Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chance Meeting Results In Unequaled Success

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) is selling 11,000 books a day...24 years after his death. And yet, his first book, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, almost didn't get published.

From A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, by Brian Grazer:

The story of Geisel being rejected twenty-seven times before his first book was published is often repeated, but the details are worth relating. Geisel says he was walking home, stinging from the book's twenty-seventh rejection, with the manuscript and drawings for Mulberry Street under his arm, when an acquaintance from his student days at Dartmouth College bumped into him on the sidewalk on Madison Avenue in New York City.

Mike McClintock asked what Geisel was carrying. "That's a book no one will publish," said Geisel. "I'm lugging it home to burn." McClintock had just that morning been made editor of children's books at Vanguard; he invited Geisel up to his office, and McClintock and his publisher bought Mulberry Street that day.

When the book came out, the legendary book reviewer for the New Yorker, Clifton Fadiman, captured it in a single sentence: "They say it's for children, but better get a copy for yourself and marvel at the good Dr. Seuss's impossible pictures and the moral tale of the little boy who exaggerated not wisely but too well."

Geisel would later say of meeting McClintock on the street, "If I'd been going down the other side of Madison Avenue, I'd be in the dry-cleaning business today."

Truth is...Persistence doesn't always lead to success, but we fail 100% of the attempts we don't make.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What You See is What You Get - "Just As I Am" Prosified

In 1835, while in the midst of feelings of worthlessness, Charlotte Elliot wrote the words that soon became the hymn, Just As I Am. She certainly had no idea her personal outpouring of submission and surrender to God would become the soundtrack for thousands of people coming to Christ in churches and Billy Graham evangelistic meetings around the globe.

While you can read the poetry at any number of places online, perhaps this prosification will lead to a deeper consideration of the Truth in the Art.

Dear Jesus, what You see is what you get, but I'm coming to You...without a single request except that You died for me and You desire me.

I'm not going to wait a moment longer to come to You, because You're the only one who can make my dirty, sinful soul clean again. 

And it's not like I've got my act all together. I'm coming to You unsure of myself; full of doubts and conflicts. I'm fighting with, and fearful of, not only other people, but even myself...and yet...I come to You.

And You've promised to accept me with open arms: forgiving my sins and freeing me from Sin...what a relief to come to you and be welcomed.

That kind of love is unheard of, and has broken down every wall that separates me from You. I want to belong to You, and You alone. What You see is what You get, but I'm coming to You...the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Truth is...I should probably recite this every morning.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Four Hands, One Guitar

One plus one can equal a lot more than two. Consider Fernando, from Brazil, and Cecilia, from Uraguay.

When I watch this video of them four-handing a guitar, my cheeks start to hurt, because I cannot stop smiling. The joy with which they play spills over and fills me up.

Truth is...cooperation and collaboration really can create something better than the sum of the individual parts. None of us is as smart, wise, good, or creative as ALL of us.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

If You've Only Got 3 Wishes...

"You do not have because you do not ask." (James 4:2)

That's pretty clear. James doesn't beat around the bush...burning or otherwise.

But if you're being honest...and if you're anything like me...you might be thinking right about now, "I've asked plenty, but a lot of those prayers have gotten me zilch."

Well, James has a verse that covers that pretty well, and it's the very next one: "You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures."

Yep. You got me there. I pray for my bank account (so we can eat out more often). I pray for my Beloved's health (so she'll feel well enough to do things with and for me). I pray for the people on our church's list of requests so I won't feel guilty and so others will think I'm a great elder.

I'm pretty much like the mortal in this F Minus comic, by Tony Carillo:

While the metaphor of God being a genii can only go so far, and probably shouldn't even go that far, the point is that here we are...with direct access to Someone with "phenomenal cosmic power"... and we spend our time asking for physical health and financial wealth.

How about things like "make me a positive peace-maker in my contentious workplace"? What about "make Yourself real to my atheist friend" or "help our church to change our neighborhood"?

Truth is...I want to be an instrument in Your hands, Yahweh. Forgive me for not thinking big enough, for not dreaming in Technicolor, and for making You small enough to fit in my tiny box. Unleash Yourself upon a sick and dying world...and if You want to use me to do that, here I am.