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Pay attention to what Jesus is trying to teach

Columnist Chris Brekke says people too often are focused on material things.

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“Miss Carol, I ain’t got no crayons.”

“Emilia, honey, you mean I don’t have any crayons. You don’t have any crayons. We don’t have any crayons. They don’t have any crayons. Do you see what I’m getting at?”
 
“I think so, Miss Carol. What happened to all the crayons?”

OK, then.

Emilia was focused on the crayons, not the grammar. Who could have run off with all the crayons? She cared about that mystery, not about the use of “ain’t.” And wouldn't most all of us care more about pretty colors than proper verbs? Even at my advancing age, I still enjoy crayons.

We earthlings often focus on material stuff, be it crayons, cash, cars, cuisine or whatever. We regularly have our eyes on the ground, in pursuit of things that in the long run are nothingburgers.

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We likely feel foolish when we realize that we have been wrapped up in matters of passing insignificance. What number of people get worked up about things that in the long run amount to a hill of crayons?

At various ages and stages of the terrestrial journey, we hone in on our physique, our yard, our decor, our vehicle, our wardrobe, our trips, etc. And sometimes we work up a sweat about such things.

A wise heart doctor once said “don’t sweat the small stuff; and it’s all small stuff.”

Truly, a large percentage of the things that dominate our minds and upset our emotions turn out to be no big deal. It comes quite naturally for us humanoids to make mountains out of molehills. I doubt that this is just Emilia; or me.

Jesus dealt with this frequently during his years of ministry.

People majored in minor things, valuing the externals of life more than the spiritual, wanting to fill the stomach more than the soul.

Oh, we get it — because we too do that. We lack long-range perspective. We are material creatures.

Even Jesus’ chosen 12 disciples were slow to catch on. They were dense about the parables, they wanted prime seats in the kingdom, they slept while Jesus prayed, they didn’t grasp grace.

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I can’t call them numbskulls because I do the same. What a great great thing it is that the Lord is patient and works with us. He is a gracious teacher. How we need it, chuckleheads that we are.

Long ago, with two of his followers on the road to Emmaus, Jesus did this: “Then He opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” (Luke 24:45).

If you, too, could use a good bit of mind-opening and understanding, to pick your worldview up a few notches, Jesus is just the man for the job. Pay attention to what He’s trying to teach you. He certainly does not disallow the fun of crayons or cuisine, but He blesses us with higher vision. Let Him have His way.

You have to admit: the beauty of every morning that He creates is exquisitely superior to any crayon-picture that Emilia or I could create.

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Chris Brekke is a retired pastor who served Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Rochester for 13 years and Trinity Lutheran in West Concord for 10. He and his wife live in Roseville, Minn., where he keeps busy with volunteering, church and family.

"From the Pulpit" features reflections from area religious leaders. To contribute, email us at life@postbulletin.com with "From the Pulpit" in the subject line.

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