and some good here.

Luke 13 was part of my reading today… It begins with Jesus telling a parable about a tree and how the land owner tells the caretaker to cut down the tree that is bearing no fruit… the caretaker pleads with the owner for one more chance to help the tree produce at least once before it was cut down… the meaning?  It is simple …..A tree that produces no fruit is forgettable… worthy of being chopped down… a tree that produces fruit lives on and on…and we are not talking a physical fruit tree but a spiritual one…

Makes you think about the fruit that you may or may not be producing…

I am a product of a person who was producing fruit…I won’t forget that tree nor the nourishment it gave… ever… and hopefully I will produce fruit too and  nourish it in the same manner continuing the cycle…

So, we’re all forgettable … that’s what we are….. but our fruit always seems to remember where it came from… leave the forgettable to the naked trees and take advantage of the second chance…. go produce!

Luke 13

6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

8‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.‘ ”

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Posted by on March 24, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Life Stories

 

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Super Communicator …. Helping the Misunderstood and Saving the World

American Idol is one of those shows that I said I would never watch…. Never say never.  I’m not addicted but I sure don’t like to miss it.  Several weeks ago there was the airing of auditions at their stop in Louisville.  Well, as a Kentuckian, naturally I wanted to watch…. as if I wouldn’t have watched any other city… but you know what I’m saying. I wanted to watch people from my region have their 15 minutes or less of fame.  mark-mudd-jrOne guy, Mark Mudd, definitely got his 15 minutes.  He was in multiple commercials and highlights giving what looked to be the look of death (Say those last three words with a deep, melodic voice for a more dramatic reading)  I, like the rest of America, was on the edge of my seat waiting to see exactly what happened and what we Kentuckians are like.

The time came for American Idol to focus on the life story about this guy who would eventually give the doomed evil look.  From that biography we found out that he was really a pretty sweet guy who had actually gone through a lot during his life.  He came in, sang his little song and didn’t make the cut.  As he left he told the judges, “Take care and be careful.”  The judges went ballistic… or at least Paula did. Well, I think they all did to a certain degree.  They took his words as a threat…. as if the guy was telling them to be careful where they go because he might “git ’em” ….Paula jumped at the guy and told him that “you don’t say that to people…”   I started thinking about it. You know,  I say ” Be careful” quite a bit to people.  It is an endearing goodbye as I want the recipient of those words to know that I want to see them again.

I became a little frustrated. I wondered if Paula had gone into another country like Italy and someone said, “Ciao,” would she have the nerve to say, “You don’t say that to people, you might make them think you want to eat them”?  I doubt it.  Good grief, we live in a huge country. Even though we are a United States, I’m thinking it wouldn’t hurt for these folks to do a little studying up on the cultural sayings of the area before they head into a region…. super-communicator

Regardless, the guy was just misunderstood.  I would have liked to have swooped into that room, just like a superhero (I shall name me, Super Communicator) and taken that young man back in front of the judges and explained to them that he was being endearing… a gentleman.  They would have seen the error of their ways and apologized before the guy was made out to be some weirdo in front of millions of people watching.

Super Communicator must have entered into the picture somewhere because American Idol posted an apology for their misunderstanding.  Unfortunately for Mark Mudd, it came after the airing and more so, came quietly where most won’t even know it happened… and probably don’t care.

The American Idol judges misunderstood the intentions of a young man and in doing so they seemed to have missed out on an opportunity of warm Southern hospitality from a regular good guy.

Okay,  so I’m not really Super Communicator out saving people from their state of misunderstanding but maybe someone else is (though I do like my Superhero alter ego outfit)

I’ve been there before and I know being misunderstood stinks…

In Mark 5:1-20 there are a couple of incidents of someone being misunderstood…

The whole incident is about Jesus ridding a man of a legion of demons.  The guy was off living in the tombs (burial caves) by himself because of his demon possession.  The community around him had given up on him and he could not be subdued by anyone nor bound by chains.  So there he was among the caves literally tearing himself apart in misery.   When Jesus arrived he cast out the demons into a herd of pigs.  The pigs…. lots and lots of pigs …went running down a steep bank and into a lake where they drowned.  Those watching the pigs (would they be considered pigherds?  just curious) ran to tell the townspeople.  When they went to check things out they saw the cave guy sitting up, dressed and acting normal.  Others who had seen all of this take place started telling the story about what happened… verifying it… and the townspeople became frightened and begged Jesus to get out of town.

Okay, so Cave guy, he was misunderstood…. well, maybe not so much him being misunderstood as it was people just giving up on him and being frightened of him.  He was obviously dangerous and violent.  As a parent I can totally understand why I would be glad that he was up in those caves away from my family. I can’t say they were wrong in their fear.  But there is also something else I see here…..  This guy just needed Christ in his life.  He was mean, unkept, weird and definitely scary to those around him, but Christ met him and changed his life.  He took those demons out of his life and Cave guy became Normal guy.  Sometimes I think that is how we view people… we fear them because we are unsure that they are really like us so therefore we stay far away.  We misunderstand actions or looks as mean, weird or scary when we don’t understand the demons that they are wrestling…. maybe not the exact same kind of demons that Christ sent out (or maybe they were) but similar… you know, demons of worthlessness, demons of divorce, demons of addictions, demons of abuse, demons of neglect, demons of depression, demons of eating disorders and on and on…. “Cave guy” can be a neighbor, a co-worker, a teacher, a student, a friend, an enemy…. someone who needs Christ to help him get rid of those things that keep him from being able to be close to others, being loved or loving others- in reality, living life as intended…Yes, he was frightening. Yes, he was dangerous and different than others, but Christ didn’t leave him when Cave Guy bowed before him.

Then there is the rest of the story- Jesus- he was misunderstood too… Now here is a man (actually God) who has just taken this demon possessed, scary man and turned him into someone new and the people who were originally scared of this guy aren’t pleased… the words don’t really say exactly why they pleaded with Jesus to leave but I have some speculations.  Other scriptures refer to disciples being terrified when Jesus calmed the storm or others thinking that Jesus was not doing the work of God but of Satan when he healed… I think Jesus’s work was too big to understand… too powerful and too much to grasp.  I guess they could have been upset about the pigs dying too, but I’m leaning toward the frightened theory.   Isn’t that the way we are today though? We see Christ at work but we don’t really know how to handle it.  We misunderstand the intentions of God and then  just like those people, we seem to want to put him on a boat and get him out of town….in other words, we don’t understand why we must go through something and we send Christ on his way all because we could not see the big picture….

We misunderstand people because we don’t understand them completely and we misunderstand the work of God because we can’t understand it completely.  It seems we sure can miss out on a lot of good when we misunderstand and refuse to take another look at people and situations.

Now there is one more thing to be said about the demon possessed man … he had a serious issue and we see that Christ was the only one who could help him. I think that is important.  I’m not advocating putting oneself in danger or staying in a dangerous or abusive sitution just because we are trying to understand why another person acts the way they do… Christ can open doors for professional help and treatment. Our job is prayer and listening to God for direction, protection and strength.

So that makes Christ the Super Communicator, able to take demons out with a single sentence, able to change the way we understand and able to save the world…


Have you misunderstood what God was or is doing in your life?  Have you missed out on seeing his work because you asked him to go?  What about a person who is hurting, alone or is aching and needs Christ to renew them?  Is God asking you to be the person who goes to the caves to get that person and guide them to him?   Just think what you could be missing.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2009 in Devotions, Faith, Fun, Life Stories

 

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