A place to consider the simple complexities of life, faith, leadership, and being.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Our youngest child learned a prayer in preschool that he often recites at dinner. It begins with, "Thank you, God, for this great day..." He believes this truth - that this day is great. Whether in reflection of the day elapsed or in anticipation of the day forthcoming, he senses it's greatness. He completely trusts that this great day has been created by God, for him to enjoy. He can't comprehend the Divine Majesty of such a God that can just create days like this, so he doesn't try to understand it, he simply laughs, plays, cries, and embraces the gift of this day, greatly given.
I love marketing. The nuances, subtleties, and strategies of marketing are fascinating to me. I study it and understand it to a degree. I'm influenced by it daily. Often, I can resist the pitch. I realize that I don't need the shiny new vehicle that I'll never be able to afford. Other times, I can't get out of the way of the messaging. In spite of my media recognition, I'm drawn. We often buy generic cereal. With the exception of the packaging that always bursts when you tug it open, resulting in a cereal explosion, the product is strikingly similar to it's heavily marketed counterparts. However, I recently had to pass on the toasted oat generic staple that we typically buy and go with it's big brand brother. The back of the box read "trusted." A simple marketing message indeed. It's the sentiment that pulled me to pick up the box. I did trust them. They didn't offer gimmicky clowns on the packaging or super toy treasures in the box. I ate them as a child and it was one of the first solid foods that we gave our children. They have a history of reliability, of being known, of bringing safety and comfort to the breakfast table. It might be only be a marketing ploy targeted to 30-something parents, but I actually did trust them. I remembered this. Or, they have led me to believe that I trust them. The box tells me so.
I believe in the trust worthiness of the toasted oats, I think. Yet, I too easily fail to trust God, I know. I academically believe that God created this great day as I know the scripture that tells me this. However, the clouds of heart doubt and head practicality loom as I consider that while God must have created this day in some supernatural, disconnected way that it's up to me to navigate through it; it's up to me to carry the weight; I must figure it out. And anxiety swells. Over breakfast, I mull the to do lists and strategic plans for the day as I eat the cereal that the manufacturer says I trust and forget the God that proves His trustworthiness from generation to generation.
Our oldest son is learning a memory verse for school this week. We join him in learning these together - him wanting to memorize for a grade, us wanting the words to penetrate deep. Psalm 100:2 says, "Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him singing with joy" (NLT). Why the giddy praise? Verse 5 continues, "For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation." The Creator-God of the universe has unconditional love that never ends and his commitment to us is never exhausted. The Psalmist is ecstatic, strolling around with song, gladness overflowing from the heart. He knows this day is great, made by God, and given to us. The Bible tells us this story over and over. And again. And once more. And in my life I've seen it played out. And repeated. And again. God's love is unending, his faithfulness unfailing. He only asks us to trust - begs us to trust, in fact. Without any marketing, God invites us into a risk-filled adventure that's completely safe in His promised peace. His faithfulness continues and He is good. "Trust me," He says.
God, Thank you for the prayer brought to us by our preschooler. Thank you for this great day. May the truth of that statement saturate my heart and engulf my spirit. I am swooned by media created marketing messages, yet too easily complacent or disconnected to your eternal promises. Deepen my trust in You, Jesus. Help me to trust. Work in my life-hardened heart so that I stroll along with praise on my lips and joy spilling about my path. Sit with me in the morning, over cereal, as I give up my perception of control for the day, and simply embrace it for the gift that it is - given to me, by you, for all that's good. May I trust in that. Amen.