Lumbering through Life

Daily Post: Bumble


One of my favorite Disney characters was Jumbo Jr.  Here’s the child elephant which has extremely large ears, not proportionate to his body, so he’s ridiculed and cruelly tagged Dumbo.  The moniker sends his mother into a fit storm that gets her chained up like a criminal.  Jumbo’s bumbling accident wreaks havoc and several elephants are injured, so “Dumbo” is dressed up like a clown and given dangerous acts to perform.  Finally all this leads to the discovery of how his humongous ears have a positive benefit, they enable him to fly.  Now the bumbling elephant becomes the feature show at the circus.

Disney movies had a way of touching children with simple images and stories, while leading adults toward some serious self-examination, and contemplation of life struggles.  There seemed to always be a “lesson” in the bumbling awkward telling of the tale.  Here are a few just to get you thinking…

Lion King … don’t take life too seriously
Aladdin … it is what’s on the inside that counts, nothing else matters.
Cinderella … material possessions can be gone in an instant, but no one can ever take away your dreams.
Winnie the Pooh … close friends are life’s greatest treasures, cherish your time together.
Beauty and the Beast … true beauty is found not in how one looks, but in how one treats others.
Dumbo … what makes you different is also what makes you incredibly special.

I guess this lesson stuck with me.  Within my own self-examination efforts there are times when I imagine myself no more than a bumbling, stumbling, lumbering human, whose awkward attempts at living fall miserably short of what I was designed to be.  At times I’m heavy-footed and uncoordinated, galumphing along the daily path.  Other days I’m tramping and blundering toward a goal, but doing it so ineptly.  The lesson from Dumbo applies to me everyday… I am what I am, I am who I am, and what makes me different, also makes me special.

Profiling can be a very dangerous thing, as we’ve seen recently around the world, as every country continues to fight ISIS, and terrorism in general.  However, there is an excellent way to come to understand the value of uniqueness that God designed in you.  Dr. Mels Carbonell, President of Uniquely You Seminars and Resources, says, “Personality profiling can be a sensitive subject if you don’t explain its importance and function.  The most important advice is to NEVER use the term ‘personality test.’ That definitely gives people the impression that some personalties are better than others.”  The DISC personality profile is a great tool to bring understanding to who you are, and why you think and act in the ways you do.

The Bible is full of expressions regarding the uniqueness of you as well.  While we are all designed in a general human subject context, we are each distinctly different in so many ways.  Consider these verse today, and realize… what makes you different is also what makes you incredibly special... at least to Dumbo, as well as Scripture!

Psalm 139:13-14
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

1 Peter 2:9
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Psalm 119:73-74
Your hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.  May those who fear You see me and be glad, Because I wait for Your word.

Jeremiah 1:4-5
Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Psalm 139:16
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

Psalm 139:2-4
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.  You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.  Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.

Don’t just go lumbering through life!  Use these verses to find meaning and purpose in your life, serving the Creator in your own unique self.

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Through a Glass Darkly


iron age mirrorIron Age mirror   Copyright: Wessex Archaeology
Archaeologists look back in time and help us discover life-like conditions of days gone by.  Stone, pottery and glass hold up pretty well over the centuries.  However, if something was metal, only gold comes out of the ground in pretty much the same condition as when it was buried.  Copper and iron will corrode or completely disappear because of acids in the soil.  Same thing with bone, which keeps well in alkaline soil, but is eaten up in clays or sands which are acidic.  Wood, leather, or other textiles may only be found in waterlogged soil, which reduces decay.  On the other hand if something has been burned, the charred or burned sections may preserve well.  For example a 1,000 year old Anglo-Saxon bread roll was found in Suffolk, in the old remains of a burned house.
Looking backward through the earth’s treasure chest, we can glimpse into the past, before there was YouTube and Instagram.  We don’t have the privilege of the digitalized version of life, instead we get the dark opaque view with little detail beyond the artifact itself.  Which is a great metaphor for life itself.
We hang pictures on our walls to remind us of relationships, places, events, or days now long gone, which we want to memorialize in some way.  With each passing day, the person, place or event grows dimmer in our minds, becoming more and more opaque, the image in the picture becoming just a reminder of the past.  In many ways much like the Iron Age mirror seen above, it gives tangible proof that I lived in those moments.
As human beings we are bound by this present moment.  Memorabilia from our past helps us have context for who we are, and how we got here, and for many people that is enough.  Others however, want to know more.  Many people want to look into the future and see things that we are not capable of seeing either.  We do not have a magic mirror like Belle in Beauty and the Beast where we can ask to see someone or something distant from us.  We long to know, will I be happy?  Will I be successful?  Will I marry?  Will I have children?  How many?  Will I live a long time?  Is there anything else after all this?  We can’t know any of these answers, except in the present – as we live them.
When the Apostle Paul wanted the church in Corinth to understand the importance of Love as the dominant force of life, he wrote about how love acts in real time – the now.  One catching phrase that I remember from my childhood was, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.  now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.”  (1 Corinthians 13:12 – KJV)  The opaque nature of human existence is seen so clearly in these words.  I cannot know my future.  Except to know, that if I am in Christ Jesus, when I do see Him face to face, I will know things, I will be aware of things, that are beyond my view or perspective today.  This will be because I’m no longer bound in my preset present tense limitations humanly.
Will I know everything?  Not hardly, I’m not God.  But I will know more than I do today.
In the same way archaeologists help us look backward, prophets help us look forward.  And we end up with just about the same amount of information forward as we do backward.  What we know of the future is that Jesus is coming again.  We know what this will look like, at least from a description standpoint, even if we don’t know the details of when or how.  Scripture says He will come in the clouds.
We know that when He comes the earth’s shape and function will change, that He will be sovereign King of the planet for a time, and that judgment will be the end of human history after that.  We know that after the judgment, God creates (or re-creates) earth and heaven into what His original design called for, and there we will live eternally as God’s family.  In this place there is no war, no death, no starvation, no political upheaval, nothing but the perfect and complete will of God – resulting in peace and love forever.
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Just because we live opaque lives in the sense of looking backward or forward, does not mean we can’t live the vibrant and brilliantly shining life of love right now – in this moment.  We remember the good times, and block out the bad.  We look forward to the happy, bright future, not the tragedies that may come.  We have a hope and a future, because of Jesus.  Live for today, and quit trying to look through that dark glass for happiness.  It will come, soon enough.
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