Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Come Fly With Me!

Donny Osmond as Joseph, in his
Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat!
With Thanksgiving coming up, I’m sort of freaking out and trying to get ready for the being off for the holiday, but I did want to call your attention to something I read yesterday in Genesis 41, which included much of the story of Joseph, another of Jacob’s sons. This particular son actually turned out okay, despite having a rough time of it... being despised by his brothers, who then sold him into slavery... falsely accused of putting the moves on his boss’s wife, jailed and forgotten... nonetheless, because God was helping him, he managed to work his way into being Pharoah’s right hand man. (I’m thinking about doing my own paraphrase of the Bible - how do you like it so far?!)

Anyhow, despite his crappy beginnings, he displayed a big helping of what I was talking about the other day: Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

See? Joseph moved on. He didn’t let his past – the ill treatment of his family – get him down. And he recognised what God had done for him even in the place where he had suffered. 

In fact, he didn’t just forget... he FORGAVE! There was a big famine in the whole area, but Egypt had food... thanks to Joseph, but I’m not going to go into that. Anyway, his brothers came down to buy some food, and what did Joseph do? Gave’em a big ol’ hug and invited them to stay. I guess I should also mention that he played an elaborate practical joke on them first, but still... he even told them that being sold down to Egypt was not their fault, but part of God’s plan to keep them alive during the coming famine.

Another Donny as Joseph pic...
because I can't resist!
So that’s what I’m talking about... forgetting, forgiving, moving on.... seeing the good in the outcome, if not the situation.... One of my commentaries pointed out that had Joseph been raised in Jacob’s house as the favorite son that he was, he might have turned out to be a spoiled brat! So maybe there is something going on behind the scenes that we have no way of knowing when we are in the middle of mistreatment...

And I know that every family situation is different... Not everyone needs to invite their family jerk to live with them, but the forgiving and forgetting part... Well, it’s hard, but it’s also kind of necessary for sanity. 

Sometimes I keep chewing over a grievance and have a hard time moving on... I feel like if I let it go, I’m letting them get away with something. But really, unless I’m going to discuss it with them, they have no idea I’m stewing - they’re out playing golf or shopping or looking at Facebook. It’s only me being eaten up by it. And certainly, there are much better things to spend my time thinking about. It’s hard enough to get all my stuff done in any given day without those crazy thoughts going on in my head.

So I just try to “FIDO” ie., “Forget It & Drive On.” (That’s the clean version, my former Marine brother told me that that’s NOT what FIDO stands for...!) I can’t have that stuff dragging me down! I wanna fly!

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