After Labor Day

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Here’s what I’m facing:

I sat down at my desk today and took a good long look at the fall ahead of me.  Yikes!  There’s a lot going on.  Do I have the energy?…
I checked the news and see one of the most contentious political races turning nastier by the day…
I fear that this broken world may yet get the best of me…

Thus begins a long, hard fall.

But I’m a rebel.  A maverick.

Let me tell you why.

Today it is officially post-Labor Day.

And when I got dressed this morning, I deliberately picked out something white to wear.

I’ve been wearing this white shirt everywhere I’ve gone today, and nobody has had the courage to tell me of my fashion faux pas to my face, but I know they’re thinking it.

That pastor is wearing white after labor day!

What can I tell you? I was born to break the rules.

Okay, okay, that’s not much of a “rule” to break.  That fashion advice went by the wayside years ago.

Which is good.  Because I think you and I should wear white all autumn long.

Why?

White is known as the color of innocence and purity.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. –Psalm 51:7

The Bible also points to white as symbolic of holiness:

 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. –Mark 16:5

Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil.  –Ecclesiastes 9:8

 

And so I pray:

Instill in me, Jesus, a renewed innocence, that I may view the world through the eyes of a child, and the eyes of faith.
Grant me, Oh God, forgiveness and protection, that I may live in the purity of your Word.
Fill me, Spirit, with your holiness, that every step I take is a step closer to you.

 

Thus begins a long, hard fall.

And every day will be a labor day.

And I will endeavor

to wear white.

 

Have a great week,

Mitch

 

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I’d give this devotion a 4.

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Come in!

Have a seat.

Allow me to predict your future for you.

You have two options:

BEST CASE SCENARIO: What’s next for you will be AWESOME and lead you to a lot of happiness in your future. Congrats! OR…

WORST CASE SCENARIO: Whatever is next for you will be AWFUL and lead to a lot of struggle in your future. Sorry!

That’s about the extent of my ability as a fortune teller. See, I’m one of those “either/or” types. When I think about life, it tends to be in either/or terms. Black or white. Good or Bad. Thumbs up or Thumbs down.

Anybody else do this?

Well, I know you’re out there. Here’s a great example:

Nowadays, if you watch a video on Youtube, you can give it a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down”.

Do you know why?

Up until 2009, Youtube videos used to be rated on a 1-5 scale. But time and again, this is what happened:

A few people would give the video a “1” — as in terrible.

A whole bunch of people would give the video a “5” — as in awesome.

And pretty much NOBODY rated a video a 2, 3, or 4.

Those middle-of-the-road numbers were all but useless. In terms of liking or not liking something, this anecdote would at least suggest that people seem to be pretty dual-minded about it.

Now, does this translate into how people approach their own lives? I don’t really know, but it makes sense to me.

I think there are people for whom gray is a very uncomfortable color. Life seems so uncertain these days. With black or white, you know where you stand and you know what your options are.

1’s and 5’s are easy to discern — it’s those subtler shades in the middle that take real work.

I, for one, believe it’s valuable work, even if I’m not particularly good at it yet.

We must face the possibility that, whatever’s next for you and I may be….just okay. Or maybe there will be good parts and difficult parts. Or maybe it will be really hard at the time, but looking back, we’ll be so glad for all we learned. Or…

Whew. Giving up either/or thinking adds so many dimensions to life. But it may allow us to live more fully and more deeply.

Life is more than a best or worst case scenario. In fact, life is so much more than a “scenario” — It’s a rich and unfolding journey, and the more we accept the nuances, the more we can enjoy the ride.

But if it’s hard for you to let go of the lingo, hold tight to this:

Faith makes any next thing in your life…

A Blessed Case Scenario.

Have a Great Week,

Mitch

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