As I type this I am watching a house centipede die a slow death in a ziploc baggie. The centipede made the unfortunate decision to be in my bed while I was passing by. I just happened to see it running across a sweater that was laying on my bedspread. I grabbed a ziploc bag that was on my dresser (yes – i just happened to have one there) and guided the centipede to its death chamber. I have a general house rule that if you leave me alone than I will return that favor. However, if you get into certain territories – like my BED – you must die. I’ve been testing the centipede to make sure that it can’t get out of the baggie. For you see – about a year ago I did this with a cockroach I found. (yeah – people are really going to want to come to my house after reading this.) I had found a cockroach and had put it in a container early in the day. By the time I was going to bed, I checked and it was still alive. They can go a long time without air and are pretty indestructable. (I know some of you are saying – why don’t you just smash it or something? I get squemish and I feel really bad about killing things. So instead I slowly suffocate them and try not to think of how I am dragging it out for the poor creatures. As long as I don’t feel bad, right??) So, anyway, it was bed time and I wanted to clean up the container so I could use it the next day so I transfer the cockroach to a baggie, zipped it up and sat it on the counter. I went to bed. The next morning I came in and found the baggie empty with a tiny hole on one side. Yes, the cockroach had eaten its way to freedom. I stood there and said out-loud just in case he was near-by with a smirk on his mouth – "Well done, my cockroach friend. If you could survive 24 hours without oxygen and eat your way through a ziploc bag, then you deserve your freedom. Enjoy and live well – but don’t prosper."
I never saw him again but every once in awhile I think of him and wonder how he is doing. I have a feeling this centipede isn’t going to have the same good fortune.
Today I bought a grill and assembled it. (assembly is the clue to the low price of my purchase). I laid everything out on my kitchen counter and set to work. About an hour later, I had a grill. Mine is unique from others who bought this same grill. Why? Because I assembled mine wrong – or let’s say – creatively. I realized after a long struggle with attaching the legs to the bottom of the grill that I had put them on backwards. Not wanting to go through that all process again and realizing that it really didn’t make that big of a difference, I left it. So – my grill has the wheels on the front and the little holder for sauces on the back. Kind of like it that way. Its original and quirky but still gets the job done. Just like me.
Tonight had a great time hanging out with some friends for a dinner and movie night. We had a French themed dinner which was delicious and a "to-die" for dessert. Then we watched the French film "Amelie". What a delightful and inspiring film. It is impossible to capture how this film makes you feel but as one of the girls said tonight it makes you feel happy in all your bones. I loved the main character and the rich story of her introverted dance with the world around her. I loved her imagination, her optimism, her creativity, her quest to bless others, her poetic justice. There is a lot in the film to dialogue about spiritually. In her unique ways, Amelie demonstrates some wonderful lessons about loving and blessing others and finding the joy in that way of life. She has a great deal of compassion and looks at the world with fresh eyes.I know the world would be a better place if we took to task the call to provide unexpected blessings to other people. I’m not totally in favor of all of Amelie’s efforts to accomplish this. Sometimes I think here quest to make people happy leads to some potentially harmful deceit but I understand and applaud her heart. Quiet, anonymous deeds to make someone else’s life better. Practicing such selflessness can only make our relationship with God and others all the more richer. Note: This movie is rated R for sexual content.
A thought to leave you with tonight from my current read Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller:
"… when you really think about it, these wants we have, like wanting to be right wanting to be good, wanting to be perceived as humble, wanting to be important to people and wanting to be loved, feel perilous, as though by not getting them something terrible is going to happen. . . . it feels like there is a penalty for not being respected by other people, it feels like you are going to die unless you get some kind of respect and appreciation." (106-107)
I wonder what life would be like if we truly allowed God to liberate us from such "needs". Can we even begin to imagine what it would be like to wake up and not wonder how others will feel about us that day? To share thoughts and reflections without concern of whether someone will agree with us? To know we are truly loved and important to God and let that knowledge be enough to satisfy our deepest needs without desperately seeking that from others and being owned by that desperation? I think we can begin to imagine this but whether we will allow God to liberate us . . . well, there is the rub. It reminds me of something I heard a long time ago that 90% (somewhere around this neighborhood) of people in social settings are consumed with egocentrism – what do others think of me? what if I mess up? what if I’m not cool? So, statistically, if we go to a party and 90% of the people are totally focused on what people think of them, there is only a 10% chance that they give a fig newton about you – unless it is about what you think of them. And if you are in that 10% that don’t care about what others think of you, well, most likely the other 90% are wishing they were like you because we all secretly crave to be liberated from this insecurity. In the words of Trent from the movie Swingers – "Baby, you are so money and you don’t even know it!". That is what God is saying to each of us – "Melissa, you are so money and you don’t even know it!". Now, why am I money? Because God gives me worth and value. On my own, I’m like an overdrawn bank account – in debt and racking up penalty fees. But God’s love and grace make me priceless – just as it does you.
As you can see, it is another late night. I’m a little off schedule and will have a rude awakening come Sunday and next week. CG is meeting tomorrow morning at 8:30 am to do some painting and landscaping for the Salvation Army here in Jefferson City. Perhaps tomorrow night I’ll be exhausted and will have no option other than to collapse into bed and sleep.
Peace – Melissa