“If You Give a Moose a Muffin”
“If you give a moose a muffin…” that is how Cathy would describe my restoration project this past week. We have an old cedar chest I inherited from one of my grandparents. However, in recent years it has received some abuse. The lid now has a big crack right down the middle. Repairing the chest has been on my “to do” list for a while. Last Saturday I went over to a friend’s house so we could fix the cracked lid. My friend has an adequate shop and more wood-working knowledge. Once the project to repair the cracked lid began, we quickly decided not just to repair the crack, but to refinish the whole lid. This meant scraping and sanding off the existing finish. Restoration is like that, things often look worse before they get better. Restoration is a painful process. This little project required GRIT (you know, sandpaper 80, 120, 220…). I believe the process of spiritual restoration God plans for our lives is quite similar. The Master Carpenter is using trial and tribulation in our lives, like sandpaper, to slowly remove the “old self” and restore us to the person He created us to be. Dying to our old self and our old way of living can be hard work. It can be painful. Therefore, it is only accomplished by the restoring power of God’s Spirit!
“He saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)
“…to take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
The phrase “if you give a moose a muffin…” is from a children’s book. In this book, the protagonist gives a moose a muffin, but then it wants jam. This process leads us on a grand adventure as the moose wants more and more. I think this is a little like our relationship with God. His love for us is all-consuming. So, when we first give our lives to God, we do not often understand the grand journey we have begun. One in which God will ask us to surrender more and more of ourselves to Him. In this way, God is not abusive toward us immediately forcing His will on us. Instead, just like my restoration started small, but grew to encompass the whole lid, God’s restoration of us begins small, but grows to transform our whole self as we further understand the amazing blessing of His restoration in our lives! The more we surrender to His plans of restoration, as painful as they may be at first, the more we experience the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (love, joy, peace, patience,…).
“Becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth. Spiritual maturity is neither instant nor automatic; it is a gradual, progressive development that will take the rest of your life.” ~ Rick Warren
Director of Youth & Young Adults