“If I could be any tree in the ground I wanna be a tree where the birds hang around,

‘cause everybody needs to be loved and I’m no exception. I was born to reject rejection.

If I could be any bird that I choose, I wanna be a bird with a nest you would use,

‘cause everybody needs to go home when the day has ended, to be loved and to be befriended.

If I could be any star up above, I’d wanna be a star people wish on for love

‘cause everybody needs to be loved and I’m no exception. I was born to reject rejection.”

from Henry Mancini’s ‘Send a Little Love my Way’

The lighthearted lilt of this song’s musical score belies the significant truth conveyed in its lyrics. God indeed creates us with intense yearning for love and belonging and acceptance. Or, as Mancini negatively states it, with an instinct that recoils at all instances, however delicately nuanced, of a rejection of our person, our character. But we are inheritors of a sin penchant, one that is hard-wired in our flesh from birth and which can prompt us to behave in 180opposition to our truest nature, our Image-bearing nature, our redeemed/adopted nature.  We’ve recently spent three weeks considering our way through a weighty, three-phrase prayer. It would be understandable, having looked at Scripture and shared our own stories and experiences, to feel that we’ve arrived, that we’ve done the hard work, that we are now on a new, higher spiritual plane, equipped to move into our various day-to-day spheres, eager to do all we’ve agreed to do: 1. live each day being true to Jesus in every way; 2. Being kind to everyone we meet; 3. Love the lost by proclaiming Christ in all we do and say. It would also be understandable to feel overwhelmed, guilt-ridden, a failure-before-I-start, if we, through force of will, set out to be that person. One author shocks readers by saying that, actually, the will has very little power to affect change (have you ever decided to lose weight?  Stop smoking? Get more rest? Stop yelling at your kids/spouse? Pray more? If so, his statement may resonate). Those two responses may be understandable but will be hampered by the feebleness of willpower. Better by far, would be to see ourselves as God sees us, accept His provision in our lack, and pray for his Spirit to empower us.  “Yahweh, you are my soul’s celebration. You kissed my heart with forgiveness, in spite of all I’ve done. You know all about us, inside and out. You are mindful that we’re made from dust.” Psalm 103:2,3,14, TPT. We’ll establish our footing on God’s joy-via-grace pathway tomorrow at 10 AM, or 3 PM or 4 PM. See y’all then, then, or then!  PD

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