Monday, February 20, 2012

Make Me a Drop That Sparkles

--
 "Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise."

So go the first lines of one of my favorite hymns. It rightly characterizes my Heavenly Father as the "Fount of every blessing."


A fountain . . . a constant, gushing, rushing flow of water under enough pressure to launch it high into the air, making the beautiful arcing patterns we so enjoy watching. What is known, but isn't so easily noticed, is that the flow of a fountain is made up of millions of individual drops, all directed by the design of the fountain.

Blessing. I like blessings! Blessings never ceasing? Yes, please! I am so conditioned by my very BLESSED Western culture, and by the desires of my own flesh, to want a constant, gushing, rushing flow of blessings. Whether they be spiritual, physical, financial, emotional, personal, I love to be in a state of obvious blessing. Sometimes, when challenges come, like during the last several years of personal and national recession, I can be tempted to FEEL that the flow has been interrupted, that maybe something is wrong on the Fountain end of things.


NOT SO! C. S. Lewis, in the letter from which Up the Sunbeam got its name, talked about some of the things that can prevent us from noticing and properly experiencing God in the blessings He gives, both great and small. He points to "inattention" as one obstacle, and describes another obstacle as our tendency to enjoy the blessing but to "ignore the smell of Deity that hangs about it." He goes on to say, "A third obstacle is greed. Instead of saying 'This also is Thou,' one may say the fatal word Encore"  (Lewis, 1973).
 
OUCH!! Shame on my greedy self! A fatal word indeed. The flow is NOT interrupted. There is NOTHING wrong with the Fountain! He has just shifted my perspective so I can notice His blessings drop by drop. When I notice each blessing and rightly inhale the scent of Divine love it brings to my senses, then my heart, like the hymn says, is tuned to grace, and I am compelled to sing "songs of loudest praise."



"As they make music they will sing, 'All my fountains are in You.'"
Psalm 87:7 NIV




Not only do I desperately need to notice each individual drop of blessing like a tiny liquid diamond, perfect and astounding in its own right, but I need to be more concerned with BEING a blessing than getting one. If God is this Fountain of Blessings, then the people of God must also be part of the motion of His blessing, flowing at the direction of the Fountain Himself.

I am reminded of one of my all-time favorite scenes and movie quotes, from the 1967 production of the Lerner and
 Leowe musical, Camelot. In the final scene, King Arthur, devastated at what appears to be the death of Camelot and his dreams with it, faces a battle he doesn't want to fight. Moments before dawn when the battle will surely begin, a young boy emerges from the fog who wants to fight at his side--he still believes in Camelot! Arthur, with his hope renewed, knights the lad, but tells him he must fight for Camelot in a different way; he tells him to go back to his home and tell people about Camelot, to keep the dream alive wherever he goes. As the boy runs to do the King's bidding, Arthur's friend, aging King Pellinore asks, "Who was that?" Arthur replies, "One of what we all are, Pelli--less than a drop in the great blue motion of the sunlit sea, but it seems some of the drops sparkle, Pelli! Some of them do sparkle!" (Warner & Logan, 1967).

I too have a message, given to me not by King Arthur, but by the King of Kings, and His is not a dying dream but a living one. He has commissioned me to take it wherever I go--to bless the world with His love. Father, let me sparkle for You and Your Kingdom! Let me be more passionate about being a blessing than about getting one! Remove the word "encore" from my spiritual vocabulary and replace it with "This also is Thou." Help me to know You as the "Fount of every blessing" and consistently sing with songs of loudest praise,



"All my fountains are in You!"

Warner, J. L. (producer) & Logan, J. (director). (1967). Camelot [motion picture]. USA: Warner Brothers/Seven Arts.
Lewis, C. S. (1973). Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. London: Harcourt, Inc..

I beg your understanding for this edited post from the archives--I pray it is a blessing to someone!
________________________________

Joining Ann Voskamp in counting His graces for her Multitudes on Monday
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!
In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"
Counting my next 1000 Gifts, joining Ann in The Joy Dare--like a scavenger hunt for graces, gifts and glory!! Wanna come along?  I dare ya!!

The continuing JOY DARE: 
#1127-1147 (February 12th-18th)

12.  3 hard eucharisteos
∙ knowing Mommy needs surgery to repair her neck (on Valentine's Day no less!)--so thankful for the team of doctors, nurses and therapists, AND all the people praying who are moving heaven and earth to help her heal
∙ being 1200 miles away (VERY hard eucharisteo)
∙ waiting
13.  3 gifts found behind a door today
∙ our treadmill that gives me a way to walk without having to be out in the wind and rain
∙ phone call from Mommy, eager and raring to go, letting me know her surgery is at 8:00 in the morning--an answer to prayer so she doesn't have all day to wait around!
∙ She So Sweet's charitable cookies and Drummer Boy's amazing music
14.  3 ways you feel the love of God
∙ my family gathered in our dining room to pray, and so many people praying for our whole family during Mommy's surgery today
∙ sweet Kathy, pastor's wife and dear friend, who went to sit with Daddy while he waited
∙ GETTING WORD THAT THE SURGERY WENT WELL, and her pain is dramatically reduced!
15.  a gift in losing something--the grey cloud that hung over my head until I got that package in the mail
        a gift in finding something--a pair of open tables at Peet's (not always easy to come by!)
        a gift in making something--time for each other
16.  3 gifts in shadows
∙ rising from the shadow of our beloved old Mervyn's store, the shiny new Safeway store where Drummer Boy is a proud Starbucks barista (not to mention free food and big discounts at the Grand Opening!)
∙ when the shadow of disappointing news moved in (finding out we had to buy our new tires immediately because of two that are irreparable), the sun came back out when I got to meet a bull rider--so fun! I'm making this a two-fer because I also have the most wonderful husband who did not hesitate to do what was necessary to put sound "shoes" on my Dream Car!
∙ my computer, the light that keeps shadows at bay in my dining room at midnight--my online classroom
17.  3 gifts found giving/serving
∙ playing taxi-driver mom and getting all that time in the car to hang out with my kids (and their friends)
∙ the sweet fragrance of the cinnamon-dusted apple slices I made for She So Sweet's French class
∙ learning the practical dynamics of team-building in school--every team member gives their effort and expertise, and we all serve one another which is fascinating when we've never met except on the phone, we're spread across three time zones and are all pursuing different degrees!
18.  3 gifts on paper
∙ Hero Husband's paycheck stubs--it wasn't long ago we didn't get to have them--Thank You Father for how hard he works to earn them to provide for us
∙ highlighter ink and scrawled notes throughout the pages of my Bible
∙ instructions that help me know what to do and how to do it

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