I love reading lists (“listicles” as they’re called) such as “31 Things From Walmart That’ll Make Your Kitchen the Cleanest Place on Earth” or “12 Little Tricks Restaurant Servers Do That You’ve Probably Never Noticed.”
So, here’s my listicle for today: “10 Things I Love About God (and 3 That I’m Not Crazy About).”
1. When I am being (silently) self-righteous, arrogant and snarky, God lets me know it. Why do I love that? Because I really, really hate self-righteousness and arrogance in other people and I don’t want to be what I hate. I do, however, appreciate good snark.
2. He makes the impossible possible. Turn water into wine? No problem. Raise the dead? Easy peasy. Give me courage to do the hard, right thing? Even that, God can do. I always say that God makes pigs fly, and I almost believe it.
3. Mercy! I love that God is merciful and kind. Even in suffering, he showers his people with tender mercy. At times I’ve threatened to come up to heaven and punch his lights out and he has never — yet — squished me like a bug. Instead, he lets me rant and rave and then holds me while I cry, like a mother does with a toddler throwing a tantrum.
4. Maple syrup! God actually put liquid deliciousness inside a tree so we could turn on the tap and pour it all over our pancakes and waffles. Sheer, sweet bliss.
5. Endless do-overs. God doesn’t just give second chances. No “three strikes and you’re out!” Instead, he gives endless chances to start over — and from a starting point of total acceptance for those who are his. Hooray!
6. From hunks of coal to brilliant diamonds, gritty sand to costly pearls, caterpillars to graceful butterflies, God loves transforming the ordinary and ugly into the beautiful and precious, and that includes people like you and me.
7. God chooses misfits, outcasts, weirdos and oddballs to be a part of his kingdom and uses us to change the world. All he asks is that we come empty-handed, needy and unworthy, tired, hungry and thirsty and willing to be made brand new and redeemed. Who could not love that?
8. I love that God created cats, otters, Gerbera daisies, thunder, soft beach sand, sunshine, little girls, alpacas, the moon and stars that shine in the black night sky, sunrises the colors of fruity sherbet, peaches, tiny seahorses, my sister and the fog in San Francisco.
9. I love that God is big enough to control the universe and not so busy that he won’t take time to listen to my prayers. He truly is a good, good Father.
10. I love God because when I was so very lost, he found me, and whenever I wander, he still finds me.
Now for what I’m not so crazy about:
1. Love bugs, no-see-ums, fleas, cockroaches, snakes and oppressive humidity. IMHO there’s absolutely no reason for any of them.
2. Sometimes the whole “We walk by faith and not by sight” gets exhausting, especially when a monkey wrench is thrown into my plans. I would prefer a heads up and an amended agenda so my brain doesn’t explode.
3. Panera’s Cinnamon Crunch bagel = 430 calories. Brussels sprouts = 38 calories. God, can we talk?
Nancy Kennedy is the author of “Move Over, Victoria — I Know the Real Secret,” “Girl on a Swing” and “Lipstick Grace.” She can be reached at 352-564-2927 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.