In saying "no" I shut my eyes to the blessings around me.
But in saying "yes" I begin to see all that is out there.
Never tire. Never quit. At least once a week I fail at doing either. It's not that it's so hard to "do good," but it's often not as alluring or fun. This lenten season I have been "fasting" from saying no and "feasting" on saying yes. This has been a difficult journey, and yet it has also been a very prosperous one. I have been tempted to say to my kids, "No I can't do that," or "No, we don't have the time." When my wife asks me to do something, and my first thought is to "I cannot do that right now" I stop and think about my lenten promise and instead say, "Yes, but please give me a moment so I can finish what I am doing." It's a subtle difference, that keeps me focused on the positiveness and productiveness of the moment.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of my parents company. Their four day stay was packed with things they wanted to do, and things that would be the last thing I'd want to do. But I didn't have that luxury. I had to say yes. I drove them to see an old friend where we spent the day listening to wonderful stories of her and Picasso's daughter, and feeding raccoons in the middle of the night, and not to mention offer her company when there had been none.
On the drive home, instead of taking the freeway, we took back roads. As we drove through the small suburban towns of Southern California, we were blessed with spring blooms bursting from the ground to the trees. 50+ miles of beauty that I would have missed otherwise. Same was true the next day when they asked to go to the Antelope Valley State Park to see the wild poppies in bloom. Yes, I would have rather stayed at home. Yes, I would have chosen anything other than wasting gas and racking up miles on the car. Yet, I said yes and God rewarded me.
What I've learned so far is that in saying "no" I close myself off, I shut my eyes to the blessings around me. But in saying yes, I begin to see all that is out there. Yes, it is often tiresome to do it, but it has produced some wonderful rewards.
Like this passage, it reminds me never to tire or never quit. Even though I want to say no, it's in my feasting on the "yes" that keeps me motivated, and continues to yield a surprising reward. Jesus tells us there is work to be done. And while that work may seem like an endless, tiresome task...keep on going. Stay with it and look for the Spirit (which is always present) for your strength.
So what do you say? Will you say "Yes" today? I bet you something good will happen if you do.