Sunday, September 11, 2011


Recently I was introduced to a new word: Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving. It has changed my life. Ok, ok, it is changing my life. Day by day by glorious day. I have my dear friend Anna to THANK for diligently insisting I buy and read Ann Voskamp's best seller One Thousand Gifts. I must admit, I wasn't looking for another book to add to my long list of "when i have time to reads." However, something in her voice coerced me all the way to Barnes and Noble (yes some of us still shop old school). 

If I had time here I'd probably quote the whole book, but I'll spare myself and anyone reading the effort and recommend you go buy your own copy. I do want to point out a few things I learned along the way and how God is revealing to me that adventure presents itself in many forms...often the quiet still form (oddly enough).

 Blur. Rapid movement. Whirlwind. Descriptions of my life as of late, and I'm surely not alone. Why so fast? Why such a hurry? Our lives are but a vapor. As years go by do your memories look like this picture? Do the lines blur and edges soften? Perhaps this is why our culture is so obsessed with photos? Moments in time, caught forever like a fly on tape. Memorialized somewhere other than our minds.
"Wherever You Are, Be All There."
 So simple, yet so life giving. Ann reminded me that the fullness of life can only be embraced, remembered and cherished when we stop to fully experience it. Stop visiting with a friend, checking my phone & making mental to-do lists simultaneously and engage. Be present. Doesn't said friend deserve my full attention? Why do we have to feel that we are so much more efficient when we over-multitask? I'm the worst. An efficiency nut. God is working. On a recent trip to Chicago to visit friends I vowed to put this lesson into practice. Over the course of 6 days I probably met with 20+ friends over chai, meals, and walks. Each time tempted to revert, each success a step toward Eucharisteo. Live in the Present was my motto a few years ago...wonder when that was squeezed out? "Time is only of the essence, because time is the essence of God."

"Thanksgiving - giving thanks in everything - prepares the way that God might show us His fullest salvation in Christ. At the Eucharist, Christ breaks His heart to heal ours. I would never experience the fullness of my salvation until I expressed the fullness of my thanks every day, and eucharisteo is elemental to living the saved life."

In light of this it is odd that we Americans take one, just one, day a year to give thanks. If I had anything to do with it, everyday would be Thanksgiving (minus the turkey, etc!). I am convinced that the path to peace, to joy and fulfillment lies in giving thanks. It's crazy hard to be negative, angry, frustrated or miserable when you are genuinely thankful. Thankfulness is a lamp that shines brightly on all the good that is often overshadowed with our dark view of bad. "For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness." (1 Thess 5:5) Thankfulness opens the blinds to light. And light warms our soul.

Empty to Fill.  
"The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring." (Is 58:10-11)

"Eucharisteo has taught me to trust that there is always enough God. He calls us to serve, and He, very God, kneels down to serve us as we serve. Spend the whole of your one wild and beautiful life investing in many lives, and God simply will not be outdone. God extravagantly pays back everything we give away and exactly in the currency that is not of this world but the one we yearn for: Joy in Him." I love that! Wild and Beautiful life! Yes please! For most of us giving, serving, expecting nothing in return isn't just unnatural, it almost sounds mythological. The world's way of giving to get just doesn't work with God. He gives and we learn from Him how to give and the cycle continues. Joy is the reward. Glory is the goal. When we "I" becomes "He" our lives, habits, desires, change. Less of me God, more of You.

"Eucharisteo, the Greek word with the hard meaning and the harder meaning to live -- this is the only way from empty to full...full of fully live."