It has been a week for me to refresh, spending the entire week in the ATL, getting to be at the Monday meeting, getting to do the Step By Step meeting Wednesday (we had a good crowd, about 20), and getting to spend a bunch of time with my grandson Logan. Both of us have had a touch of some kind of virus, so we have had time to build, play games and read. Last night and this morning we finished off the book "Bartholomew and The Oobleck".
In the book the King gets bored of the four things that come down from the sky: sun, rain, snow and fog. He is irritated to the point of calling in his magicians to concoct a formula or magic words that will bring down a new fifth element that will please him. I am pretty sure you already see why I am writing about this, we never seem to get enough, but bear with me as we discover some other points this story makes.
When the Oobleck does come, it comes in globs, sticks to everything, people are stuck, ducks stuck to cows, the bell to warn the people is stuck, and the King gets stuck to his throne whining and trembling in fear. The Oobleck takes over everything and threatens to collapse the kingdom (you can think of many corresponding things here.) Bartholomew, who is the King's assistant, finds him stuck to his throne crying and when the King asks him what he can do, Bartholomew tells him straight, "you must say you are sorry, you must ask for forgiveness.”
No one, of course, had ever spoken to the King like this, so he rebels at first, only to relent and apologize. When he does, the Oobleck lets up, it melts away, and the kingdom is restored. (I can see you cheering right now!) Everyone gets unstuck.
So you can see how this relates to my previous words on "Yard Work,” but here is a point that all of us need to remember in dealing with relationships of any kind, and it is entirely biblical. Sooner or later we need to put people on the money, in however we do it, preferably with tough love, that it is not okay to keep spreading your dysfunctional "Oobleck" around on your friends, family and associates just because you are unhappy. Sometimes we think we think we are being Christ-like when we fail to make others accountable for stepping all over us. But negative, controlling and abusive folks need to know it's not okay.
In this story, Bartholomew risked everything to tell the King off, but in the end it saved the kingdom. It just illustrates that accountability, honesty and sometimes survival rely on us being real with each other, not judgmental, but delivering the truth when necessary.
So you could probably replace the previous leaves with Oobleck as that which is blocking your life from improving, and I have a simple way to help remind you to remove it if it is an obstruction. Logan and I sang the Willie Wonka song with new words this morning, and you also may try it........."Oobleck, Oobleck, Ooobly Dooo........."
Maybe it's time for me to go on the road again!
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.