Monday, January 21, 2013

Straining Milk

This weekend I was at my parents. When I'm there, I often realize all of the things I take for granted when I'm away. Clean milk for instance. If you didn't know, when a cow is milked into a bucket (many operations who aren't focused solely on milk production do this) the milk often collects impurities. We've always strained our milk through cloths that separate the impurities from the healthy, whole milk. All of the stuff we wouldn't want to drink is kept in the towel and the milk goes into a milk jar in order to be enjoyed.
Also this weekend, I stayed in my old bedroom and really had some time to think about ... my walls. No, there were no flowers to count there but there also was no Captain Kangaroo on the TV either. Anyway, I looked at the awards and trophies that at one point I spent everyday working toward and wishing I had. Now they just hang on the wall of a vacant room and collect dust.
Our lives can be so consumed about the things that are in the immediate future. For instance, we might set goals to have the nicest car, the best looking home in town, if you're still in school maybe your goal is to become homecoming queen or the football star. After we've received those awards, it is really fun to be congratulated and to be patted on the back but a month goes by and 90 % of the general population has forgotten all about it.
Let me quiz you for a second.

1. Name the prom queen from your senior year in high school.
2. Who was Miss America last year and where was she from?
3. Who was the most honored graduate at your college graduation?
4. Who was the person of the year 5 years ago?
5. This year's Nobel Peace Prize recipient?

Wow. I can maybe answer one of those. But to that person, that honor may be their greatest achievement in life. Okay let's try a different quiz.

1. Name one person who reached out to you during a hard time in high school.
2. Name one American leader who has character traits you strive to have.
3. Who is someone who has made you feel honored?
4. Name someone who gave you an encouraging word this week.
5. Someone who went out of their way to ask how you are doing?

Now this list I can think of 5 names for! Okay here is the final portion of today's test.

1. Name someone you reached out to in years past.
2. Name some good characteristics you know that you display daily that could be admired by others.
3. Name someone you've honored, maybe they didn't quite expect it, but they needed to be uplifted.
4. Name someone you spoke an encouraging word to last week.
5. Someone you went out of your way for.

You see, those awards are important. We need to set small goals to strive for and God gives us desires for a reason. But just like cleaning milk to get the impurities out, we need to clean our lives to purify them from the busyness we can get caught up in. Our lives are too short to immerse ourselves in trivial tasks. My hope is that, just like the milk, our lives will slowly sift through a tight woven cloth that teaches us to look at every word we say, goal we set and deed we do from an eternal perspective. 

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