Clifford, the Big Red Dog, and the Will of God

Yesterday, Isaac and I sat down and watched Clifford.

Clifford, his family, and all of the neighborhood kids went camping. One of the children, Jetta, brought all of the modern amenities and play items from home along with her. She even brought a generator to provide electricity. When they walked to the waterfall, she rode a scooter past the group. Her amenity caused her to miss out on all the little animals they saw and the fun time they had bonding with one another on the journey. At the waterfall, she brought an inflatable heated swimming pool. They sat around staring at the clouds in the sky and saw a bunch of butterflies. Jetta was busy playing her Gameboy. They sat around a campfire, cooked smores and hot dogs. Jetta sat inside her luxurious tent eating a microwave meal. I didn't stick around to see if she learned the point. I had to get ready for work. I'm sure she did.

Too often we are like Jetta when it comes to God. We clutter up our lives with so much meaningless, and sometimes meaningful in our eyes, stuff that we miss seeing all of the great opportunities, or just great moments, he has made for us. Often, we live our lives as if God is dead. In effect, many of us are mild, if not complete, Deists.

Deism - "The belief, based solely on reason, in a God who created the universe and then abandoned it, assuming no control over life, exerting no influence on natural phenomena, and giving no supernatural revelation."

I need to make sure that I live my life as if God is alive and trying to tell me what to do with it. I need to be completely open to his will at all times. He isn't going to guide my every step. But if I'm not trained to listen when he decides to guide a step, I might not hear where he wants me to go. I might need to get rid of some of the distractions of this life. We serve an amazing God that is constantly at work in us and around us, at least that is what hindsight has shown me. He has an amazing purpose for each of us.

If we get too caught up in our distractions, we will miss God moving and possibly miss where he wants us to move. God is patient. If we don’t respond, he will wait until another person does. His will will be done. The question is whether we are going to be the ones used by Him to do the work that will bring about His will or not. He will be patient and wait for another. God isn't set back by our distractions. The only people missing out are those of us who miss another opportunity to serve God in a way he has planned for us.

(1 Ki 19:11-13 NASB) "So He said, "Go forth, and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. {12} And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. {13} And it came about when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

God doesn't always speak in the way we expect him to. We need to always be listening.

Watch out for the potholes.


And I had someone from my current church on the blog. I didn't know if anyone from there read this. Now, I have to be careful of what I say.

Anyway, they had a great section in their reply. It was inspiring to me. I will copy it here, so it isn't missed. It was in the context of being against homeschooling, but I will leave that there if you want to go read it. For me, it grasped what it was like growing up in a small town and learning from the people around us.

"Wanda P. -The kids called her "Pop Tart" becuase of her size. She had not a single friend. I was at least six years younger than her. I called her "Pop Tart" too. Oh, Lord how sorry I am. I pray for her now. What she taught me is difficult to put in to words.

Jean Detmon- She was an awesome example of a lady, teacher, and a mom one could ask for. She had a way of looking into your eyes when you were talking. You just knew how important you were to her.

David H.- Retarded by abuse as a three day old infant, he taught me about sticking up for what you believed. The kids called him "Retard!" I scolded them in private. Some stopped, some didn't.

Kelly C.- She was a classmate who I envied, and was unbelievably rich. She had everything under the sun, except a relationship with her parents. She taught me about being thankful for what I have.

Jim T. - He was a rough guy who thought it was fun to drop cigarettes on his forearms and to hold still while the butts burned through his fragile skin. He taught me that all I could do was to pray for him. I felt so sorry for a guy that held scarring as his claim to fame. I bet he still has those wounds. I wonder what scars are on his inside. Sometimes all you can do is pray.

David M.- Heavyset and unattractive to most girls, this guy was so funny. He used to participate in the school plays. He always stole the show! He taught me that it was what is on the inside is what makes you appealing. He asked me to prom my freshman year. My mom wouldn't let me go. It's okay he easily found another date. Everyone really loved Dave.

Tim B.- Also an agemate and occasional boyfriend, Tim was a star quarterback, tall, dark and handsome. He never had trouble finding a girl to hook on his arm. Tim was killed one year after we graduated in a drunk driving accident. Yes, Tim was drunk and he was driving. He killed another of his friends as well. A sad day. Tim taught me that life is very fragile and you should live in a way that it could all end in a heart beat.

Mr. Jones- This was a band director that taught me you could throw yourself into your work and be as happy as a clam. Mr. Jones man took the band everywhere. If it was fun, we went there. He wanted our musicians to connect learning, discipline, and pleasure. And we sure did. By the way, our high school band hasn't been the same since he left.

Wendy B.- This girl was unpopular, loud, outspoken, and not very well liked. As far as I can remember, I never said or did anything to offend her. She used black spray paint and wrote on the town elevator, "***** ***** has aids!" In the ***'s you can fill in my name. I was so sad, shocked, embarrassed. My mom, brother and I tried to clean it with bleach. I wouldn't budge. After a few days they covered it with fresh cement. (You can still see today the patchwork.) Ugh. Wendy taught me that you will come into contact with people in your life that will simply hate and despise you. That was a hard pill to swallow as I was pretty well liked. But again, I learned. I learned so much through her.

All of these people have helped me form who I am today. When someone is put in your path you take something from that person."