LemonsHave you ever had one of those days where it seems like the comments outweighed the compliments. The weight of negativity felt like a cruise ship anchor chained to your waist as you desperately pushed for an end to the day. Yeah...that was my Monday.
When I arrived home that evening, there was a large nondescript bag on the counter. Curious to its contents I walked over an opened it. LEMONS! It was the personification of my day in an outstanding abundance. My grandparents have a lemon tree and our family was the fortunate benefactor of the day's harvest.
Looking at those lemons with their yellow and sour smile, I had a thought.
(sidebar: all youth pastors will find a message in ANYTHING)
When Life Gives you Lemons...
1. Throw them Back.It's like a game of hot potato. Although you were thrown the ball you don't have to keep it. You will receive things that you don't need, but as soon as you recognize their irrelevance in your life, you must immediately get rid of it! I'm not advocating violence or the verbal back and forth of arguing. But I contend that you must throw it back. Throwing it back is the task of completely dismissing the negative labels, toxic relationships, hurtful opinions, or destructive habits from your life. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:12 "You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything." Just because you see it and could possibly enjoy it that doesn't necessarily mean you should keep it. Throw them back and keep moving!
Imagine lemons flying over your head as you safely dodge their attack. There was a lyric my kids at church taught me that says, "You can miss me with it!" There are opinions and occurrences that do not deserve your audience - so stop giving it to them. The other day, I was gifted a two-month subscription to satellite radio. It is amazing! They have more channels and possibilities than any one person needs. But, even without the annoyance of some commercials, that doesn't mean that I enjoy every song that comes on. The convenience is that although the programmers send vast amounts of information through the air waves and to the radio, I control whether or not I want to listen to it. With the ease of turning my wrist I can deny audience to stuff that I don't want to hear. And even if it is a station I enjoy but a song I don't prefer I still have the power to change the channel. Sometimes the people we care about can say and do things we don't prefer, that doesn't change who they are to us. Duck and keep moving!
3. Make detox water.
One of the grand purposes of detox water is to flush your system of the waste that you are carrying unnecessarily. A simple recipe is to cut up three or four lemons into wheels, fill a pitcher with filtered water and ice, then place the lemon wheels in the pitcher and stir. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator to steep overnight. the next morning, fill a canister with your detox water and drink your water throughout the day. There are some things that are said or given to you that are sour to the taste. Yet, it is those things that will help to rid your mind, body, and soul of the waste that is affecting your well-being. Don't sweeten their words to fit your feelings like lemonade. Let the lemons do their work on their own. Romans 8:28, "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Detox and keep moving!
How will you use your lemons this week?