Dec 24, 2018

Welcome Wellspring Family!

Tis the season of giving and waiting. Waiting in traffic, waiting for the cashier to ring me up, waiting for a vacation day on Christmas, waiting for packages to be delivered in the mail. All in anticipation of something good that results from the wait. Such was the case a few weeks ago at Punahou School’s annual Christmas Crafts Sale. Buyers came to purchase gifts, including the wildly popular jars of “broke da mouth” (deeeeelicious!!) Mango Chutney (made by students and parents during the summer); provided that they had a ticket number and were physically present at the Jams and Jellies (“J&J”) entrance when there number was called.

That day, almost 180 ticket holders stood in line for several hours. I know, maybe to see Bruno Mars in concert, but for chutney? I held ticket #155 in my hand. Since I also had to work at another booth at the craft sale selling school t-shirts, I strategized. I’d check back from time to time and see what number they were on, and then I’d be ready and waiting at the entrance when #155 was called. First time I checked to see where they were at: #30 (slow going). Second time: #92 (plenty of time). Third time: #130 (getting close), until finally, that fourth and final time, I walked up to the J&J entry, so excited, and heard,… “Number 157”.

157?!! What!? 157!? No! No, no, no. I approached the ticket taker, showed her my number and said, “I’m 155.” I explained, I was working in another booth, and asked if she could please let me in. She paused, looking at me with sorry eyes for a second, before saying, “Sorry. No exceptions. You have to go to the back of the line and if there’s anything left, you can buy what’s left. No guarantees though”

In the end, they did sell out. Thirty something people, including me, got nothing. Except to learn a lesson. The raw flesh lesson is not worthy of being repeated and retained. The lesson from God’s heart to mine was reassuring though. When I was turned away, I felt cast out, unwelcomed, and embarrassed. I realized part of my disappointment has come from putting so much value on a jar of chutney that I thought I had to have (because we keep a supply in our cupboard for as long as I can remember). Being open to letting go of this insistence, helped shift my thinking to gratefulness that our God would never deny me entry into His Heart and Kingdom once I chose to receive Him into mine.

Just as the Christ child came to be born in a manger, there is always a

place and a way for our Heavenly Father to welcome us with open arms and much grace. He would never turn me away to go to the back of the line or tell me there are “no guarantees”. Our Father, knowing that we desire to be with Him, says that there is always a place for you and for me. We belong because of His great and sacrificial love for us.

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God, who were born not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-13)

Waiting With You, in Joy and Belonging,

Pastor Cheryl

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