Saturday, March 4, 2017

Moving Mountains

It was my regular night to close this week and I was thinking about this week’s post. I had the quote I wanted to use, but I was lacking the story. It may just be the English major in me, but I love a good story. However I have a little bit of an eccentric flaw; I am admittedly a little too involved when it comes to finding out what happens. It is a very rare occasion when I don’t finish something, even if it isn’t that good. I just have to know and I have to make sure I didn’t miss something wonderful.
I was like that even as a baby. I never wanted to go to sleep because I was afraid I would miss out on something. We used to live in an apartment and would hear noises overhead. I would listen attentively and ask, “What’s that?” My mom would inform me that it was “just somebody else.” Hence my answer became, “That’s body’ else.”
A good story draws you in as I just proved and I think stories are sometimes the best way to illustrate a point. As I thought about my message I couldn’t help but feel it needed something to accompany it. I quietly thought:  Lord, I need a story that goes with this. Remind me of something.
I was fully expecting some memory from the past to come rushing into my mind, a perfect summary of what I wanted to say. What I didn’t expect was for the printer to jam.
I picked up the phone and learned the fiction printer wasn’t working. I informed my supervisor and he went to investigate. A little while later he returned with a crunched up paper in his hand and, drum roll, a story.
Now I know I will not be able to describe it like he did so I’ll tell you my version. Our work printer is a laser printer which is good for printing high quantities of regular documents every day. Ink Jet printers on the other hand are great for printing images and can print on multiple types of paper, including glossy photo paper.
A lady had apparently put the wrong kind of paper into the printer to print a t-shirt design and the paper melted inside the manual feed. This action caused the imaging unit to be ruined at a cost of over three hundred dollars, all because the wrong paper was used.
The lesson: it matters what you put inside! Turns out my story had come seconds after asking for it! Isn’t God clever?
I recently found a quote I love in a book I was reading. It is one of the things I am most passionate about in today’s culture. Christians especially need to understand that what we put inside ourselves matters. And it matters a lot. This quote comes from the character of Anne Frank in The Traveler’s Gift:
My life—my personality, my habits, even my speech—is a combination of the books I chose to read, the people I chose to listen to, and the thoughts I chose to tolerate in my mind. Before the war, when I was a little girl, my papa took me to Het Vondel Park on a Saturday afternoon to hear the orchestra play. At the end of the concert, from behind the musicians, a hundred helium balloons of red and blue and yellow and green floated up into the sky. It was so exciting!
“I tugged on papa’s arm and asked, ‘Papa, which color will go the highest?’ And he said to me, ‘Anne, it’s not the color of the balloon that is important. It’s what inside that makes all the difference.”’
“Greatness does not care if one is a boy or a girl. If, in fact, it is what is on the inside that makes all the difference, then the difference is made when we choose what goes on the inside” (Andrews 103).
Too many of us flirt with danger, afraid we will miss something the world has to offer like I did as a baby, when in fact we need to step away from what the world is doing and renew our minds with something better. We need to be so careful about what we put inside our hearts and minds. The wrong kind of paper could be disastrous.
Think about that open heartedly—the sermons you hear, the music you enjoy, the beauty of nature, the words that encourage you, the friends who refresh you, the ideas you read about and your attitude all make you the person you are.
But oh, think about it—the movies you watch, the lyrics you allow, the language you hear, the celebrities you seek to be like, the world view education you encounter, the things you fill yourself with everyday make you who you are.
Which one fills you more? How high would your balloon float? What do you need to miss or let go of in order to have more of Christ in you and less of the world?
Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Only Hope—More of Him!
Andrews, Andy. The Traveler's Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2002. Print.

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