Road rages sinking feeling.

On Black Friday I decided to head over to Barnes and Noble and buy a book. That was a bad idea and I really should have known better but I really wanted the book. I never got into the store. I drove around the parking lot for about five minutes looking for a space. Packed to the gills. There were not even spaces at the very edges of the lot. At least 5 cars were circling just like I was. But, I struck gold when a person was backing out of a spot in front of me. I waited and they backed out slowly. Just then…

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The Clock Keeper and His Piano: A Fable

Once upon a time, in a fictional land, lived a man who was neither rich nor famous. In the quaint village where he lived there stood a massive clock tower and it was his job to maintain the clock. Every day he would go up into the tower and check all the gears and movements. He looked over the mechanism and structure of the tower with meticulous care to be sure that it was in its best working order.

The man and his family had a simple home in this village. The one thing that they treasured most in their home was a piano. It was old but all the keys worked and it wasn’t badly out of tune. Everyone in the family learned to play the piano, including this man.

One day the man was playing the piano and the King of the land just happened to ride by in his carriage. He was so taken by the music that he stopped the carriage and listened. As the days went by, the memory of the music was so strong that the King would have the carriage driver go out of their way on routine trips around the village just so they could go past the clock keepers’ home on the chance that he was playing the piano.

This was happening with quite a bit of regularity and was not missed by the man’s neighbors. They continually reported back to the man that they had seen the King’s carriage stopping outside his house.

One day, the King had stopped and decided that he had to meet the man who played the beautiful music. He came to the front door and knocked.

The music stopped and the clock keeper came to the door. He was quite surprised that the King would come to the home of such an unimportant person. He, of course, curtsied and asked the King to come inside.

His wife offered the King some tea and cakes but the King waved her off. While this was happening the youngest child of the household, who was all of seven years of age, sat down at the piano and began to play. The music was much simpler but just as beautiful.

The King asked the man if everyone in the family played the piano and he replied, “yes”. Then the King asked the man what his secret was to playing such beautiful music. To which the humble man replied, “the town’s clock, Sire”.

The King was puzzled. “The clock?”, he asked.

“May I show you, Your Majesty?” the clock keeper answered.

The King nodded and the man took the King out of the house and down the street where they stared up at the massive clock face. “I still don’t see what you mean”, said the King.

Then the man opened the small back door on the clock tower and ushered the King inside. They walked up several flights of stairs until they could see the gears of the massive clock. The King was still baffled by this.

They went back outside and the King was urged by one of the men in his entourage that they had to leave. As the King sat back down into his carriage the man came up to the window and spoke.

He said, “Sire, every day I first go up into the clock tower and examine the gears of the clock to make sure it is working precisely. Then, I go home and play my piano. When I was first learning to play the piano I fought with the keys and fought with the music. I tried so hard to make the music I wanted to hear. But, then I remembered the gears of the clock. They weren’t there to “make” the time even though without them the clock would not work. They weren’t out in the open and no one but me and my family see all the gears and works of the clock inside the tower. So, I decided to go home and be the gear at the piano. I decided to let the piano make the music. After I did this the music began to flow. I became lesser and the music became greater. Until, one day I realized that God was making the music through me. As I surrendered myself to God more and more fully I realized that I am the piano and God is playing my keys. To make the music, Sire, didn’t take talent it took surrender to the Greater Musician.”

…..blinking in sunlight.blog…..by Janet Williams…..

Who aspires to be great?

Yesterday, I posted about the idea that being a good person doesn’t win you a place in heaven. I shared that Jesus didn’t come and die on the cross to scoop up all the people who did something good or even many good things. He came and died on the cross for all the bad things that hang onto us for the rest of our lives. We may have forgotten them but they’re still there like oil spills that we can’t shake on our own. And no matter how many good things we do our goodness never makes up for those oil slicks of bad.

Today, as I was reading in Matthew 5, I came across this.

20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (NIV-Biblegateway.com)

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The Trash of Life

 

Keep in mind that Jesus didn’t come to take good people to heaven. If good people are so good they are usually convinced that they’ll get to heaven just on their own acts of goodness. Jesus came because no matter how good we are it is not good enough. Even the best person who has ever lived has their flawed side. The question isn’t in goodness but in the removal of the badness that came from bad choices and wrong thinking. There is a part of even the best, most stellar people that is dark and corrupted. We must all face our flawed humanity and conclude that we all fall short now and again. The good we’ve done speaks for itself. It doesn’t need to be recognized or taken away. It sits on the prettiest shelf in the living room of our life. But it’s the trash that won’t go away that is the problem. The smelly and the stinky things that we’d never put on display for the whole world to see. What is it that removes that from our life? How do we get rid of that? You can put as many buoys on a sinking ship that you want but at best it will just sink slower. So too, you can do as many good deeds in your life as you want but the weight of those harmful, hurtful moments that you freely participated in are still there pulling you under.

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