Higher Than the Earth

February 28th, 2008 • Category: Variety Week
by Tammy Mills

Today’s scripture: Isaiah 55:8-11 (ESV-text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tammy Mills):

I ran across this story the other day, and it got me thinking about how much of the time I try to explain God or make sense of God when in reality there is no way my little mind can ever really “get” God. I need to be a bit less logical and a bit more open to mystery.

There is an Arabic story of Seventeen Camels that tells of a Mohammedan who died and left his seventeen camels to be divided among his three sons. One was to receive one ninth; one was to get one half; and the third son was to inherit one third of the camels.

Seventeen camels, however, aren’t evenly divisible by three. Hence the three sons argued long and loud about what to do. In desperation they agreed to let a certain wise man decide for them. He was seated in front of his tent with his own camel staked out back.

After hearing the case, the wise man took his own camel and added it to the other seventeen camels. He then took one ninth of the eighteen, or two camels. To another he gave one half, or nine camels. To the third he gave one third, or six camels. On top of it all, he still had his own camel left.

Of course, with enough thought and maybe a diagram, we can figure out where the missing fractional camels went. But did you feel that initial sense of puzzlement and wonder?

Many of us try to find God and solve the problems of life by logical, calculating schemes that insure we receive our share. But God is to be found in receiving, not grasping; in giving, not claiming our rights.

Question for the day: How can I invite more of God’s mystery and wonder into my life?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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