Do you remember the story of the Gingerbread Man? I read it to my 3-year-old granddaughter, Molly, just the other day.
“Run, run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me. I’m the Gingerbread Man!”
OK, so I’d had a busy, stressful day. Nothing unusual, I suppose. I’m hearing from a lot of folks who are having a lot of the same kind of stressful days right now. Maybe it’s just the way life is. Maybe it’s the fact that we didn’t really have a chance to pass through the darkness of a cold, immobilizing, wintry period of time this season. Some would argue, you know, that in spite of the joy of a sunny, perfectly temperate day, we all still need a little humbling weather to balance things out. In truth, maybe it’s just the reality of polarized, invective politics incongruently occupying much of our minds (and hearts) at this reflective time of Lent that’s creating a persistent, underlying stress.
Or it’s just life’s normal bumpy path. It’s there for a lot of folks.
I got home from the church office and noticed there were some overdue, unpaid bills I’d overlooked laying on the table, a text message just dinged on my cell reminding me of a deadline I’d missed at work, the one in college just left a voicemail asking about a rent payment due . . . and my momentary irritation suddenly reminded me I’d said something insensitive to a friend the day before and forgot to get back with them.
I felt a distinctive knot of guilt tightening in my stomach — the old mental tapes firing off feelings of disappointment with myself . . . Time to run and hide and close myself up inside that anxious “mental echo chamber” we all carry around with us from time to time.
Then Molly walked up at that moment and exclaimed, “Play with me, Daddo!” Her voice shot straight through all the noise in my head. Thankfully, I ignored the echo chamber, and the thought that “I’m really too busy at the moment,” long enough to recognize an invitation from all that is holy. I sat down with her inside her little tent castle. And we read, of all things, “The Gingerbread Man.”
What a great image to ponder as we think about the story of the Prodigal Son and the meaning of forgiveness and wholeness this Sunday. Here are some questions to get your neurons firing before Sunday:
- Why does what is created choose to run away? (Talking about the Gingerbread Man here.) Rugged individualism? Fear? Curiosity?
- Is it shame or insecurity or guilt or egotism? (Talking about us now.)
- And how fast, and how far, do we run before we realize that what we’re running from is really waiting to catch us up at any, and every, moment?
This Sunday, join us as we welcome guest artist, Daniel KatsüK, and celebrate life! If you haven’t checked out his music, click here. You’ll be glad you joined us!
“Stories of the Prodigal (Who Never Really Left)”
with refreshments, stories, poetry, and the music of Daniel KatsüK
See you at either 9:39 or 11:11!