United Methodist Bishop Joe Pennel, in his book God, Cornbread and Elvis, tells us that we have stir crazy lives.
Umm. . . . . . yeah, we do.
I’ve been using the book God, Cornbread, and Elvis: Pondering the Things of Everyday Life by Joe E. Pennel, Jr (former Bishop of the Virginia United Methodist Conference) for my devotional time. In one of the ponderings from Bishop Pennel, he talks about going into a small town and seeing the same set of characters playing checkers and whittling. He observed that the “whittlers whittled, but they ‘never made anything.’ (111)”
Pennel warns us about doing the same. We get comfortable in the ministries or the missions we’re involved in and we forget to see God among us. We forget to look for God. We forget to find our growing edges. We forget to listen to and for God who is calling us to grow.
I think at some point in our faith journey, we all struggle with going with the motions. As if something was tugging at our hearts, telling us there is more to this faith stuff then what we’re experiencing. In what could easily be the best episode in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer‘s 7 seasons, “Once More with Feeling” was a musical episode. In that musical, Buffy sings a song that captures this feeling (disclaimer: the only video I could find on youtube with the actual episode, not the best quality, but if you want to learn some Italian, there you go)
I was flipping through the channels the other night and came upon a PBS special where the guest was talking about how everyday brings a gift. This guest went on to say that at the end of the day we should look back upon it and see what the gift was. It struck me at the time, that one way to break us free from going through the motions, is to take a little bit of time at the end of each day to reflect, not just, on where we saw God, but also where did we see God’s gifts to us that day.