Earlier this year I was asked to do a series of ornaments based on the old time radio show called the Cinnamon bear. The tradition was to listen six days a week excluding Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I thought it might be fun to write a devotional to go with each episode which will mean I will be posting on some Saturday's to make this work.
I meant to start on this project and have it all ready to go and set to auto post. Alas I got busy with other things so my plan is to re listen to each episode and create a short devotional point that you could share with family members as you listen to the story together. If you are listening by yourself, I hope it will help you to re-gain a bit of childlike wonder and imagination. So I will include the radio show link so you can listen to it and I will post a photo of the ornament I created for each episode. I may include some product links to things featuring the ornament artwork. So join me as we unpack each delightful story between now and Christmas.
"We're only as big as we think we are" Paddy O'Cinnamon. In our story today the children have to de-grow to be able to go with Paddy O'Cinnamon into Maybe Land. I am reminded of the verse in John 3 that says "30 He must become greater; I must become less.
"Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation." ~Augustine
I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but my chief duty is to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble - Helen Keller
I have learned that much of my spiritual progress does not come directly from God, but through my ability to humble myself and hear Him speak through imperfect people. --Francis Frangipane
But enough on Humility, what I wanted to talk about is how to deal with the Weary Willy's in our lives. You may have met some folks like Weary Willy, I call them energy vampires. Weary Willy was not a bad guy, he was just totally self absorbed.
He is totally unaware that by sucking all the soda pop fuel from the yellow airplane that he would leave our adventurers stranded.
I don't want to give the story away and I hope you will take the time to listen to this episode. http://www.radiolovers.com/shows/C/CinnamonBear/CINNBEAR371130e0232-22-mono11m43sWearyWilly.mp3
My post will make more sense after hearing the story.
My post will make more sense after hearing the story.
"Some people bring unexpected lightness and comfort to your life. They crackle with energy, practically electrify you with their presence. And then there are those who leave you feeling stressed out. Or guilty. Or exhausted down to your very last molecule. I call them energy vampires, and obnoxious or meek, they come in all forms. The sob sister, for one, always considers herself the victim. The world is always against her, and she'll recount every horrible thing that has happened to her, wallowing in every perceived slight. The charmer is a constant talker or joke-teller who has to be the center of attention. The blamer, on the other hand, doles out endless servings of guilt. And then there's the drama queen, the co-worker who claims she almost died from a high fever or the neighbor who lives in extremes of emotion—life is unbelievably good or horrifically bad." By Judith Orloff, MD in an article called Energy Vampires
Willy is the intellectual charmer, the constant talker and joke-teller who has to be the center of attention. He's is much bigger than our little adventurers and is able to just take the soda pop, and is not even remotely concerned about how his actions effect those around him. So what do you do with those energy vampire sorts.
I would call myself a professional extrovert because although I enjoy being around people, I am really at the core an introvert. I recharge through quiet alone time. I am very aware that I must keep a balance. Sometimes like the kids in our story I find myself burned out, exhausted and crashed. There are times when I have a bad case of compassion fatigue.
Some things that I have come to realize.
We choose the people who make up our inner circle. Even Jesus would withdraw to quiet places with just the 12. Back when I was selling Mary Kay we were taught that we are affected by the five people we spend the most time with. Are the people in your inner circle encouraging you to be all that God created you to be. Do they believe in you, and stand with you. Do you mutually give to one another, life or is your relationship terribly lopsided? I have to set boundaries with some people, the ones that just take take take, or are generally negative I want to be a guiding light not just a shooting star. We are called to show people the love of Jesus but we can't give if we are personally running on empty.
(NIV) 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
This verse does not mean that we must just keep giving and giving. It does not mean we must be a door mat for others to walk upon. We started out today talking about humility. I want to say that false humility sometimes puts us in a postion of thinking we need to be a door mat. We think by allowing others to use us and walk on us that we are somehow being spiritual and humble. There are things that God created you to be exceptionally good at, and while your head does not need to swell it is ok to be talented, gifted, resourceful, and wise. It is ok to be who God created you to be. He wants you to be the very best you possible. He wants us to shine like stars in this dark world. Sometimes we are so falsely humble that we begin to discount the amazing things God is doing in our lives. I like this quote that I found at christianbiblereference.org in an article about Humility. "By humility we acknowledge that God created us for his purposes and not for our self-glorification. By humility we acknowledge the dignity of all God's people. By humility we cool the angry passions of others. By humility we can turn enemies into friends. A humble demeanor is not a denial of our worth as individuals. Rather, it is the tool that allows us, insofar as possible, to be on good terms with all persons."
There are times when the Lord does indeed ask us to lay down our lives and our desires for the sake of others. There should also be times when others lay down their lives for us.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says "To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven." It is important to be led by the Holy Spirit. There are times when we need to go, go go and go some more - and there are times when we need to rest.
I have had to learn that if I don't take care of me, I won't be able to take care of others.
I found the following in the IVP New Testament Commentary
"Our public care for one another must be matched by integrity in our private walk before God. Note how corporate responsibilities and individual accountability are woven together in this section:
1. corporate: restore him gently
2. individual: watch yourself
3. corporate: carry each other's burdens
4. individual: each one should test his own actions . . . each one should carry his own load
5. corporate: share all good things with his instructor
6. individual: do not be deceived . . . a man reaps what he sows
7. corporate: do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers"
Isaiah 50 says “The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned,That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary.
He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.
If we do not abide in Jesus on a continual basis we become dead branches. We must be connected to the river of life that flows from His presence if we are to be wells of salvation from which the weary may drink.
Prayer: Lord help us with the Weary Willy's in our life. Those who take and give no thought to how their actions are draining and damaging those around them. Give us the courage to stand up and say no - I have nothing more to give at this time. Lord help us to make a point to stay filled up by being found regularly in your presence. Fill us to overflowing.