THRILLED? OR CHILLED?

 

Neal Pollard

It is said that when Dorothy opened the door to Oz and the movie’s colors went from sepia to Technicolor the audience gasped and that many stood up and applauded.  Moviegoers had never seen a movie in color before.  We take color movies for granted, but 75 years ago it was new.

Can you remember how excited you were to be able to surf the internet in the early 1990s.  A page would load in mere minutes.  Dial-up was such an innovation.  Smartphone, tablet, and laptop users scoff, nay cringe, at the thought of such primitivity today.  We are creatures cultivated by conditioning.  What was once fresh and new can all too quickly become stale and old.

Did you grow up in the church or did you come to Christ through your own investigation or someone’s love and concern?  Perhaps you can boast of being a third, fourth, fifth, or more generation Christian.  You were raised knowing God’s plan of salvation, will for worship, and pattern for daily living.  Perhaps it can at times seem like “old hat” and cause us to take the great blessing of salvation for granted.

One who came to Christ as a teenager or an adult may often have a special, intense appreciation for their “new” discovery.  Over the course of time (and even generations), we may have to fight apathy and complacency. We can forget the joy and excitement of forgiveness or the feelings of peace and hope.  If we “inherited” our faith, we may have to work harder at understanding just what a blessing we had handed to us by our parents and strive to appreciate what we may be taking for granted.

Understand that the blessing of salvation is more wonderful than anything we can imagine.  Nothing new or better can follow that.  The challenge is always for us to maintain appropriate appreciation for such atonement!  Is it still new or do you maybe need to renew?

The Munchkin’s Legacy

 

Neal Pollard

Ruth Duccini died in January at the age of 95, the last surviving female munchkin from the Wizard of Oz leaving only Jerry Maren left of the original 124 little people from the film.  All her life she was associated with the classic and made numerous appearances at festivals celebrating the movie. Given her stature, at 4 feet, 4 inches, and the fact that she lived in Santa Monica, she likely had someone remind her of her starry past each day.  But if you asked her what she was most proud of and what she wanted to be remembered for, she would give one answer.  She would say that it was her role as “Rosie the Riveter.” She worked on airplanes at a defense plant during World War II.  She helped her nation through this patriotic work.  Whenever her name is mentioned by the press or her picture is seen in a book or on a website, it will likely be associated with her brief work in that cinematic effort.  But she preferred to be known for her service (http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2014/01/16/wizard-of-oz-munchin-dies/4542745/).

I find that more than patriotic.  It is both admirable and exemplary.  Rather than longing to be “seen” and “out front,” Ruth wanted to be behind the scenes working hard.  Her preference was a few years of difference-making work rather than decades of recognition.

This is a reminder that none of us can choose how we will be remembered.  We know that our decisions and actions collect together like raindrops to form the pool of our legacy.  Looking down, we can see a reflection of who we really are.  But others look at our lives and form their own impressions.  Usually, whatever we desire to be most known for is exactly what we become most known for.  Yet for what do we want to be most known?  Our looks?  Our wit?  Our wealth? Our talents?  Our notoriety?  Or, do we desire to be known for our godliness, service, encouraging, courageous, loving, faithful, persevering, or similar spiritual quality?

Whether or not we log 95 years on this earth, we are leaving daily impressions.  May we leave the kind that help people go to heaven and that keep us on the path that leads there, too.  Make yours a legacy of love for the Lord!