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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

".....they are more beautiful if they are few"

"One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few."~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh ~
"I want it NOW Daddy!" Says Verucca Salt, to her Daddy just before she's dropped down the garbage chute, in "Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory".
Verucca and I have a lot in common.
When I was a kid- we'd go "Up north" for vacation each year. (In Michigan, that's where we go--- UP NORTH;) Each year- I'd fill a pail with the most beautiful shimmering clam shells, and petosky stones- and usually a painted turtle- too. At the end of the week, I couldn't even lift the bucket. Then, I'd have to decide, what I could actually carry home with us. (The turtles never did... something about diseases and stuff... which I never understood, as I had been playing with them all WEEK)
I remember sorting out the broken shells, keeping only the whole ones (preferably the ones that looked like butterflies, because they were still connected;) and only keeping the smoothest petosky stones. Whole shells and smooth stones were rare, beautiful and precious. I weeded out the others- but, in truth? I still wanted them ALL.
I suppose, not much has changed in regards to that desire- even now. Not so much in the "stuff" sense,though I do have some shoes;) (or shells and rocks for that matter- my guys bring PLENTY of them home, no turtles either-they DO carry diseases! Though , at the moment there is a container of worms in my fridge for fishing purposes;)
For me, the struggle is more in the "wanting to know" sense. I hear my prayers asking questions, wanting to KNOW all the answers. I want to understand everything that can be known of God. "I want it NOW Daddy!" Could be my prayers, interpreted.
I desperately want as much of God- as He will give. Years ago, when my kids were young, they were involved in "Bible Quizzing" I stood in absolute amazement, at the amount of scripture they could memorize. They could "buzz in" after a few words....and complete the scripture. It challenged me to work on memorization. Something I am (still) TERRIBLE at.
I used drill cards, I used scripture memory songs. Nothing much seemed to work. I started to be jealous of those (yes- even my kids!) who could memorize large portions of scripture. I started to be frustrated and angry with myself for not being able to remember the "chapter and verse- reference" (I have a MAJOR aversion to numbers;) It seemed like nothing I tried worked.
Somewhere along this time- our church was offering a program for young Christians, called "The Master's Commission" they devoted a year to study and ministry in seeking God. I was privileged to get to know these "kids" through providing a meal for them each month... I was able to watch them grow. On leaving the program, one of the young men- (Derrick- though the spelling on that may be wrong) wrote an article for our church "newsletter". He said something along these lines.. (forgive the loose paraphrase... as the newsletter is long gone)
"It's not that I need to learn any MORE about God- but to learn to apply, what I've learned."
On reading the quote for today, by Anne - I realize, that the scripture truths I hold most closely, aren't the ones I struggled to learn through "memorization technique"- but the ones I struggled to learn through life. The ones made alive, through God's revelation by His Holy Spirit. The few, I've learned to apply. Those are the ones imprinted on my heart, because of my resonant experiences with them. Those are the scriptures that are rooted and alive in my heart. Those are the "shells" I treasure.
Maybe, sometime- I'll go through my journal and start posting the stories that imprinted the verses on my heart, like when we desperately desired a house of our own.. when we thought we'd lose our babies- before ever holding them.. (yes- all three times) when there was no milk in the fridge- and we were trusting God to many stroies- so many verses that God has spoken... but in comparison to the WHOLE Bible? Or knowing ALL of God? Not even close. Yet- these truths are so precious to me. Like the shells and the stones- they are all I can carry, for now- and I treasure them.
After all these years- I realize I will never know ALL of God, until He reveals Himself, upon arrival n His presense. Maybe I don't NEED to now. Maybe- just maybe, the rarity of what I know now- helps to keep it precious. Like shells on the beach.
Dear Lord- help me to treasure the little of you that I know- show me more of you- and help me to be satisfied in you- I love you Lord- amen.

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