Have you ever opened your eyes and started your day with a new attitude – all sparkly and happy? Then, not thirty minutes into your day, someone comes in and messes up your Sparkly.
You know, I could really be a better Christian and happy person, if only I did not have to deal with people! It’s like trying to Sparkle through Cold Water.
I have been a Christian from birth – Christened as an infant, went to church most every Sunday, confirmed at thirteen, re-baptized at twenty-one, Bible teacher, Christian speaker, Christian author. I am the cookie-cutter shaped Christian woman.
Yes, I have had some unpleasant paths because of my poor choices. But, all in all, I have always tried to do the right thing.
The Prodigal God is a book written by Timothy Keller that I have been reading lately. In it, he talks about the Prodigal Son, in Luke 15:11-32.
I have read that story many times, and I have admired the Elder Son. He stayed, he worked hard – he is what every child should grow up to be!
But, Timothy brings to light some points that I have never noticed before.
The Elder son was doing what was right, as a means to an end. Not because his heart was so good, but because he wanted something.
He did what was right to get approval, and to be in a better position. When things did not go his way, he became angry, disrespectful, and then, passive-aggressive.
Suddenly, my eyes were open. I have traits like the elder son. We all do, to a certain extent.
We do what is right, with the expectation of others responding the way we would like for them to respond. And, if they don’t respond in a way that achieves what we would like, then we become angry, frustrated, critical, perhaps even insulting.
Here is where I find one more area of my life that is in need of surrendering to the Lord.
I am like the kid who says, they have emptied their pockets; then, one by one, more rocks, and crayons, and sticks, and unidentified objects, are placed on the table.
Yes, I have been a Christian all of my life, trying to do what is right. But there is a lifetime of things that I have held in my pocket and not surrendered.
But, it is when someone puts water on my sparkly and I fizzle out, that I realize that perhaps there are some things in my pockets that I have not yet surrendered. Maybe, my whole life has not been surrendered to Him.
Maybe I’m still holding on to little things that dirty me up, and calling them “mine”. Until I give it all to Him, it is difficult to keep my sparkle going full-time.
Realizing that a good attitude, and Joy, cannot be maintained in our own strength is an important fact to know in the Christian walk.
Joy, and a good attitude (aka – My sparkly) come from the Lord. And they last, when we open our hand and release the sticks and rocks that we think are our reward.
God is the rewarder of those who come to Him in faith, but the greatest reward is Christ.
We do what is right, because it is right. We keep our eyes on Christ, not the material reward. Then, when any reward comes our way, the delight is so much greater. It is greater, because we were not expecting…demanding…manipulating the outcome.
So, today, I surrender my sparkly to God. Only He can maintain its beauty long-term.
Are there any rocks or sticks in your pockets that God needs to exchange for something beautiful? Has anyone messed up your sparkly? How can I pray for you today?
P. S. The Photos, though bearing my logo, were taken by Doc!
Linking today with A Holy Experience, The WellSpring, Gracefulj, and Just Write
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Never thought of sparkly as an attitude. Thought of it as more of a personality trait. I like your idea better! Great devotion!
Thank you Cindy. Loved having coffee with you!
Oh how I love those images, Di! And good for your sweet Dad! I especially love the second because that’s how life feels sometimes. And when you’ve got a bunch of stuff in your pockets and life spins you around, sometimes the stuff goes flying out and makes a big ol’ mess!
Better to empty your pockets before God and let Him deal with them. Thanks for the reminder to sparkle 🙂
Susan, That is why I love bouncing ideas off you. I love how you have a different take than I do. “The stuff goes flying out and makes a big ol’ mess” Classic Susan!
Love this — praying God helps me to “surrender my sparkly” to Him as well. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Lyll. I appreciate you stopping by and visiting!
yup- been a life-long Christian, too- and like the older brother- have often functioned out of people pleasing- not realizing that in doing so I was NOT pleasing God. When I found that out, it was enough of a shock to help me change tack.It’s hard to empty out pockets huh? !!
Good analogy tho- thsnks- pictures help me to remember vital lessons.
To me you are sparkly Di- like the polished diamond that you are.
Pray for me today because it feels like a new work-mate may have “cursed” me and I have been sick for a week. She laid hands on me 3x the day before i got sick.
Standing on bible promises- and asking God what am to learn through this experience!
May it be used for growth in WISDOM please Lord.
I’ve prayed for you today, Mary, and will continue to pray!
Thanks Di ~!
A prayer=partner gave me wisdom, also- when i return to work I will be applying full body armour and a good covering of the blood of Jesus!
I have to admit that even though I was a token Christian all my life I didn’t “get it” until 2001. Christ made a radical shift in me. But I can still see the oldest prodigal in myself as well. I try to make sure what I do is for Him and not for me. But I am sure the lines blur many times.
Blessings and thanks for a great post.
I run a community called Wednesday’s Word and would love it if you would link to it.
God’s timing is a funny thing, isn’t it Janis? Thank you for stopping by!
You and I must have a lot in common … I have been a Christian all my life, too. I also see some elder brother tendencies in me …
I want to surrender my sparkly, too!
Jerralea, I have no doubt that we would have a lot to talk about!
It’s easy to identify with the prodigal son in some ways; not so easy — and therefore maybe more necessary — to identify with the other brother sometimes. Uncovering our assumptions is kind of like yanking off a band-aid — it stings at first, but it brings air to something that needs to heal.
To further go to extremes with metaphors, I think maybe my joy is not always sparkly. I think maybe joy can sometimes be like a rock. Always the same, enduring all weather, solid.
Laura, I love your metaphors. Great reflexions, that I will ponder. =)