To receive and share God’s accepting Grace, challenging Wisdom and transforming Love

STEDY, November 22, 2017

We are two days from Black Friday and the beginning of season in which we are peppered with lists, requests, guesses, hopes, competitions and bills. With the hope of refocusing our minds, here is a story written by one of my favorite writers,
Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen.
The following story is taken from her book “My Grandfather’s Blessing”.

Long ago, the little son of my friend and I became quite good friends. A lot of the time we played with his two tiny cars, running them from windowsill to windowsill, parking them, racing them and telling each other all the while what we imagined we “passed on the road”. Sometimes I would have the one with the chipped wheel. Sometimes he would have it. It was great fun, and I loved this little boy dearly.
At that time these little Hot Wheels cars were avidly collected by most six-year -old boys. Kenny dreamed of them and I yearned to buy him more, but I could not think of a way to do this without embarrassing my friends. Kenny’s father was an artist and a lay preacher, and his mother was a housewife who brought beauty to everything she touched. They lived very richly indeed but they had little money.
Then one of the major gas companies began a Hot Wheels giveaway: a car with every fill-up. I was delighted. Quickly I persuaded the entire clinical staff to buy this brand of gas for a month, and organized all twenty of us with checklists so that we would not get two fire engines or Porsches or Volkswagens. In a month we accumulated all of the Hot Wheels cars then made, and I gave them to Kenny in a big box. They filled every windowsill in the living room, and then he stopped playing with them. Puzzled, I asked him why he didn’t like his cars anymore. He looked away and in a quivery voice he said, “I don’t know how to love this many cars, Rachel.” I was stunned. Ever since, I have been careful to be sure not to have more Hot Wheels than I can love.
Many people have too many Hot Wheels to love. It can make you feel empty. A woman who found new life after having cancer once told me that before she became sick she always felt empty. “That’s why I needed to have more and more things. I kept accumulating more and more goods, more and more books and magazines and newspapers, more and more people, which only made everything worse because the more I accumulated the less I experienced. ‘Have everything, experience nothing.’ You could have put that right on my front door. And all the time I thought I was empty because I didn’t have enough. ”
The change had started with a bathrobe, one of the few things she had taken with her to the hospital for her cancer surgery. Every morning she would put it on, really enjoying how soft it was, its beautiful color, the way it moved around her when she moved. Then she would walk in the hall. “One morning as I was putting it on I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude,” she told me. She looked at me, slightly embarrassed. “I know this sounds funny, but I felt so lucky just to have it. But the odd part, Rachel, is that it wasn’t new,” she told me. “I had owned it and worn it now and then for quite a few years. Possibly because it was one of the five robes in my closet, I had never really seen it before.”
When she finished chemotherapy, this woman held a huge garage sale and sold more than half of what she owned. She laughs and says that her friends thought she had gone “chemo-crazy,” but doing this had enhanced her life. “I had no idea what was in my closets or what was in my drawers or on my bookshelves. I did not really know half the people whose home numbers were in my phone book either. Many of them never even sent me a card. I have fewer things now and know fewer people, but I am not empty. Having and experiencing are very different. Have was never having enough.”
We sat together for a few minutes, watching the sun making shadows on the office rug. Then she looked up, “Perhaps we only really have as we can love,” she said.

~ Upcoming Events ~

Sunday, November 26
Team 4 Acolyting
Family Worship
10 am | Chapel
Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms
Teaching: Antonio and Heather
Christmas Pageant Rehearsals
Following the Lesson | Sunday School Rooms

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Saturday, December 2
Trip to see a matinee of “The Star”

Please RSVP to Heather by November 29th

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Sunday, December 3
Team 1 Acolyting
Family Worship
10 am | Chapel
Children’s Sermon Sunday
Christmas Pageant Rehearsal
Following the Lesson | Sunday School Rooms

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Sunday, December 10
Team 2 Acolyting
Family Worship
10 am | Chapel
Sunday School
10:30 am | Sunday School Classrooms
Teaching: Antonio and Heather
Christmas Pageant Rehearsals
Following the Lesson | Sunday School Rooms

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Sunday, December 18
Christmas Pageant
10 am | Sanctuary

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Sunday, December 24
Please note that we will not be having Sunday School

Family Service
4:30 pm | The Main Sanctuary

Christmas Eve Service
9 pm with special music beginning at 8:30 pm | The Main Sanctuary

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Sunday, December 31
Please note that we will not be having Sunday School