Friday, July 3, 2009

Turning the "Stuff I am Gonna Do" Page

"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." - Ephesians 5:19-21

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

My husband, Bill, and I went to see the 3-D Disney/Pixar movie, "UP" today. The movie has been out in theatres for several weeks now. I love animated films and fortunately, God blessed me with two guys in the husband department who were serious comic book collectors. Thankfully, neither has been afraid to see animated films with me.

I won't give away the entire storyline for "UP" here because some of you may not yet have seen the movie. But I will give a brief synopsis. (Note: This all happens early so, I don't think I am spoiling anything for anyone who hasn't seen the movie.) The story is about Carl, who has lost his wife, Ellie after many years together, and a little boy named Russell who is trying to earn a merit badge for assisting the elderly. The movie chronicles the adventures of Carl and Russell. It is a beautiful story about love and adventure, and how sometimes the adventure is all about perspective.

The writers of "UP" did a great job of telling Carl and Ellie's love story with pictures... without words. I have to tell you that some of those pictures opened up some emotions relative to my first marriage that I haven't felt in a long time. And it surprised me that some of those feelings were still there, eleven years after Tony's passing. I certainly could relate to Carl's loss, although I was much younger at Tony's death. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I had a little bit of a pity party going on inside my head there for a bit. But in all honesty, I didn't stay there long. As the movie moved forward, I actually found myself rooting for Carl, and secretly hoping that he would finally turn a page in the adventure book!

Life is not easy. And God didn't promise that it would be. But one thing that I have discovered in the many ups and downs of my own life: God is trustworthy. He is faithful. That means that I can take things one day -- one adventure -- at a time. Why? Because He is for me... and if He is for me, who can be against me? (Rom. 8:31)

Are those adventures going to be exotic?? Probably not. More likely, they will be daily encounters with a small group of people that God has placed in my sphere of influence. And more than likely, they will consist of doing simple daily routines and perhaps with a crazy day thrown in just for fun every now and then. But one thing will be certain: the adventures aren't ever about me, so much as they are about bringing glory to God and about being a blessing to someone else.

And as long as God writes the script for my life, I can turn the page each day in confidence. Because whatever He decides for me (good or bad) is going to be worked out for my good. He has promised that. (Rom.8:28)

So where are you headed? What's the next page going to look like in the chapter of your adventure book? Whatever it is, go for it! Turn the page!

I'll leave you with the words of songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman, from his hit, "The Great Adventure":

Saddle up your horses, we've got a trail to blaze!
In the wild blue yonder of God's Amazing Grace!
Let's follow our Leader into the glorious unknown!
This is life like no other --
This is the Great Adventure!

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