One Shoe and the Queen

Last night, wearing one shoe, I spoke with the queen.20150703_200651

I was on my way home from a concert when somewhere in the shuffle of the crowd—I lost a shoe. I kept walking and ended up in a meadow overlooking the most beautiful expanse of water and forest I had ever seen. I sat down in order to capture the sight in my head. I never wanted to forget such a stunning place.

Breaking my solitude, an older woman appeared seemingly out of nowhere and sat down in the cool grass beside me.  A crown encircled her carefully tressed locks, and wisdom exuded from her eyes. Who was this extraordinary woman, I wondered.

I was trying to make sense of this whole dream-like situation when the tiara clad woman spoke to me. Clearly, she had a British accent. Upon closer study of her face I realized…Oh my word…

Yep, this was the Queen of England speaking to me–the peasant with one shoe.

What could I say to the Queen of England?  Nothing seemed fitting. What seemed like an eternity of silence followed. No appropriate conversation came to mind.

So, after an uncomfortable silence, I simply asked her if she knew the king. She looked confused.  I asked her if she would she like to join me in talking with him–that is–the King of Kings. I told her about my Savior, my Wonderful Counselor, my Almighty God, my Everlasting Father… my friend–and how much I loved talking with him. I looked up and began to pray. Her look portrayed her confusion, but as I was praying I noticed that her eyes filled with tears.

Maybe she was beginning to realize that the King of Kings to whom I was speaking was actually God Almighty…and that perhaps there was something more to “religion” than mere tradition. Her tears began flowing and her eyes filled with hope. I was guessing she was imagining that perhaps she could have a meaningful relationship with her creator, who was also my creator.

I truly did have something to offer her. Even wearing one shoe.

And then I woke up.

I’m not sure which part of this dream seems more strange to me. The concert? The queen?  The last concert I attended was several years ago with saxaphone crooning Kenny G.  And I have recently read about Kate Middleton, but seldom think about the Queen of England.

However, it is not strange to know that the grace given to me is something worth sharing–and something everyone needs. I reflected on Psalm 4:7-8

You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Truly, the spiritual blessings from God far outweigh anything money or prestige can ever buy. I may have one shoe, no shoes, or a crown on my head. But in the end, the only thing that matters is my relationship with God.

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26

Clarity

Do you sometimes feel like your life can be as pictured here – running in circles but not really getting where you intend to go? IMG_4208 I like to think that my dog, Denver,  is quite a smart dog – however, he has a habit that causes me to shed doubt on his doggie “Mensa  IQ status.”  He chases his tail.  He quite enjoys the chase, and is often successful in catching it.  He then just follows his tail around in circles…seemingly unaware that he is spinning around getting nowhere.  The problem lies with the goal of his activity and pursuit.   Unfortunately, his goal lies no further than the tip of his rear end.

Do you ever feel like you expend a lot of energy, but in reality end up not accomplishing the most important things- those that last eternally?  Perhaps your goal is not clear or has gotten lost in the cares, desires for other things and the pleasures of life (Mk. 4:18-19.)

I can, like Martha, get busy about many things and thus distracted from what is most important.  Luke 10:38-42

    As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. [39] She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. [40] But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

    [41] “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, [42] but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I must remind myself again and again (and God does a good job at reminding me through the scriptures) that the things I seek to accomplish need to be summed up primarily in two clear practical realities – Loving God and loving people.

Matthew 22:34-40

    Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. [35] One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: [36] “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

    [37] Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ [38] This is the first and greatest commandment. [39] And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ [40] All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Practically, I can be busy doing many things in my life, but if I am not spending time with God in prayer and learning to better obey his word….and loving others by caring for them, sharing Jesus with them, and helping them get to heaven I will resemble Denver…busy chasing what will accomplish nothing of everlasting value.

In the choices you make with how you spend your time….are these two most important things clear to you and to those who observe your life?