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  • Sarah Beth Dippel



Today's readings at first read might not seem connected. Although, if you have a morning like I had today, you might instantly see how they work together.

In the first reading, Elisha is called to follow Elijah. He slaughters his oxen and burns his plow equipment for the fuel to cook them. In other words, he gives away his livelihood, all that he has to follow the Lord.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus tells His disciples, "Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' and your 'No' mean 'No.'" (Matthew 5:37)

Elisha knows that he can't keep his old life and follow the Lord. Let your yes mean yes. The Lord says, if you are following me, you have to follow with everything you are and everything you have.

One of my flaws is that I can be pretty serious. It is a fault that bothers me. Deciding it is something I want to change about myself, I began praying about it. I realize I don't need more moments of joy but to be joyful in the moment. So, I pray for the Lord to change my heart and allow myself to be present in the moment, enjoying life and its many blessings.

This morning, I woke to find our largest dog had diarrhea all over the basement floors. After cleaning up all the poo, I came upstairs to discover; my husband had spilled a line of bacon grease the length of the kitchen. Yesterday, I made a strawberry pie from a recipe that I've been making for at least the last 15-years. This morning, I checked on it, still runny.

My family has been using the expression, "Be careful what you pray for" since I was a kid. Today, that was never truer. I think the Lord allows mornings like this one to remind us that joy is not about the things of this life but joy is found in Him. To have the real joy that I prayed for, I need not worry about poo, pies, and bacon grease; those are all passing things that have no bearing on real joy. Joy is in the hearts of those who trust in God. Joy is about having peace within so that when poo happens, we wipe it up and follow Him.

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