So, what’s “the skinny?” Apparently, the skinny on something is “the true information about someone or something that is not known by most people . . . Give me the inside/straight/real skinny.” (Merriam-Webster) The skinny is revealing some secret information. With that in mind, what’s the skinny on sinning?
When I was a kid, I had an effective way of finishing a milk shake. A straw worked for most of it. But when I got down to those final noisy slurps, I worked with gravity. Turning the cup upside-down brought last drops to me. But when that was over, I stuck my tongue in as far as I could to gather up remaining morsels. THEN – my cup was truly empty! Nothing left! Satisfying, but also disappointing. Sometimes life drains your cup. That’s when you feel empty. It can be satisfying, but also disappointing.
Remember when you made your first friend as a child? Or maybe you had a roommate you just clicked with when you went to college? It may have been a person you connected strongly with on your first job assignment. Whoever and wherever – you just got this feeling inside – “I think I like you!” It may come as a surprise but that’s how God feels about you. God likes you!
We hear about prominent figures, television personalities, world leaders, famous authors. But most of us are ordinary people – not famous. We care about the state of our world as we hear of countries being ravaged and individuals without food, water, medicine. We sigh as the news highlights tragedies in our own communities. Many ordinary people care about showing God’s love in practical ways. So, a question we ask: How can I ever make a difference in this huge world? I’m one of the ordinary people!
Have you seen white clouds so fluffy you could reach out to touch them? Think about huge sequoia trees that take about 20 people holding hands to form a circle around the base. What about a simple, dainty butterfly alighting your arm for a moment. Waterfalls, majestic mountains, colored leaves, music of songbirds. No doubt – nature is beautiful! Inspiring. What a privilege to absorb the displays, relax in its calm, and explore its wisdom, precision, and wonders. With numbered days, we should ponder Nature’s Diamonds often.
I’m thinking about people I’ve met over the years, some from childhood. Though I can’t remember some of their names, there’s a kind of “imprint” of the kind of person they impressed me to be. The impressions have to do with attitudes they portrayed. There is such power in attitudes that affect your life – and other lives, too. In fact, they can set your path for a long time. That’s why we should be aware of them and choose carefully.
Have you ever been told – “You always have to be right!”? There’s likely been at least one time in your life when this has been said to you. And chances are, you’ve said it to someone else. To have to be right seems to be a human issue.
Keeping track of all the details in life is challenging. How do you track things in your life? Your workload, diet, property care and home chores? What about bill deadlines, healthcare appointments, fun with friends. To stay on top, you need a good tool. Tracking your spiritual development and growth in noble character requires a good tool, too.
The other day, I was pulling weeds in my vegetable garden. Fortunately, I found and uprooted most of the “little guys.” But there were some weeds that had been growing a bit longer. They were stubborn and tough. I had to get my fingers right down at their entrance into the earth, take a “death grip,” and pull with my whole body – just to get those “bigger guys” out of my garden! From the roots up, those weeds were supported . . . until my hands came along!
I’m sure you’ve heard stories of people who died but came back to life. Some have been miraculously healed of serious diseases. There are stories of amazing financial provisions – down to the penny needed. Imminent tragedies have “somehow” dissipated. People have prayed for rain in drought and received it. These kinds of things are on the list of “Big Deal Miracles.” But most of us just need a regular miracle – something to encourage our hearts. I also think we get so focused on our own stuff that we miss the entire list of “Super Special Small Miracles” that happen each day. Do you need a miracle?