Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Monday, October 10, 2011

Living the "no"?

Satan is an ingrate...Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of  ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave. ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p 15

See What a Morning - Kristyn Lennox

For many reasons, I am more of a Gospel preacher than one of the Hebrew Scriptures.  In some ways, I am in awe of these ancient stories and how they were passed down from generation to generation, until they were finally recorded.  And then...once they were written down, how they have survived!

I am in awe and I have a deep reverence for these stories and I believe they, like the New Testament, have been God inspired.

I don't jump into them very often when preparing sermons, yet Ann jumps right into the Creation story and she does so in a way that broadens and challenges my heart to find myself within these familiar images.
"From all our beginnings, we keep reliving the Garden story.   
"Satan, he wanted more. More power, more glory. 
"Ultimately, in his essence, Satan is an ingrate. And he sinks his venom into the heart of Eden. Satan's sin becomes the first sin of all humanity: the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simply, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave. 
"Isn't that the catalyst of all my sins?" (Ibid)  
I have never stopped to consider the story of the Fall of Mankind as a story of "ingratitude."

....Well, maybe I have, but not in this particular way and I am almost certain I have never used the word(s) "ingratitude" or "ungrateful" when sharing this story with others.  Yet, reading Ann's insight, I am stretched and find myself within this story.
"Isn't that the catalyst of all my sins? 
"Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other." (Ibid)
I know this ancient story of Adam and Eve. I can see pictures from my youth of two people, with leaves as clothing, crouching behind bushes or trees. know....those old Sunday School pictures and lessons were to teach me a "story" and they did this well! However....this morning I am thinking (that is what these.... thinking)...I am thinking the lessons and stories taught me so "well" that I put these stories on the shelf alongside the Pokey Little Puppy.

Ann continues to offer me a slightly different lens to hold this ancient story:
"'In the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened...' ...Our vision let us see a world spilling with goodness. Our eyes fell on nothing but the glory of God. We saw God as He truly is: good...we were lured....that there was more to see...there was more: the ugliness we hadn't beheld, the sinfulness we hand't witnessed, the loss we hadn't known." (Ibid)

I am hungry. I eat. I am filled. I am emptied and I have to often only seen the material means to fill my emptiness. I have to long ignored what it means to be in communion with God.

I look at all that is wrong around me and around the world, and I wonder where God is...what is he doing?

On my better days, I acknowledge the world, as I see it, is a result of my ingratitude and the blindness that ingratitude may cause.
"I may have said yes to God, yes to Christianity, but really, I have lived the no." Voskamp, p 16
Its these little gems of insights that kind of nudge my gut.

Sunday morning, it is much easier to "see God" within the world.  People gather, we pray, we sing.... Sundays we celebrate the sacrament of the Table all is renewed.  Yet, comes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday....

"I hunger for filling in a world that is starved." (Voskamp, p 17)

I may have said yes to God, yes to Christianity, but really I have lived the no.

You know, I think....I know I could admit this as well, as hard as it is to admit...

I have already journaled that I am preaching on God's Will/Plan for my/our lives.  Within the context of my sermon I have said that God spoke over and again that he had a plan to bring me/us back to fill me once again with his glory.   With his glory and with his grace.

....but really I have lived the no...

...filled once again with his glory and with his grace...

That's enough for my heart to hold and ponder on this day.

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. First, the Thanksgiving Chair does need no words. Perfect as it is.

    Second, I believe with all my heart our lack of gratitude is the 'root of all evil'. I still have not had a chance to start this book, but I am getting more and more excited to begin!

    Have a wonderful week. blessings ~ Tanna