8

Free For The Taking

When I was looking for a photo of a lake I found this opened hand, palm up, reaching out over water. I thought it a perfect feature photo for this post. It captures perfectly the message of not holding onto things too tightly.

Free For The Taking was the sign on the table in our church’s gathering place. There were potatoes there, rolls of ’tissue paper’, paper towels and a few boxes. We had just finished our morning service together and were getting ready to leave but before we did my wife and I were looking over some of the remaining items from the church missions yard sale.

My wife was a little ways away a few tables down so I placed my old Thompson Chain Bible on the table in front of me, the Free For The Taking Table, and went over to talk to her. There were only a few families still left there in the building so I placed it there only giving it a dismissed second thought. But I saw on another table my daughter’s Bible and notebooks and thought that it would be a ‘safer place’ for my Bible to rest while I looked further and talked to my wife. We looked at a few of the items and talked, discussed lunch, then went to pack to leave.

Placing a few bags of potatoes from the Free For The Taking table, a few rolls of ’tissue paper’, and a few other things into the box and picking it up, we walked to the car. It was a beautiful day. Breezy. Not too cold and not too hot. Perfect. We decided to go eat lunch at one of our favorite low-budget good-eatin places. We were going to go get our food then sit out by the lake in the cool of the day to eat. It was a great plan and turned out to be a wonderful picnic.

Except the place forgot the salad dressing for our salads but that is a different story. Also, I forgot my Bible. That is the story at hand here now. I asked my daughter if she grabbed it with her stuff and she had not. My first thought was to go back and get it. My second thought was that there would be no one there to let us in when we returned. And my final thought was that I would pick it up in the evening since we were going back for the final lesson on a study through Galatians. I didn’t give it another thought.

It was a great picnic as I mentioned. When we got home I emailed to a church friend that I hadn’t seen for a while but spoke to that morning. Talked with my wife for a bit while she ate her salad. Then she went upstairs and I went outside to mow the lawn. It was a beautiful day and it needed to be done.

After mowing the lawn, although it was a beautiful day, I was rather hot and needed to hydrate myself and sit for a bit. I was dizzy and shaky probably because I had eaten little protein. I don’t know but rest I did. Then there was just enough time for a coffee and the forty-minute jog back to where we meet the church.

The first thing I did was look at the Free For The Taking table. My Bible was gone. I chuckled a bit. But I was a little concerned too because the Bible has the first version of my Higher Ground notes when God was first beginning to help me figure that all out. I really did not want to lose them. I checked the other tables. Nope. I was late for the study and as I approached Lael (our pastor) said hello and I told them a condensed version of what I just wrote above.

We all had a good chuckle about it.

Apparently someone needed a Bible.

Then Jeff, one of our deacons, showed me where the lost and found was and we looked there. I did find my Hebrew/Greek study Bible that I couldn’t find that morning (It is usually the one I bring if I do not use an electronic device). I did not even know I left it there. Grabbing my Bible, the one I wasn’t looking for, we went back to the study. It was a good study and great discussion about walking in the Spirit and being led by the Spirit. Which ironically is the topic of my Red Letter Faith journey. I enjoyed it greatly regretting I had missed the previous several weeks.

After the study I met Omar in the foyer and told him an even more condensed version of the story above. He thought it was humorous too. I love Omar’s sense of humor. But before I even finished talking with him an image came to mind. The box in the back of the car. I said, “You know what?!” He said, “No. What?”

Then I responded with, “I am willing to bet I placed my Bible in the box that I left in the back of the car. Excuse me.” Then I casually walked to the car. Then when outside I ran to the car. It was a beautiful day for a jog. Sure enough, sitting casually just under a roll of towels was my old Thompson Chain Bible. I picked up the evidence and while laughing at my self I went and ate some humble pie, ensuring everyone that I had found it.

Funny story huh? Ever done anything like that? I do stuff like that all the time. Which is why I have begun building systems and helps to keep me from doing it more often. So there are two things I would like to share concerning this story.

First, the things contained in the Higher Ground study are Free For The Taking. They are not mine per se but are Biblical principles that I have laid out into a map, a system on a page, to help me remember the principles. I am sharing them here on my site to help others to remember them too. I hope they help you as much as they have helped me. If you have not begun following along with the Higher Ground series, I hope you will. You can find the introduction to the series here.

Second, there is part of the story I did not tell. Lael went with me to retrace some of the steps that Jeff and I had taken looking for my Bible. While in his office I commented that if the Lord wants me to have my notes then it will turn up, and if He does not then it would be okay, it is His will. Lael commented that he loved that attitude. It was more just a matter of pragmatic fact for me. I learned long ago not to hold onto things too tightly. A lesson I never forgot. Then I asked Lael, “You ever look for your keys frantically because you were in a hurry and couldn’t find them. Then after about fifteen minutes of futile searching you pray. And then ‘poof’ there are your keys.” It is funny how that happens. Of course the ‘poof’ part was only added here for affect. I did not say that then. This was how it was for me when I resigned to leaving my Bible with the Lord. An image of the box popped into my head. A God thing? I don’t know. I have become used to pegging things with pictures in my brain and this is a recurring thing with me. If I took a ‘snap shot’ of something I can usually recall it. A God thing? I don’t know but I am thankful our brains work this way. It is a good thing they do.

