This morning I thought about how some things in life that might appear crazy the first time we see or hear it, end up being something that leads our hearts to a place we needed to arrive at all along. The memory that triggered this thought was the one I’ve shared with you all many times. It’s the story of how I learned (and then never again forgot) how to spell the word beautiful.
I was around eight years old at the time. For several agonizing minutes (which for a child feels like eternity) the word, beautiful, was a painful thorn in my side. I excelled at spelling. I learned to spell new words on my weekly spelling list quickly, but not this particular word. This word was a challenge for me. Beautiful was the only word on my weekly list that I can remember ever bringing me to tears. It was at that tearful (the world is coming to an end) moment, when my mom said three words that forever changed my negative perception of beautiful.
“Eat an umbrella,” she said.
“What?” I asked.
And she repeated her off the wall statement, “Eat an umbrella. Just remember that the first letter of each of those words is the order they are in the word beautiful.”
Eat An Umbrella
35 years later and I have never misspelled this word again. And, it all started when I embraced a three word statement that sounded crazy.
Let me go back to my original thought:
There are some things in life that might appear crazy the first time we see or hear it, but it’s those things that end up being instrumental in leading our hearts to a place where they needed to arrive at all along…to a place of peace and understanding.
This morning I read, again, about Jesus referring to himself as the Bread of Life (John 6). It sounded absolutely crazy to the crowd of people listening to him. How is that possible? they grumbled. And then Jesus went on to explain his off the wall statement. The result? Some chose to stick around and others walked away.
Today, we are faced with the same choice when (insane sounding) solutions come our way. Do we stick around or do we walk away? If you’ve spent any time at all in the Gospels then I’m sure you’ve come across a number of crazy on the surface statements Jesus was famous for saying.
John 6: 35, 48 I am the bread of life
John 8: 12, 9:5 I am the light of the world
John 8: 58 Before Abraham was, I am
John 10:9 I am the door
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd
John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the life
John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life
John 15:1 I am the true vine
Is our knee jerk reaction to grumble and walk away when “crazy” hits our ears or is our heart receptive and willing enough to stick around and dig deeper?
Because maybe, just maybe, crazy will lead you some place beautiful.