What do Blueberries have to do with Obedience?

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 | 0 comments

Recently I took 21 kids from our youth group to SIFAT (Servants in Faith and Technology), in Lineville Alabama for what I would call a mission “Experience”. Now I have been on many mission trips, in country and out, but this was the most powerful and difficult thing I have done. I am still processing all that cracked my heart open and left my head spinning. One of the many lessons that I took home was something that was presented to us after the “Experience”. The program director, Addison spoke a lot on what missions meant, which for me came down to loving, no matter where I am or who I am with. It is what we are called to do.

Then he brought up a word that I have always struggled with, you know the O word. Obedience. UGH. To love means being obedient also. I appreciated what he said and as I went to sleep that night I was still pondering all it meant to me. The next morning we were off to do our community service project, picking blueberries for a local school to help raise money for their athletic programs. When we arrived the woman in charge was explaining what we needed to do and ended with…995902_10200890719784634_135033376_n

“Be careful because there are big fire ant piles out there along with loads of poison oak and ivy!”

I almost laughed out loud as I looked at my feet in flip flops. Yes, they were very clear and had said “Wear close toed shoes!” But my shoes were so gross from the mission experience I didn’t think I could put my feet back in them. Plus I was a grown up right? Not one of the kids…I don’t really have to listen and follow all the rules. HA!

Here I stood as my flip flopped feet were screaming “DISOBEDIENCE!” and felt God smiling.
It was at this moment when it hit me how much love is actually wrapped into obedience. When God tells us not to do something, it is not because he is being mean, bossy or withhold things from us. He is trying to protect us from the pain and suffering that will occur if we do it. It is our choices that create the consequence’s that punish us, not God. He warns us because he loves us. My “Don’t tell me what to do!” flip flopped feet were very vulnerable to pain, suffering, bites and itching because of my disobedient choice. It was then that I knew God had tied this lesson in a big bow for me.

We need to be obedient in loving others too. Not just when it is easy and familiar, but when it takes us out of our comfort zones and is messy. Maybe we can love those far away, but have trouble loving those under our roofs. Or maybe we can love those that are familiar and love us back, but struggle with the dirty, poor and unknown. Either way, we are called to love because he first loved us. And yes…that takes a lot more of the O word than we would really like to admit. This “Your not the boss of me!” girl got it… Lessons learned and the next time I pick blueberries I will leave the flip flops back in the cabin!

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