Yesterday while trying to find an acceptable place to eat for my oldest daughter, her 3 small kids and myself after an hour of trampoline jumping, we came upon a McDonald's near Disney World. Naturally, everything associated with them is somewhat of a fantasy, so as we came in from the parking lot, my anticipation was high that possibly Mickey Mouse would be serving our meal. (Hey I remember watching the Mickey Mouse Club....when you wish upon a star!)
Anyway, I carried some trash in from the car, opened the trash can basically without really looking and heard a voice say "thank you for your trash". I turned around to look for someone but quickly realized it was the automated trash can speaking to me! It could only happen at DW!
Then it occurred to me, that although we sometimes have unrealistic expectations of God, we equally fail to realize that he actually thanks us for giving up the trash of our life (our sins/addictions), to become his ambassadors of Good News. We instead think we have been so bad so many times that we have run out of forgiveness.
It is not fantasy thinking that the grace of God is everywhere at all times ready to cover our transgressions. It is however DW thinking to believe that what we do won't cost us something in this real world we live in. Trashing ourselves and others usually has a steep price tag.
Twenty years ago, my oldest daughter wouldn't speak to me because she was hurt and mad at me. Last night we laughed, jumped (them, not me) and enjoyed our ever expanding family. The difference, God opened the door when I was ready to throw away my trash, and he applied his amazing grace to my self destructed life.
"Come to me all that are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest."
Thank you Walt Disney for giving us something to fantasize about. But, thank you Lord for really giving us the reality of forgiveness and the power of grace.
Glenn,from the land of palm trees!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.