Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What is your Starfish?

This past Tuesday we meet with our Life Group to watch NOOMA Shells ⁄ 020. In it’s simplest form: what are you doing with your time?

It gave a sweet story of a family strolling on the beach. The two children were frantically picking up all the “shell shrapnel” scattered over the sand. In the distance, floating peacefully in the surf was a big beautiful starfish. One of the boys got a look in his eyes like “That thing is mine” and ran into the surf to grab the starfish. Only half way in he turned around and ran back to the beach. His father enthusiastically encouraged his boy to go get it so the boy ran back in to the surf, only turning around again half way in. The boy kept doing this, all the more frustrated with every turn around. Finally the father asked “Son, what is wrong? The starfish is right there! Why don’t you just grab it?” and the boy answered, “I can’t, my hands are full of shells.”

My hands are full of shells as well, shrapnel pieces that are of no significance.

Birthday parties, family gatherings, dinners out, meetings, dates with friends, errands, weekend getaways, on and on and on. Now before I start to discount my life and discredit my relationships to the point of me putting a gun to my head, I will say that these things to a point have meaning but none of them are a starfish.

Honestly, the things I WANT to do get put off and the things I HAVE to do get top priority. Why?

I’m overwhelmed. I have so much going on I don’t know what it feels like to stand idle. And if I ever have a free moment, I pack it with a dinner with a friend or time down at the range. Why?

Obligation? Half the things I do are out of obligation. I don’t say yes because I really want to eat grandma’s meatloaf surprise for dinner. I don’t say yes because I really want to hang out with dozens of fertile families and celebrate a birthday the child will never remember. I don’t say yes because I really want to attend a meeting about preaching schedules. Why is it that way?

The video said it perfectly giving liberating permission. I can say no because I’ve already said yes to something else. That something else is my Starfish.

So the question of the millennium is “What is my Starfish?” Not an easy question to answer. I imagine this will take time for me to figure out. But one thing is certain, my hands are dropping that shrapnel and I am on the road to being a free woman with real purpose. I can picture it now, my unoccupied hands reaching into the surf for the one thing that brings me joy, determination and purpose.
Thank you God for creating me for a specific purpose. May the Holy Spirit direct me in finding what that purpose is.
(originally posted on my Wordpress blog, May 7, 2009)

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