Five Minute Friday: Accept

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

Our FMF brother Andrew referenced Crispin’s Feast in the chat tonight. My appreciation for the Bard came late in life (as a matter of fact, just in the last few months, after watching the BBC series Hollow Crown: Wars of the Roses). Up until now my response has has been, in the words of Joey Tribbiani, “Hey, Shakespeare? How about a chase scene?”

Ah, but does it really get any better than this?

This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

– Shakespeare, Henry V; Act 4, Scene 3

Kate says: accept.

Go.

It’s hot beverages, scarves, sweatshirts season.

Oh, and boots. Can’t forget boots.

Christmas may be my favorite holiday, but Autumn is my jam.

Pumpkins glow a fiery orange against the muddy backdrop of a near-empty garden plot, their vines fading from the bright green of new foliage to the duller shade of maturity. They are all that remains of summer’s growth. Beans, carrots, cucumbers, onions, peppers and tomatoes all harvested a couple of weeks ago, as the sun began to hint at its diminishing, giving way to cooler temperatures and the barest, cheek-brushing kiss of frost upon the ground.

A pumpkin is nothing more and nothing less than a pumpkin. A seed responds to the rain and the sun and the soil. A process mostly unseen. Held together by the word of God. It sprouts, it grows, it delights, it dies. All as designed by its Creator. It is, of course, not sentient. There is no wrestling with the great questions of life. Without a brain, it cannot worry that it is not as good as a spaghetti squash. It cannot wish to be slim like a cucumber. It cannot throw its weight around to intimidate a carrot.

A pumpkin simply…is.

I have been wondering about God’s love. Truth be told, I’ve not often felt it. Some speak of their hearts being overwhelmed, their souls swimming in Divine affection. Being at least half-Vulcan, I am at home in the mind. I have emotions. I cry (though few have seen it). I have compassion for people who are hurting. But I just don’t speak in the language of “feels.” That part of me is underdeveloped.

It is true that we cannot base our faith on feelings. There are far more mundane days than dances on mountaintops. More opportunities to grit our teeth and choose obedience than bask in the glowy fizz of spiritual hugs. This is right and good. We have to be tough. We have to have grit.

And yet…

God is love, right?

The mind and the heart have to be devoted to Him.

It’s not that I don’t love God. I do. There’s simply a desire for…more. I don’t know what this means. I have asked Him to allow me to experience His love in a way I haven’t before. In a way that will make sense to me. (In a way that will keep me from yelling at the kids loudly playing basketball across the street, kids who should be inside having dinner or doing homework). In a way that will reach beyond the walls and the cherished sins, the dark places we all possess and seek to keep hidden.

I want to live fully in the reality of these words:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

– Ephesians 1:3-6 (NKJV)

Beloved. Dearly loved. Much loved.

Christ, the much loved. Christ, the dearly loved. Christ, the beloved.

I want to feel that love. It is, by right of adoption, mine to have. Mine to experience.

Mine to accept as a gift beyond pricing, for He has accepted me by His love, in His grace, through my faith.

I want to simply be in Him, confident of His pleasure, secure in His affection, at rest, with no fear.

Just as the pumpkin simply is.

Stop.

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13 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Accept

  1. I love your pumpkin analogy. I am a big feeler of all the feels, but I also struggle with just being and resting in God’s love for me. It is so easy to forget the truth of Ephesians 1. I hope that you have a lovely weekend. Your Five Minute Friday neighbor. -Jolene

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    1. Perhaps resting in His love, accepting His affection, is something we all have to re-learn, over and over again, until we see Him face to face. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Shakespeare AND a Friends quote? My kind of blog post. 🙂 My love for Shakes didn’t come until college when I was forced to take a Shakespeare class with a most-despised professor… the man wasn’t the kindest and thought he was the smartest guy alive (and wasn’t very kind to women), but he loved Shakespeare and somehow made me love him too. (Also I loved ol’ Will more when I realized one of my fave Rom-coms, She’s the Man, was based on 12th Night, my favorite Shakespeare comedy).

    Regardless, I relate immensely to your words. I am a feeler, an INFJ to the max that cries at all the things, but due to childhood junk I stuffed most of my emotions down and forgot about them in the hopes my family wouldn’t call me a crybaby anymore. It wasn’t until adulthood that I reclaimed this emotional side of me, the one that feels deeply and cries.Therapy has been my friend in this matter of my life, learning how to feel the things again.

    But feeling and accepting love, both from God and people, has been one of the hardest quests of my life. I just don’t feel it. I never have. I hope I can someday. I want to be all up in my feels when it comes to something other than sad or anger. God is love, but love is just something I don’t always understand. I’m working on it.

    Grateful for your words always, friend. ❤

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    1. I pray for you today, as I pray for myself, that God will show Himself in a unique way. Through a verse that leaps off of the thin Bible page, through a song, through a word well-spoken, through a sunset. Some way that makes sense for you, that fills your heart with a sense of His love.

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  3. Friend, I loved this post. LOVE is such a hard thing to fully comprehend. But Gods love is incredible! I love that hymn too. I’m in the 6 spot this week.

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    1. As I think more about this, I wonder if, in the quest for big moments, we miss all the little signs along the way. I wonder if He wraps us in affection each day and we just don’t have the eyes to see it. May He give us a new perspective!

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  4. Thanks for the Shakespeare callout, and the wonderful excerpt from the Agincourt speech. What joy!

    I’m definitely with you, half-Vulcan and wishing that the reservoir of emotion was accessible. There is comfort in logic, though, and I find that in a way, needing a very strong faith to simply survive, logic may, at least for me, be a better foundation.

    After all, only Nixon could go to China. (Vulcan proverb.)

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  5. I quoted those verses from Ephesians too- they are some of my favourites- and I agree, we need to not just know God’s love in our heads but to experience it in a way that fits with our personality. I like your lesson from the pumpkin- I am great at overthinking things. Sometimes I need this reminder simply to be.

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  6. Well –you KNOW that Autumn is my jam, too!

    Also this: “I have asked Him to allow me to experience His love in a way I haven’t before. In a way that will make sense to me.” I am praying for you along these lines now too, my friend! However, wild love seldom makes sense… but I am praying you experience it still!

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