So I guess if there is anything I can share here besides a good chuckle it’s this. The things of God are Free For The Taking. He offers them freely and all we have to do is ask, seek, and knock on a few doors to see if they are opened. If they are not then it is His prerogative. Then the other thing is that we do not have to get all worked up about things. I say this because I get worked up about things all too often. But we do not have to. Our lives are in God’s hands. If He wants us to have something then we will have it in His time. And if He does not then no amount of worrying or working towards it will make a lick of difference. So we work towards our goals not holding our dreams too tightly and trust God for the best outcome.

I hope you got a chuckle out of this post. More so, I hope somehow you have been helped. If you have been following along with any of our study series. A Worm Digger post is almost ready to go up. The Higher Ground post will most likely be next week then a Red Letter journey post after that. There are no more reading plans going up as I did not get much response from that but I may add suggested memory verses in its place. I don’t know exactly how that will shape up as we move forward. Also, I will eventually be continuing thoughts on Spiritual Abuse and Legalism, and perhaps more on Anxiety and Stress since these seem to creep back into our peace from time to time, but am focusing on the three current studies for the time being.

Kind regards to you friend.

Comment below if you wish to share with me or my readers further thoughts regarding this post or perhaps a relevant thing that happened to you with regard to this. We all have our stories. Private Message me way below any comments here if you wish to chat privately. You can always reach me using the ‘Contact Carl‘ tab in my Main Menu.

Until next time.

Carl

AllMyMentorsAreDead.com

Carl

8 Comments

  1. Hey Carl, great post!

    The lesson on trust embedded here is very timely for me, since I have been reflecting on my level of trust, so to speak. I find myself reckoning, far from a mystical assumption, that everything is a God thing.

    We are trained to think of the natural and the super-natural as two separate realities, but, isn’t it all the same in the grand scheme of things? I would say it is, as we view it from Higher Ground!

    Psalm 145:4-7 (NIV)

    “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty — and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works — and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.”

    Blessings to you,

    Edwin

    • Yes indeed Edwin. At some point I am sure that I will post about the way we tend to compartmentalize things. We do this to manage things better I suppose as a ‘control’ measure and I think also we do it so that we can excuse some things in our lives that are not helpful or perhaps we have tried to hide from our God. Of course that is futile and as we begin to invite God into every arena of our lives we see the connection that each has to the other. Very good observation brother. This was one of the lessons I learned too that brought out of systems of religion (systems of rules/ do’s and do-not’s) into a walk and awareness of His amazing grace.

      Thank you for your comment, the verse, and your very relevant observation.

      Carl

  2. Carl,

    Leaving things and forgetting where you left them is called “getting old” Carl. Lol. It’s like what happened to me today. Where is that guy, he should have been here! I was getting mad, then I remembered that I prayed about it this morning, I relaxed as the day went as God had already planned.

    Thanks for this post brother.

    Matthew

    • Matthew,

      Thanks for the reminder that I am getting old. I am Lol with you brother. It is so easy to forget Who is in control when circumstances do not go the way we would like or have planned. They rarely do for me. Often better than I could have hoped for but rarely as I have planned. I too am learning to relax and rest in the fact that our Father is in control of the circumstances that affect our lives. Even if I have no clue how that could be. Thank you brother for your comment.

      Kind regards again and always.

      Carl

  3. Hi Carl,

    I often imagine the Lord chuckling right along with us at those times. Whether or not I’m right to project that type of reaction on Him, it helps me and gives me comfort to think He would laugh with us (not necessarily AT us. Lol). It should keep us humble and comforted that He knows our limitations better than we do.

    Laughing WITH you,

    ~Bob

    • Bob,

      I think you’re right about the Lord being amused when we do things like that. Assuming of course that we are ‘tickled’ by it and not annoyed. I suspect that not only does He weep when we weep, and rejoice when we rejoice, but that He is amused when we are amused. Secondly, we would not have the ability to do so if it was not after His likeness or completely contrary to it. Since it is not evil I have to assume that it is after His likeness that we do so. I know I am getting all deep and theoretical here. Sorry. Lol

      Simply put I think you’re right. It also gives me comfort and definitely keeps me humble that He knows our limitations better than we do and that He already has a plan to protect us from ourselves when we walk in humility. Thank you brother for your comment.

      Kind regards brother,

      Carl

  4. The Thompson Chain Reference Bible was one of the best ever printed. My dad sold them back in the 50’s and gave me one when I became a Christian… still have it…. I have often wished that we could get it in a newer translation, (I haven’t check in several years), but it is still one of the best Study Bibles I have ever used. It would truly be a great loss to lose it.

    • Russ,

      It was always my Study Bible of choice before I started studying Greek a bit and before I started using an electronic version. I still use the chain reference from time to time and often go back and read some of my old notes. There are notes in there that I kept as God led us out of a legalistic mindset into a paradigm that has room for abundant and abounding grace. Thank you for your comment Russ.

      Kind regards always,

      Carl

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