Brett and I followed the directions of the GPS and turned off on the exit for the Chattanooga Children’s Discovery Museum. Immediately off the exit we saw the museum sitting on the corner with the parking lot behind it. Brett turned in the direction that appeared to be the way to get to the parking lot. But, as it turns out it was just another wrong turn in life. We drove a few blocks out of our way and u-turned at the local Whole Foods store. After discovering the wrong way we found the right way and pulled into the Discovery Museum parking lot. The timing was perfect, just as Brett was about to pay for a parking pass a woman who was leaving and still had time left on her pass gave it to Brett.
Two hours sped by as one hundred and twenty minutes exceeded the speed limit. Aspen ate cake and ice cream being served in honor of the museum directors birthday and proceeded to buzz through the many exhibits at the museum. When the little hand pointed to the five and the big hand to the 12 we heard a voice over the intercom announcing the closing of the museum for the day. While we had all enjoyed our time at the museum we looked forward to getting something to eat. Thanks to our earlier wrong turn we knew Whole Foods was close by and decided to eat there. The sun shone warmly so we decided to sit and eat in the out-door cafe area. Just a few tables away from us a boy about ten years old held out a piece of bread to a pigeon approximately ten feet away from him. He tried to make bird calls, but sounded more like a cat. I was amused and laughed to myself. How did he expect the bird to come closer to him when he sounded like a cat?
How do we expect to have the best life we can have when we avoid the simple instructions we came with. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.” It sounds so simple, but just like the boy who tried to make bird sounds only to sound like a cat, under our own power we generally seek our own earthly kingdoms in our attempts to appear to be seeking the kingdom of God. We try to light our own fire, but without the power of the Holy Spirit the fires we build burn cold even if they do burn big. Before Jesus spoke these words He had been talking about how people seek after the things of this world. How they worry about whether or not they will have enough. But, God says, “Seek me first and all these things shall be added unto you.” We don’t have to worry about being first in line, getting the biggest piece of the pie, or how big our paycheck is or isn’t for that matter. Jesus says if we seek Him first we will always have what we need and we don’t even have to worry about it.
Jesus, his disciples, and his mother attended a wedding in Cana. As most weddings go preparations had been made for this auspicious occasion including plenty of wine to serve the guests. But, these guests must have been thirstier than the usual wedding guests because the wedding planner had under planned the amount of wine needed to keep everyone supplied with abundant libations for the entire wedding. Jesus’ mother stepped in to rescue the sad situation.
She said to Jesus, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
I like that phrase, “Do whatever he tells you.” We should do that more often in our lives; do what Jesus tells us. Look what happened when the servants did what Jesus told them. The instructions were simple enough; First fill the empty jars with water then draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet. Now everyone knows that’s not how to make wine. You don’t even have to be a wine making expert to know that. To make wine you need some grapes and some time. But Jesus didn’t use either. He prepared wine with one thing; the power of God. The power of God doesn’t depend on my idea of perfection, in fact it works best in my weakness. Only when I admit that I have run out of my own wine can he work a miracle in my life. “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (1Corinthians 12:9)
Turning the water into wine was the first miracle Jesus performed. It was a perfect example of what Jesus can do for us too. The people prepared wine for the wedding but then they ran out. A little like us trying to live life successfully under our own power, we can for a while but eventually we burn out. Enter the presence of Jesus. When Jesus walked into their lives, they had better wine. The best wine. They were capable of providing their own wine, but when Jesus made wine for them it was the best. When we allow Jesus to reveal His glory in our lives we will have the best. All of our personal bests are just heaps of ashes compared to what the glory of God can do for us.
As most wrong turns do the wrong turn we took at the beginning of this story started out as annoying and a waste of time. But because of our wrong turn we ended up with free parking and discovering a place where we could all find something to eat.
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God.”(Romans 8:28)
We don’t have to worry about not having enough, when Jesus fill us up, there is plenty to be poured for others and His presence will still keep us filled up and satisfied with everything He has given me.
I pray today that Jesus will fill us up and pour us out to be used for His glory.