I recently used a friend’s shopping bag that was printed all over with one-liners like “live in the moment,” “dance, sing, floss and travel,” “listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.” One in particular piqued my interest.
Do one thing a day that scares you!
As a conservative adventurer, I thought about what would be quick, convenient, safe and still stretch my comfort level. It so happened I was at the property where my old dog’s grave had been dug months before. Max had defied death, and was with me that day as I contemplated the gaping hole, covered with boards, which waited patiently for the inevitable.
Scare-factors: deep hole intended as a grave (that’s creepy all by itself), there might be bugs or worse, and getting back out wasn’t a sure thing – yep, that would do! Without much deliberation (no time to talk myself out of such a strange idea), I hopped in. Ground level was about at my shoulders. Crouching highlighted the profound stillness. I could see the walking world, but no longer felt part of it. And above all, my dear dog, for whom this space was lovingly reserved, gazed down quizzically.
All of a sudden I realized that this somewhat impetuous mini-adventure had formed a sweet bridge between life and death. Looking up at Max, I realized that one day soon I would be looking down and saying goodbye, but for now, it seemed like I was making the space a little more friendly by my presence.
Didn’t Jesus go to the cross, the tomb and beyond for us? Didn’t our victorious predecessor friend take the sting out of death for us? What I did was nothing like that, but somehow it seemed to help soften the eery edge of my companion’s imminent death.
And something else – from that lowly perspective, everything that I cared about and wanted to return to was above.
I play senior women’s basketball and a team member recently mentioned that she likes to play basketball because, “you look up a lot.” I’d never thought about that before, but it’s true!
There are certainly times to bow in reverence to God, but we are also urged, at appropriate times, to look up.
- Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. Colossians 3:2
- And when He had taken the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them. Matthew 14:19
- …looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Hebrews 12:2
While it was fun to try something “scary,” and the exercise yielded insights, in general, I don’t recommend taking life cues from a shopping bag. The Good Book is, of course, unequaled as a rich source of life-giving stories, examples, proverbs, axioms, maxims, aphorisms and adages for the Thinking Christian Woman whose life is looking up!
© 2012 Melody K. Anderson
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