How different the new testament stories could have turned out if the disciples were not willing to follow Jesus. They left the comfort of knowing what to expect every day to start a journey into the unknown. How much richer their lives became because of that choice. How often are we afraid to try something new? It can be something as simple as trying a new food to deciding to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Do we stick with the class subject that is relatively easy or do we challenge ourselves to take the more difficult version? Do we reach out to the new person on the playground to see if they want to play, or do we just play alone? Each of these are choices Being willing to try something new can make your life much richer. Sometimes that new food you try might taste disgusting. But sometimes it will be amazing. You won’t know unless you try. That stranger across the way could be someone you’d rather not see again but they could turn out to be your new best friend. The only way to find out is to reach out and say hello. As we prepare to take a break from Creator Quest for the summer, I challenge you to be willing to try new things. I look forward to hearing all about it in September!
Creator Quest does not meet from Memorial Day weekend through beginning of September. It resumes when we return to 10:30 services inside the church.
Story: Cuddles Misses Out
Cuddles and Biscuit were happy to be pets, and they shared everything, including their people, Mike and Martha. The people and the dogs lived together in a little blue house in the city. Martha gave Cuddles her name because she loved to cuddle up on the comfy red sofa while Martha read beside her. Mike gave Biscuit her name because he had only to open the cupboard where the dog biscuits were kept, and she would come running from anywhere in the house to get a treat.
Cuddles and Biscuit were happy together, but they didn’t understand one another. Biscuit was always ready for anything Mike or Martha offered. She didn’t hesitate to try something new because anything could be a fun adventure. When Mike called, “Biscuit, would you like to …?” Biscuit was there wagging her tail before he finished his sentence.
Cuddles was always willing to cuddle on the sofa, but she considered anything else very carefully before she decided if it was worth her attention or cooperation. In fact, Cuddles was secretly proud of the fact that if she didn’t want to do something, nothing could change her mind. No amount of coaxing, pushing, or pulling could get her to go outside when it was raining and cold. Martha had given up trying to make Cuddles try a different brand of dog food or to go a different route on their evening walk. Biscuit thought Cuddles was missing out on a lot of fun, and Cuddles thought Biscuit was a little crazy to take such risks — what if something happened?
When Mike and Biscuit went camping, Cuddles was only interested in staying home on the couch. And when they came home and Biscuit told her that it had rained and hailed and the tent had collapsed, Cuddles smugly said, “I told you something would happen!”
Mike sat on the red sofa and told Martha, “It rained so hard, I couldn’t get a fire going. Then the tent collapsed, and I had to fix it in the hailstorm. Biscuit was amazing; she even tried to help. When I crawled into the wet sleeping bag, I was so glad to have Biscuit to keep me warm that I didn’t even notice the wet dog smell.” He reached over and gratefully patted the dog’s soft black fur.
Mike continued his story. “In the morn I had forgotten to pack the dog food. But Biscuit didn’t care; she ate cold peanut butter sandwiches with me. I tried fishing off the pier, but instead of catching a fish, I dropped my favorite hat into the water. I wasn’t really surprised when Biscuit immediately jumped in and rescued it for me. She is the best companion to have on a disastrous camping trip — thank goodness she came with me.”
Martha reached down and stroked Biscuit’s soft fur and said softly, “You are always ready and willing, aren’t you, Biscuit?” Cuddles heard the love in her voice.
Later that week, Mike yelled, “Biscuit, you want to go for a ride in the car?” Of course, Biscuit was in the backseat in a flash. Cuddles prepared to do battle; riding in the car was noisy and bumpy and not something she wanted to do. But Martha walked out the door. “I know Cuddles won’t go, so why even try?” she said to Mike as she got into the car.
Cuddles spent a long, quiet, lonely day on the sofa. It was after dark when she heard Mike and Martha laughing as they came into the little blue house. When Biscuit came in, Cuddles quickly asked, “I bet something happened, didn’t it?”
Biscuit answered, “Something always happens. That’s what makes life interesting.”
Biscuit lay down on the rug. “We went out to this lovely green place where you could run and run and never stop. I chased butterflies and a rabbit. There was a stream with fish, and I chased those too. I took a long nap the sun, and Martha gave me eats. We went through the car washing machine on the way home, and I barked at all the noisy brushes. What a day!”
Cuddles watched as Biscuit gave a happy sigh and fell asleep. Martha came in and gave Cuddles a tired pat, but Cuddles barely noticed. She was thinking. The next day, when Martha offered a new kind of doggie treat, she was surprised to see both Biscuit and Cuddles come to get one. She was even more surprised to see Cuddles show up when Mike called, “Biscuit, do you want to go for a run?”
As they walked out into the sunshine, Cuddles thought, “I wonder if something will happen.”
Lesson adapted from A JOYFUL PATH: Spiritual Curriculum for Young Hearts and Minds, Year 1 of the Inner Wisdom Series