Sunday, January 29, 2017

Never Underestimate a Little of This or That/MANN

Do you ever discount your roots, your early beginnings? Do you attempt to trade them off or belittle them?
Statements like ‘when we were young, Mom and Dad would only do . . . or we never had . . .’
We didn’t get a chance to , . .
We only went to . . . or never ever did . . .
We attended a church that just didn’t seem to . . .
I attended a school where we couldn’t . . .
As a child, I was never . . .

Why do you think people put down particular situations? Is it because we compare our experience to someone else’s? Are we missing something? Could it be we've failed to find the golden nuggets in them? Take any of the above sentences and turn them around to be a positive and see if it adds to the time and space.
Do we discount previous periods in our life when we achieve a new level of understanding? Sometimes it’s very honest to think others may have walked a similar path. Even though the new road is exciting, the previous one served a purpose.

When I accomplished several quality oil paintings, I was very critical of myself. I often said foolish statements such as “I wish I had of . . .” or ‘if I’d tried something simpler, I could have . . . “ To be truthful, I thought I’d learned all there was to know, well, until I painted my next picture. And then I’d stand back, admire it and say something like, “To think I had it all figured out, but now I . . . “
What I was failing to see in each one of those earlier painting was the next experience of learning. Connecting with God-given gifts of expressing self was an ongoing lesson. Even after painting one painting, I could have called myself a painter, had I had more confidence.

Good painter, bad painter? I learned not to judge as each picture exposed a particular part of my personality or character.

Recently I’ve been part of a grief anthology published by Angel Hope Publishing (Glynis Belec). I often remembered times when I said, “I still don’t have this grief-thing figured out.” Yet, each death in our family or among my friends taught me something significant. And they will continue to open my understanding.

Over the last week, I looked for a message I gave to the congregation when I was Sunday school superintendent. This was 1978 in a small country church. Do I discount that experience because I've had ah ha moments since that time? Not on your life! I decided today, I will use it for an outline for a new study book.

Coming back to my initial ‘not quite up to . . . what?' That’s the big question.

"I have only a handful of flour in a ·jar [bowl] and only a little olive oil in a jug . . .” (1 Kings 17:12) But it was significant, wasn't it?

Donna Mann


Peter Black said...

Oh, my . . . You've held the mirror up to my face in your introductory segment, Donna. The propensity towards discounting and belittling my "early beginnings" and self "put downs" persists, and yet I've come a long way on the journey, thank God.
Love that scripture verse and the narrative in first Kings 17! :) ~~+~~

Donna Mann said...

Thanks Peter - sometimes it takes a word of scripture to help me look myself in the eye.

Glynis said...

And I think that is key, Donna - trusting God with the meagre amount. He will bless and grow whatever we put before Him with sincerity and hope.

God's Word never changes so using a 1978 outline is perfect. Just make sure no references to 8 track tapes or disco!

Love that scripture, too!

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